London Highbury Garage

Why, ten years on, do The Jesus Lizard continue to plough their peculiarly skewed rock furrow...

London Highbury Garage

"Why don't you all fuck off?" Halfway through 'Wheelchair Epidemic' and David Yow is in full limey-baiting flow. Moments later, he's at the back of the venue, shaking hands with the sound engineer while floating on a sea of outstretched arms, still singing in perfect time. Business as usual for The Jesus Lizard, then.



The last night of another UK tour for Chicago's finest, and the die-hard disciples are out in force. No new faces among the throng though, which might beg the question why, ten years on, do The Jesus Lizard continue to plough their peculiarly skewed rock furrow? To experience them live is to render such doubts obsolete. When Yow - think David Thewlis-plays-Iggy Pop - strips to the waist and dives headfirst into the crowd during the first song the only question is why he's not dead, crippled or institutionalised yet. It's pure, cathartic rock theatre that makes you realise how lame most bands are onstage.



And the music: the goth swamp blues of 'Until It Stopped And Died'; the rockabilly psychosis of 'Then Comes Dudley'; the adrenalised hardcore of 'Monkey Trick', is rock'n'roll stripped so bare you can see its spine. Sweaty, violent, unadulterated fun. This is what it's all about. The day you forget that is the day you forget to breathe.

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