Fu Manchu : London Astoria

The days when it was still ‘cool’ to admit a liking for this lot are now nothing more than a smoky memory...

“Duuuude! You cut your hair! What happened?”

Oh dear. The days when it was still ‘cool’ to admit a liking for the cliché stoner rock troupe Fu Manchu are now nothing more than a smoky memory. Three years ago, they still had long hair, they still had Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork and we’d all had too much marijuana to care that they only had one song – the one about skateboarding to space in an astronaut suit and meeting a topless babe in a hot rod on Mars.

Tonight, newly-shorn Fu Manchu singer Scott Hill makes for a sorry sight. He tries his best to still look like a badass rock’n’roller, but, minus the shoulder-length blonde locks he just can’t do it. His slip-on deck shoes and see-through guitar are meant to make him look like he’s a member of the original Black Flag line-up, but in reality, he looks like a gay estate agent. Not the desired effect at all.

Lucky for him, Fu Manchu’s – [a]Ramones[/a]-meets-Sabbath rock can still get the green-eyed hordes jumping around and punching the air like stoned spastics. It’s just that when your brain is functioning at its proper speed, it’s difficult not to get bored. The material from their new ‘California Crossing’ album, particularly, sets new standards in dead horse-flogging.

[a]Queens Of The Stone Age[/a] exist so you don’t have to go and see bands like this anymore. So why bother? Have you got money to burn?

Andy Capper