The Weasel Kickers have been around for ten years now and are celebrating by playing at Ye Olde Dolphin Inne. A September chill is in the air and with the gig on the outside stage, regulars and transients huddle in groups as the band ring out. Audience numbers vary throughout the night, influenced by temperature and alcohol levels.
Smartly dressed in suits and pencil ties, they give the occasion an elegance and ceremony betrayed by their general sonic output and stage banter. Applause is like pulling teeth initially, but like any dentistry, it will happen and it will be done to an acceptable standard, with or without anaesthetic. Heckling and good cheer develop, creating a mellow, but jolly atmosphere from the band responsible for “rust-proof, mock-pop, musical entertainment”. At one self-effacing midpoint lull, singer Russ declares “Good job we’re dressed for a funeral, we’re dying up here!”
The Weasel Kickers have been reasonably prolific in their time, and have a solid two hour set of jolly lounge pop full of the insights and politics of general life; Important things like psychic octopi, and headaches, and the Prime Minister and sex in the 1970s…truly stuff of solid import to the world. The Poundshop on East Street has elements of The Wurzels, but with much bluer lyrics than any love song since Inner Circle’s Sweat (A La La La La Long). There are hints of Bloodhound Gang, Carter USM, Half Man Half Biscuit and so on.
Russ’s neck strains as he intently belts our peak vocals during Bad leading to a gritty blues guitar solo by Andy, which then evolves into a beautiful car crash of spoken word, describing a scene of rain, Guinness, hillsides and flowing-dressed ladies. How does one describe such tragic enigma here and give it the glory it deserves? Chris on drums is solid all night, with the second guitarist praising him towards the end as being “at least average”. The group are miserably happy. A resigned joviality, such is their lot.
An unexpected mid set highlight comes in the form of Timor, who wanders on stage quite at random but launches into an outstandingly strong rendition of Sixteen Tons with full Weasel Kickers backing. His dynamic control and pitching is astounding. Like a ship in the night he’s out the building inside the space of the band playing two more songs.
It’s been a fun night. Suspend your misery by catching them next at The Greyhound on 20 October.
You can find The Weasel Kickers;
- on Facebook.