The Datsuns : Manchester University

The new album may be abit of an old banger, but the band are still fuel-injected...

If [a]AC/DC[/a]’s Angus Young took over the School Of

Rock, tonight’s gig would be the first topic on his


“Y’see, if you’re gonna rip off our three-chord stadium-rock schtick,” he’d tell the kids in his trademark Aussie drawl, “you gotta get it right. There’s a fine line between sounding incendiary and being absolutely

fucking shit.”

Forget about [a]The Darkness[/a] (and don’t worry, if you

haven’t already, it won’t be long), tonight [a]The Datsuns[/a]

show how supercharged gonk-rock is supposed to be executed. Since these abundantly hairy New Zealanders

hit our shores two years ago they’ve perfected the

trick of taking the three heaviest power-chords this side

of [a]Led Zeppelin[/a], [a]AC/DC[/a] and Rainbow, welding them to

some yelped “woah woahs” and “yeah yeahs” and

splicing it all with just enough piss and vinegar to get

away with it.

Returning from their live hiatus an infinitely sassier

and – oh yes – sexier proposition, tonight [a]The Datsuns[/a]

set about two important tasks. First things first: tearing

through the crowd-pleasing hits like a gang of teenage miscreants on a joyriding spree seconds after being

released from borstal. ‘Harmonic Generator’ still has

all the brash swagger of a beered-up Liam (and packs

a far weightier punch), while ‘MF From Hell’ sends the assembled throng into a frenzied fug of sweat,

testosterone and spilled pints. When the band stride

on for an encore of glam stomper ‘In Love’, meanwhile,

it’s little short of monolithic.

However, tonight also sees the band road test a clutch

of new songs from second LP ‘Outta Sight/Outta Mind’. Sliding seamlessly into [a]The Datsuns[/a]’ arsenal, songs like

‘That Sure Ain’t Right’ and new single ‘Blacken My Thumb’ take the standard gonzo-metal aesthetic and multiply it

like a warren of promiscuous rabbits.

Throughout, fuckbomb singer Dolf – tight of trouser

and beaming like he’s just planted a bomb under the

Big Brother house and Gordon Ramsay’s fucking kitchen

– kicks, screams and gyrates his way around the stage

like a caged animal being jolted with a cattle prod. Reinventing the wheel or not (clue: not), the likes of

‘Cherry Lane’ and ‘Messin’ Around’ are met with of the

sort of pandemonium usually reserved for one of Pete Doherty’s (numerous) comebacks.

All in all, it’s like they never went away.

Outta sight? Fuck yeah.

Rick Martin