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Live Music Review: Fuzzbox at The Chameleon

6 November 17 words: Gav Squires
photos: Gav Squires

The Chameleon holds its second event after re-opening following a major refurbishment as it hosts I'm Not From London's Fuzzbox night, with live music from Nervous Twitch, Diablo Furs, Bus Stop Madonnas and Those Howlin Sounds...

Those Howlin' Sounds

Opening things up were Those Howlin' Sounds, rocking a classic 60s garage sound but also including more modern elements from the likes of Ty Segall and Youth And Young Manhood era Kings Of Leon. Fourth song What I've Done is the pick of the bunch, not least for the fact that it features some backing vocals, which were sorely missing on the first three songs. There is also a great track that features an instrumental that sounds like one of those 60s surf bands covering the theme to a TV western. The instrumental in the set closer outstays its welcome, not really building to the crescendo that you'd hope for but there is definitely potential here.

Bus Stop Madonnas

The Bus Stop Madonnas are all crunchy blues riffs like The White Stripes on their album Elephant and grungey, throaty vocals. The verse of the set opener sounds a bit like The Rolling Stones' cover of It's All Over Now, while I could imagine Iggy Pop fronting The Breeders to perform Get It Right. There are definitely elements of The White Stripes though, I'm sure that I'm not just hearing that because they're a two-piece with a red and white guitar.

Diablo Furs The Chameleon

Diablo Furs

Diablo Furs open up their set of dirty, scuzzy New York Dolls-esque rock 'n' roll declaring "we're playing rock 'n' roll for the people", not just an opening track but a three-minute manifesto. Fronted by a singer wearing a weird mask that looks like a cross between a butterfly and Jigsaw from the Saw movies and a guitarist whose hair reminded me of Noel Fielding if he'd been asked to star in a Dee Dee Ramone biopic, this is a proper good time rock band. They also have some very pop elements to their sound - it's good to hear a band that isn't ashamed of being pop and you could imagine them being happy to go on Top Of The Pops. While the music is brilliant, I'd raise a question about the historical accuracy of The Saga Of Teenage Jesus as I'm not sure that he ever wore "shiny boots, zipped up tight"

Nervous Twitch at The Chameleon

Nervous Twitch

Nervous Twitch sound like a 70s rock band that is pushing for a more pop sound, like a bubble-gum Runaways. Although I'm pretty sure that Joan Jett never wore a trucker's cap as the guitarist does here. They have a really great sound, perfectly defined, that also recalls those poppier moments of the Ramones. There is also an ace cover of The Velvet Underground's After Hours and an excellent surf-rock instrumental that sounded like a cross between Tequila by The Champs and Let's Dance by Chris Montez.

Another excellent Fuzzbox night from I'm Not From London and the refurbed Chameleon is looking and sounding great and the oil-lamp lightshow that was put on gave the whole thing a brilliant retro feel.

Nervous Twitch, Diablo Furs, Bus Stop Madonnas and Those Howlin Sounds were at The Chameleon on Friday 3 November 2017. 

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