Crazyhead – Mystery Action – Leicester – Live Review


Mystery Action

The Donkey


15th September 2017


Crazyhead were brilliant, bastard garage punk rock’n’roll, with a handful of killer singles and albums they were for me the best of the lumped together Grebo bands of the last half of the eighties. Full of attitude they played their last gig eighteen years ago and disappeared. Now they are back and Fighting Boredom were right there with them. 


The Donkey is full. I’ve heard this is sold out and it doesn’t suprise me. Somewhere there is merch for sale but I’ve no idea where. In the corner a dude is spinning seven inch vinyl and the sleazy rockabilly rebel music is perfect for this mass of old juvenile delinquents. 
Mystery Action have voodoo bones and cards in their top hats, the singer has the Baron’s face on and laughs like a man possessed. The drummer has a tiny leopard spotted kit and a perfect quiff, which is all you need really. The fact that he kicks seven shades of shit out of the drums and makes this band rock roll and shake all over is beside the point. Michelle dubs them the Psychobilly Flintstones which fits bloody well. They play covers, and what covers man, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, the forgotten sons of our British Rock’n’Roll, they have a pinch of rockabilly and a touch of twang. Then they go into the Cramps, which just works, they are doing this for themselves, they smile and slink out massive swathes of fuzz. When the drums start on the Dolls Stranded in the Jungle it’s bloody perfect. All I need is my battered leather jacket and bleached hair and I’m a kid again. They give these old old songs what they need, a dose of lazy, messed up slapdash glory, they were never ever played for musical excellence; they were played for the kids and tonight that’s us once more.
The place is even fuller now. I’m jammed against a table trying to write in my note book and the band aren’t even on stage yet. They climb up looking nervous, this is a pretty big deal remember. They look older but the mischief in their eyes is still there. Anderson takes the mic and they go. The twin guitars give that garage swagger, the drums are hit even harder and faster that Mystery Action and Porkbeast is resplendent in a chrome storm troopers helmet and cheap sunglasses throwing every rock move he can. But it’s Anderson that made the difference back then and still does now. When he leans into the mic as Time Has Taken It’s Toll On You blasts out all around him in his trademark sunglasses and long hair and taps his head as he sings it hits me just how bloody good they were and that they still have it. He’s a bloody madman in complete control, he looks perfect and everything is focused on him. 
Honestly, my notes disintegrate into meaningles scribble as I move to that beat and just watch one of my teenage favourite bands tear up their back catalogue once more, Baby Turpentine still slays me and the last song is obviously What Gives You The Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby’. This is garage punk seasoned to perfection, the sound of a band finding themselves again for those of us that desperately needed it.
The encore is the sixties garage groove of Have Love Will Travel and the immortal Stooges TV Eye. Both of which batter hell out of the audience. There are huge grins wherever I look, this is their band back at the Donkey where they belong. They thank us, the dj puts the Heartbreakers Born to Lose on and it’s perfect.
Crazyhead had their moment and rose to it with abandon and the spirit of Rock’n’Roll mayhem and now they are back again.Tonight they looked like they were having the time of their lives. Join them before they go again.
Crazyhead tour dates are on their Facebook page. They also have a Bandcamp page.
All words by Adrian Bloxham.

Adrian Bloxham

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