The Datsuns : London Camden Underworld

The most exciting live band on the planet conquer the capital

Man alive. NME hasn’t [I]ever[/I] set eyes on anything as freakin’ ridiculous, genetically brilliant or downright sexy as kick-ass Kiwis [a]The Datsuns[/a]. But let’s take a step back. Alongside [a]Vines[/a], [a]The Datsuns[/a] (that’s T-H-E D-A-T-S-U-N-S) are riding shotgun at the vanguard of the brilliantly exciting new wave of Antipodean rock ‘n’ roll: after years of Anglo-American hegemony, there’s something emerging blinking into the limelight from down under. Bands like [a]Vines[/a] and The Sleepy Jackson, Jet and The Casanovas. For the latter we’ll have to wait. For New Zealand’s Datsuns – their time is now.

Collectively Dolf D, Matt, Christian and Phil Datsun combine to form a

senses splintering, wiry skeletoned, tight T-shirted, lank haired rock ‘n’

roll machine. Watch them and you’ll see a band wholly committed to their cause. How else to explain all this resplendent pouting and pointing? Or how their guitars defy gravity to spend half their time at 90-degree angles? Or the frantic drum solos? Or the historically maligned foot-on-monitors manoeuvres? Or when head Datsun Dolf cheekily declares “[I]You put a little bruise on my heart, London[/I]” after a particularly raucous ‘Little Bruise’?

And yes, much of what [a]The Datsuns[/a] do is tongue in cheek. Still, passion rules here – not panto or pastiche. Spontaneity [I]does[/I] rear its head in The ‘Suns performance – guitarist Christian wanders into the masses, guitar and all. Elvis lookalikes clamber on-stage and declare the band “[I]The new kings of Rock ‘n’ Roll[/I]”.

At the centre of all these hi-jinks is frontman Dolf. It helps that he’s got hair blacker than an oil spill, eyes wider than a furby and an on-stage zest that’ll one day set [I]Top Of The Pops[/I] on fire. Look no further than the crotch-liberating supertrash of ‘Super Gyration’ or the glitterball stomp of ‘Harmonic Generator’ for proof that they’re on a crash course with the mainstream. Tonight, NME especially marvels at how ‘Lady’ threatens to segue into a cover of Aerosmith‘s [I]Mrs Doubtfire[/I] soundtrack contribution ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’ at every turn. It’s part 70’s cop-show, part commercial radio drive time, but all thrilling.

Tracks like crowd favourite ‘Motherfucker from Hell’ are wholly accessible heavy metal, while their cover of ’70s power-pop clowns Cheap Trick’s ‘Goodnight Now Ladies And Gentlemen’ and set-highlight ‘In Love’ (where they’re joined by [a]The Datsuns[/a]

vixens Carrie and Marcie) make the middle-of-road seem like the most dangerous place on earth.

Tonight, [a]The Datsuns[/a] have been catapulted to the front of the Class of 2002.

Swot up on them.

Imran Ahmed