I got to hear “Animal (F*ck Like A Beast)” live last night and a little bit of my musical jigsaw of wishes* fell into place.
However, Chris Holmes is a hell of a lot more than old WASP classics. He’s an uncompromising musical breath of fresh air. When you have “Go F*ck Yourself” written up the side of your trousers** you’ve made some career and lifestyle choices and you’re sticking to them hard. Holmes pointed out there was no use of samples tonight, it was all live.
We got a great set of Mean Man songs with WASP classics interspersed. With the Mean Man stuff we got a description of what each song was about. I wondered if there was an EU swearword mountain that Holmes is trying to deplete? If so he did a great job. Were this to be packaged as a VHS in 1980s USA it would groan under the weight of parental advisory stickers. I got a sense of frustrations spent through song writing and putting the world to rights.
Holmes was generous about sharing the stage and a highlight for me was when he got Dean Thirkettle, singer of local covers legends*** Terminus up to sing “I Wanna Be Somebody”. I felt like everybody in the place was somebody tonight. The audience was comprised of seasoned gig goers who don’t let work in the morning stop them getting a musical buzz.
I went to bed happy, wearing my (signed! By your actual Chris Holmes!) T-shirt that proclaims “Chris Holmes I’m A Mean Motherf**king Man”.
Finally, you can watch this recent interview with Chris Holmes in a swimming pool if like me you watched him on Decline Of The Western Civilisation Part II The Metal Years as an impressionable teenager and want to see a more mature re-creation.
*What’s a musical jigsaw of wishes, you might be asking? You probably have one too, it’s all the music you love and want to experience live and you have to fill in the gaps you haven’t done yet. Some of it has needed doing since you were a teenager and you weren’t old enough for gigs or were broke when someone awesome came to town, or tickets sold out. Some of it is stuff you’ve seen once and was so epic you need to see it again. The particular puzzle piece of “Animal (F*ck Like A Beast) has been niggling at me since I saw WASP at Wacken in 2010 and they didn’t play it. I like that it was on a Wednesday, or hump day, when I finally got to hear it. While writing this I attempted the abbreviation “Animal (F.L.A.B)” but didn’t like it.
**Wonder what shop these came from and if the tailor said “Suits You, Sir” when Holmes came out of the dressing room wearing them? They’re definitely not George at Asda.
***Full disclosure, I’m married to the lead guitarist and may not be the most impartial judge. But you can judge for yourself if you come and see them on tour with Stone Trigger and Sykko Dollz in July.