It’s that special ‘[a]Half Man Half Biscuit[/a] moment’. The moment when you realise that so perfect is the naming of a particular band for telling you exactly what they do, that them actually playing music could prove a disappointment. Gabba are a band who play [a]Abba[/a] songs in the style of The Ramones. And, frankly, you can stick that up your arse, To Rococo Rot.
Wun! The tallest man in the field of judicious punk icon impersonation folds himself under the ceiling and gets ready to rumble. Too! His team of dwarf assistants begin the first of the evening’s three chords. Free! Anneky, the disappointingly genuinely Swedish member of the ensemble, twirls a feather boa and announces ‘Waterloo’. Foh! An evening specifically designed to tickle the funny bones of 33-year-old supply teachers, lurches into life.
And for an idea one suspects was conceived in a public house, it’s an occasionally inspiring concept. Gabba have taken [a]Abba[/a]’s pop symphonies, removed the difficult chords, and play them faster. If they expanded into other mediums, they could do you Great Expectations in about 40 seconds and only ever use the word ‘baby’. But they don’t just do [a]Abba[/a] songs. Oh no. They do Ramones songs, too. And sometimes, they glue the two together (particularly inspired here is their segue of ‘Mama Mia’ with ‘We’re A Happy Family’).
Like the best jokes, Gabba don’t need explaining. The end in sight, someone stagedives ironically. An endearingly satirical mosh ensues.