We’re going to put our hands up and admit that before turning up to the show, we were not one of the many hardcore Distillers fans, loved them as we did. We barely followed Brody into the Spinnerette era. And as it turned out we didn’t even recognise the four or five Distillers songs that she played last night. But that, surely, doesn’t matter as she’s gone solo and it’s her - on her own terms - that we came to see.
Brody Dalle plays the kind of terse punk rock that has grown men who should know better scream “Oh, Em, Gee” before tearing through the crowd, liberally waving beer over Hoxtonites and doing some polite middle-class moshing down the front. It’s unlikely Brody noticed, as she barely acknowledged the crowd other than to ask the repeated and bizarre request for yellow socks. “where’s my yellow socks?” was the first thing she said to us. Third song, second address to the crowd was a repeat of the statement. Had we fortuitously been wearing yellow songs, in the spirit of punk rock, we would’ve been compelled to rip them from our sweaty feet and throw them at her.
Her latest single Meet The Foetus / Oh The Joy was dropped after a handful of songs, and was far more straightforward that the recorded version which you can only hear on noisey at the moment. No Shirely Manson or Emily Kokal from Warpaint, but just their combined ghost hovering in the vocal effects. Which leads us on to Brody’s unique vocal charms - though you can point to Courtney Love, it had the raw rasp of ripping denim. Didn’t make out a single lyric throughout the whole show, except something about masturbation. And yellow socks.
She was wearing a neon orange top, that we initial thought it said WI (an amazing thought) then another letter appeared and it was PWL. Again, wrong, but more proof that we were not in Kansas anymore. Glowing in the UV lights, her skin occasionally turning an Avatar blue, she had an amazing presence - snarling and screeching away behind her horror film hair, which served to frame her, unlike her bassist who simply hid behind his long locks. Without the singing, the songs were rock solid punk tunes, that stand up against any number of punk greats from The Ramones to (honestly) Elastica, as Dalle has honed her craft in the band line ups she once fronted. It’s tight, if abrupt like the brutal final chordgoodnightDJmusicexitstageleft.
This blog review was written for @gaytimesmag and can be found here.