London Camden Monarch

...for pure and simple disco-pogo pleasure, at least, they're hitting it hard on the nose.

In the cold light of day,[a]Dirty Beatniks[/a]’ timing would appear to be terrible. Here they come, with a funky-skunk sound hewn from the same dance-rock principles favoured by [a]Lo-Fidelity Allstars[/a], at precisely the point in time when dance and rock seem determined to stay at arm’s length – what with Doves, Coldplay, UK garage and trance not exactly having much in common.

Switch from cold light to a packed, darkened room above a pub, however, and Dirty Beatniks prove they’re setting their own pace with no little aplomb. Founder member Neil works the gadgetry. There’s a guitarist and drummer, and, out front, daubed in face paint, singer/rapper Mau (formerly of trip-hop contenders Earthling) manoeuvres deftly through lyrics about nightclubbing, menace, loving and fighting.

But what you mostly notice as they launch incisively into the likes of ‘Disco Dancing Machines’ and ‘The New Adventures Of Sandy And Bud’, is the bold, voluminous cut of their grooves. By this, we mean grooves that demand you lock-in and hold tight – powerful, happily populist blighters [I]` la[/I] those on Jason Nevin‘s remix of Run DMC‘s ‘It’s Like That’.

Admittedly,[a]Dirty Beatniks[/a] are presently too keen on sticking remorselessly in this top gear, meaning detail and mood swings don’t much come into it. But for pure and simple disco-pogo pleasure, at least, they’re hitting it hard on the nose. Meaning if they’re not ripping up festivals by this time next year, something will have gone desperately awry.