The Coathangers – Birmingham – live review

The Coathamgers
Actress and Bishop Birmingham
20th October 2018

Atlanta Garage Punks The Coathangers released their sixth album earlier this year, they’re first live album, and then hit the road to celebrate. Fighting Boredom weren’t going to miss them so headed to the nearest date. Read what we thought below.

Someone doesn’t want me to get to see The Coathangers. The last two tours have been unobtainable for one reason or another and the twenty minute drive from Coventry has stretched out to an hour and a half as we sit in traffic. The thing is, I really want to see them. They are the sort of band that you end up humming for no reason so listen to them and get caught up playing them for the rest of the day driving people mad around you as you sing along. We reviewed the Parasite EP and their last album ‘Live’ was great. So I really really wanted to see them this time. 

We miss the support bands. When we arrive The Coathangers are setting up, they are wearing matching white boiler suits and the united feel of drooginess is not lost on me. Each suit has been customised with magic marker and they look ice cool. Something I will be stressing as this review goes on, they are cool, cooler than the Fonz in a fridge. The only band I have ever seen playing live that look as cool together are the long gone Ramones. 

They step up onstage and get straight onto it, it’s primal, proper rock’n’roll, it looks easy and effortless and very very cool. They start with Watch your back and they start grinning at each other as they play. The energy onstage is infectious as people start to dance. Do you know how hard it is to write notes while dancing? It is impossible to stand still. They swap vocals, harmonise and take it in turns to lead. Their grins get bigger and we love it.

The music is bouncy, straight forward punk rock’n’roll with no frills and no pissing about. Just good music. The perfect harmonies layer over the loud guitars and give us great jerky punky goodness. They are enjoying this, laughing and smiling at each other, locked tighter than a drum. It’s like there are about ten in-jokes going on and they just keep cracking up as they sing and play but it just makes the whole thing better.  It’s wonderful. it’s like perfectly constructed punk, old style when punks weren’t afraid to write pop songs.  

They are Crook Kid Coathanger on guitar, vocals and squeaky toy, Minnie Coathanger on bass and occasional drums and Rusty Coathanger on drums and awesome solo vocal, the singing is perfect, think sixties girl group with attitude. Rusty’s singing is lower and gets hoarser as the night goes on but it is spot on for the music, plus it’s very, very cool.

Captain’s Dead is the best song, for me, others may have other opinions and it is perfect and emotional, the crowd really getting into it and the music is simple and groovy, the vocal going from quiet to explode into a scream.

The three of them look as hard as nails, like a girl gang, like the Ronettes used to look, uniform, together and strong. Rusty has disappeared behind her hair, Minnie is perfectly poised and Crook Kid is still grinning. They tell us to ‘sing along’ then play a ‘new song!’ They swap instruments like Beastie Boys used to, Rusty plays guitar  while Crook Kid drums like a maniac then Minnie plays guitar while Rusty sings and she is everywhere, going for it big time as she jumps into the audience. 

They finish with Squeeki Tiki, Rusty back on drums, Minnie on bass and Crook Kid on squeakie toy. You need to have been there. Then they’re gone and it’s not anywhere enough. What a band. 
So we made it to see The Coathangers and they were phenomenal, fucking awesome. Get to them next time. I’ll drive.

The Coathangers

The Coathangers website is, they have a Bandcamp page are on Facebook and Tweet as @TheCoathangers.

All pictures by Martin Ward all words by Adrian Bloxham.

Adrian Bloxham

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