Buckcherry: Los Angeles Whiskey A Go-Go

Buckcherry's set is structured much like a cheesy porn movie...

Given that Buckcherry’s best known for a song about snorting coke, it’s not much of a surprise to look around the room at the world famous Whisky A Go-Go and see a crowd full of b-metal band members, porn star wannabes and – considering California’s winters are mild – an extraordinary number of scarves, ascots and full-length coats.

Well aware of what their audience wants, Buckcherry’s set is structured much like a cheesy porn movie, with each scene more predictable than the one before. The evening begins as the band descends down the staircase stage right. Joshua Todd, the Iggy Pop-thin singer, grabs the mic and one of the guitarists takes his shirt off. Music commences, with said singer wriggling and writhing for all he’s worth and guitars squealing.

Second act, singer strips his shirt off, revealing the Chaos tattoo on his flat belly and the King of Hearts on his back and introduces Buckcherry’s new tribute to debauchery in the A.M., ‘Whiskey In the Morning’, with the following speech. “How many of y’all like drinking in the morning? I don’t mean when you’re out ’til 2 or 3 and you’re saying you made it to the morning. I mean you wake up, roll over and start drinkin’. Well this one’s for you.”

At times it seems that Buckcherry’s new songs are like a stacked deck, with each card in it dealing with the base human cravings, for drinks, for drugs and for sex. This last is the subject of the next scene. “Do we have any porno stars in the crowd tonight?” asks Todd as he leers out at the mass of surgically perfected bodies jammed into the Whisky. “Well, at some time or other we’re all porn stars,” he declares as Buckcherry launches into, surprise, a new song called ‘Porno Star’.

And just like in porn flicks where everybody knows the plumber isn’t just coming to check the pipes, no one in the audience believes Buckcherry’s actually done the first time they leave the stage and the lights go on. After all they haven’t played the “I love the cocaine” song yet. “The creator gave us food and things like morning glory and mary-jane and he gave us things we can chop up and shove up our fucking noses,” asserts Todd upon Buckcherry’s return, as the band strikes up the chords for the quintet’s heartfelt ode to cocaine, ‘Lit Up’. Money shot delivered, the lights go on again and this time no one even thinks about staying.

Colin Devenish