The glorious return of Earl Brutus, whose peculiarly squalid, glam-rock genius has not faded with time

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Earl Brutus : 93 Feet East

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Earl Brutus : 93 Feet East

Let’s start, for the sake of incongruity, with The Strokes. Young, handsome, well-dressed, very much on the upside of the rock’n’roll dream. Sometimes, however, all that hope and aspiration ends up with men of a certain age splicing together Suicide and The B-52’s and singing about superbikes and teenage daughters. These songs are called ‘Superbike’ and ‘Teenage Daughter’ and the lyrics are [I]”superbike”[/I] and [I]”teenage daughter”[/I]. Factor in the health-and-efficency gyrations of alarmingly uninhibited singer Mark, and you have something of a concept, not to mention an easy-to-grasp brilliance.

The real centrepiece of tonight’s entertainment, however, is the glorious return of Earl Brutus, whose peculiarly squalid, glam-rock genius has not faded with time. [I]”C’mon, you teenage Taliban”[/I] snarls singer Nick Sanderson, which is in dubious taste – but then everything about them is in dubious taste. Nick’s terrifying glittery eyeshadow, mushroomy pallor and jumper with the old British Rail logo on it, in true age-of-the-insane style, is beautifully complimented by Jamie Fry’s arm-waving toplessness, Shin-yu’s deranged screaming and their brilliant care-in-the-community Glitter Band chaos. They start with ‘Come Taste My Mind’ (not a proposition Delia would encourage), finish with ‘Navyhead’ and in between comes everything that’s right with rock’n’roll made gloriously wrong.

They could’ve been contenders. They could’ve been the best band in the world. And in the hearts of those who share in their stadium-sized delusions, they always will be.

Victoria Segal