My friend Pete introduced me to Chrome Hoof with a variation on the words “you’ve got to come and see them, they’ll be the best band you’ll have ever seen”. Peter is a Psychiatric Nurse, and spends a regretfully large portion of each day attending to the bodily functions of the inveterately insensible, and generally looking after the unmanageably deranged. “Perhaps his idea of a good time has been tainted by wiping the arses of the mad” was my initial thought, but I decided to give Chrome Hoof a whirl nevertheless.
As I inched gingerly (he bounded brazenly) into the Orange Tree, and beheld a straw-strewn floor, bars erected at the bar and a man-size rat hanging by a noose from the ceiling, I had an inkling I was going to enjoy the night. Billed as a ‘Bad Taste Carnival’, the Orange Tree teemed with all manner of DIY costumes including minstrels, really naughty men (Hitler and Osama Bin Laden) and a miscarriage represented by a bloody doll dangling from a girl’s loins. Hmm, it is rather, isn’t it.
Apparently Chrome Hoof are a 12-piece beat combo, although I never fully clapped goggle orbs on them, being stuck at the back. Every now and again I caught a tantalising glimpse of a glittery monks’ cowl, and having subsequently seen photos of them, I reckon they’d put on a right bobby dazzler of a live show in a slightly bigger venue.
They actually put me in mind of Parliament / Funkadelic, although more in terms of the psychedelic glam of their stage presence than their sound. Their sound offers both distinguished music journalists and two-bit hacks on the hunt for freebies (I’m of the former camp, natch) a wonderful opportunity to give reign to full-on descriptive silliness. It’s psychedelic disco, it’s progressive doom-metal electro, it’s intergalactic-prog-electro-disco. It’s actually ruddy danceable – I was boogying like a 50 year-old banker at a wedding, and at one point I actually managed to throw a shape. Live, Chrome Hoof are a balls-out all-out full-frontal assault on the brain’s boogey centre. It’s crazy music, the sort that gets you smirking at the sheer oddness of it one moment, and beaming the next as it buffs your musical sweet spot to a giddy climax. Catch them live if you can.
Chrome Hoof played at the Orange Tree on Saturday 27th October 2007.
Chrome Hoof on myspace