Live Music + Gig Reviews

The Scare @ Barfly, London

23 May 2007

There are gigs and there are gigs. A Scare gig is one of the latter. The last time I saw a band this wild was quite a few years ago. At the Drive-In, to be precise.

The mayhem for tonight was on an even keel. The superbly named frontman Kiss Reid took to the stage, blabbered something at an incomprehensibly high pitch, stared into thin air blankly for a minute, before screwing a look almost of disdain at a modestly populated floor. Within two minutes he is wriggling and writhing his way around the stage before proceeding to rip his shirt open with his teeth. And that was the opening song.

It’s the sort of balls to the floor rock n’ roll their countrymen Jet and The Datsuns tried so comically to peddle. Only this works, mainly because the tunes are there. Current single Bats, Bats, Bats whips a dity cocktail of garage punk into a gleefully filthy stomp fest where DFA 1979 meets ATDI.

It’s a sordid clash of punk, 70s rock and garage, with The Stooges and the MC5 the most obvious influences.The Scare are slick, a well attuned unit, clocking the right poses and moves. A wad of phlegm here, a dive to the floor there. Sometimes you wonder if they’re going to go too far. Reid leapt onto one punter and had him on the floor screaming into his face. Ox. Eagle. Lion. Man’s Fred Blood endured similar treatment and tried to laugh it off nervously.

Meanwhile yours truly standing in his comfort space by the bar (some 40-feet from the stage) saw eyeball to eyeball with Reid. There was sweat all over his face and a bleary, deranged look on his eyes as he sang into my face.

While you wouldn’t want to let your younger sister or girlfriend round them, The Scare have it and they know it. Exert a little caution, but remember there’s nothing to fear from this mob.

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The Scare @ Barfly, London