Monday, 1 October 2012

Wet Nuns @ The Hop

Wet Nuns
The Hop, Wakefield
28th Sept, 2012
Wet Nuns have a name that strikes fear into anyone who is easily scared. Not me, however. Not me. I embrace the fear (at least with regards names), and when I was advised to watch Wet Nuns at Long Division I was pleased to see, and indeed hear, that they were a band containing testicles. The type of promiscuous, hedonistic and vaguely sexist testicles that would achieve success as rock guitarists, if not for their lack of fully developed hands. Fortunately both members of Wet Nuns have the kind of dextrous, fully developed hands that separate homosapiens from apes and, as a result, are able to thrash out a style of angry swamp-blues that has eluded testicles and apes alike. Fantastic, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Someway less than fantastic was the scarcity of music fans willing to part with their money for this gig at the Hop. The opening band, Ether, couldn’t even afford a lead guitarist (though they did tell us he was ill with a migraine, we all knew it was down to AUSTERITY). Rhythm and Section, as I decided to call them, featured Jesus Christ on lead vocals (or someone who looked like him), but even he couldn’t perform miracles with a set of self-penned Josh Homme-ish driving tunes that unfortunately lacked the piercing tones of high-pitched guitar noise. It was a valiant effort though, in the face of adversity, which was almost on a par with the evacuation of Dunkirk.
The Matadors seemed to be mocking them with their full compliment of musicians. They didn’t even have the decency to turn their volume down when the two members of Ether, who were later spotted crying hysterically into a bucket, entered the room. The just stood, legs placed wide, drilling out riffs and licks like Keith Moon had spiked their Carlsbergs with Crystal Meth, but then remembered that they had an important gig and frantically straightened them out with a couple of valium.
Wet Nuns are under no elusions regarding the existence of Keith Moon. They know he’s dead. They would also have no trouble carrying out the required “death knock” if they were asked to inform the late-Who drummer’s parents of his untimely demise. They’d just say it. “Mr and Mrs Moon, your son is dead,” they’d say, before dropping their cigarettes on the living room rug and then crushing them beneath their brown, stinking cowboy boots. Yes, one thing I’ve noticed about Wet Nuns is that they call a spade a spade, and not, as most people in the South of England do, a hand-digging implement. It was this attitude that stood them in good stead when conversing with the Wakefield audience between their distressing rock songs.
“This is our new single. You should buy it,” pleaded Wet Nuns’ guitarist, whose gap-year style beard was growing dangerously towards ‘Werewolf’ proportions, and, no word of a lie, the following night was a full-moon. No doubt 24 hours after smashing through this rock set he could be found in a Sheffield graveyard devouring lost students. Anyway, I digress.
“What does it sound like?” asked an especially witty member of the audience. Wet Nuns’ answer was, unsurprisingly, to play the song. My opinion was that I enjoyed the music, but not so much the vocals. I prefer gravel to growl, but then what was I to expect when half the band was part-canine and the drummer was sporting a beard made ‘fashionable’ by Charles ‘Britain’s most dangerous prisoner’ Bronson? Rod Stewart?

Stephen Vigors

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