London Highbury Garage

...after nights like this, they'll always have staunch allies...

It was feared that the mighty [a]Campag Velocet[/a] may have gone over the bars of their racing bike and under the wheels of a large bus. Nothing had been heard of the last great beatnik London band in months – save the distressing news that they are now inexplicably label-less.

But they’re back, and with an even bigger snarl on their faces. OK, so a low-key support slot in N5 may not be the dramatic re-introduction their legend demands, but everything else remains in tact. Signature spitting from Voss? Check. Exciting atmosphere of imminent violence? Check. The look of mods who’ve been living rough for the last decade? Check.

Campag may be bottoming out career wise, but they’re screaming and shouting and rapping (yes! rapping!) all the way down.

They state their fresh intentions with new songs like machine gun opener ‘Instinct Tension’, which rattles like a hip-hop Royal Trux, and back this up with the vicious, shiny ‘Vindictive Disco’ – so angular and spiky it sounds like prime Wire. These two new extremes prove what a kaleidoscope of ideas Campag are, but now they seem much closer to pulling it all off. There’s even room for a part-time bongo player up there.

Singer Pete Voss, who remains a tense and engaging presence leaves us with another newie, a raucous ‘Me And A Foe’; a call to arms against whatever enemies you might have, which, perhaps is rather an apt stance for Campag. That said, it’s pretty certain that after nights like this, they’ll always have staunch allies.