Groop Dogdrill take the stage dressed in baggy white suits and Stetson; the audience who have come to see headliners Motorhead don't seem to appreciate the fashion statement...

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London Camden Dingwalls


London Camden Dingwalls

Chants of “Millwall! Millwall!” ring through a section of headliners Motorhead’s audience. Things don’t look good for Groop Dogdrill already. And when Pete Spibey, Hug and Damo grace the stage wearing baggy white suits and Stetsons, the fashion statement doesn’t go down a treat, oh no.

What really offends the gathered survivors of the metal age, though, is the noise made by the cheeky Northerners, a squalling racket that resembles Nick Cave’s former group, The Birthday Party, gone horribly and irreversibly wrong.

The first lobbed plastic cup only serves to galvanise Groop Dogdrill. The strobe lights are turned on to accompany the wall of noise. The trio strip to their waists and continue the musical pummelling – but actually show a method to their madness. Very basic rock riffs and a swamp blues edge on top of heavy rhythms, while Pete Spibey turns his neuroses into a lean poetry of sorts – or the universal rock’n’roll [I]lingua franca[/I] when all else fails nonsense – add up to a groovy whole.

‘Saltpeter’ kicks in, another few cups are grudgingly thrown and a roadie steps up to give a section of the audience what for. The stand-off continues but somehow Groop Dogdrill win tonight’s gladiatorial battle of wills on points.