With the threat of deafness driving singer Brian Johnson out of AC/DC, one of the biggest jobs in rock has opened up and a myriad of potential candidates are already doctoring their CVs to include experience of bell ringing and overnight haulage delivery to Hell. Here are our pick of the ones who’ve thrown their hat in the ring and others we think could do well.
The ones who’ve already applied…
Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist
The clue’s in the name. The Hives frontman, who’s already put in an “application” for the job, can certainly belt it out lustily enough to tackle AC/DC’s world-shattering grunters, and has been treating every club, Academy and festival tent he’s played like a stadium since day one. His approach is more ‘pastiche of arrogant rock ponce’ than AC/DC’s traditional ‘laborour with lucrative sideline’, though, and he’d no doubt change the band’s titles to things like ‘For Those About To Rock, You Salute Me’ and ‘Dirty Deeds Done Quite Smart’.
Evans sang with AC/DC for a short time back in 1974, recording just one song with them called ‘Can I Sit Next To You, Girl’. But being AC/DC’s own Pete Best hasn’t stopped him putting himself forward for a guest frontman spot. For the rest of the band, though, this might be a bit like being jilted at the alter only to find some girl you snogged once on a school trip to Aberystwyth turning up in a wedding dress, just in case.
The ones they should headhunt…
The Wolfmother frontman has been pretending to be in AC/DC for 15 years, so ardently that all of his bandmates left him to it long ago. So he’s had plenty of training, no band to leave (as such) and he’s a bona fide Australian. Let’s just give him a flat cap and get on with it, shall we?
Liam’s at a loose end and his voice has grizzled over time to the point where it could reasonably give ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ a spirited nasal whine. He’s got the right kind of snarling, fuck-you attitude too, and Liam flouncing off in a huff won’t be a problem for a band capable of soloing well into next week. The only issue might be stagewear – “I aint wearin’ no fookin’ vest, get these Pretty Green khaki overcoats on or I’m smashin’ up all them guitars…”
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Who better to bring out the suggestive sleaze in AC/DC’s most famous tracks that Sheffield’s randiest sex Twiglet? You can imagine his wry puck faces as Angus Young strips out of his schoolboy uniform and hear his saucy perv-drawl turning ‘You (Uh) Shook Me All Night Long (Alright)’ into a suburban key party lament. ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ will sound so much dirtier, and as for ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and ‘Big Balls’…
Mindfuck central. The band strike up ‘Highway To Hell’ and out waddles a sort of fluffy spiked alien mermaid creature with plastic tube legs, atonally wailing “parrr-tee ta-hiiime, my fre-heinds arrre going to be thaaarrr too”. Rock would eat itself in seconds.