After reviewing “The Datsuns” latest offering “Head Stunts” and letting it seep through my sometimes far too thick skin I have to say I was pretty fucking excited about seeing the band live again for the first time in about two years. Having bumped into lead singer Dolf at the bar and exchanging a few words with him about how the tour was going so far along with trying to restrain myself from making some ridiculous comment on his glorious new moustache I moved to my usual King Tuts vantage point.
The venue was pretty packed but there was definitely still room to move, it wasn’t one of those Tuts gigs that had you gasping in the stale air for an escape route to bar once the band finished playing. Still those who had came out for an evening with “The Datsuns” seemed really up for the occasion and threw themselves enthusiastically behind the band as they cracked open the door and took up their instruments.
“Who Are You Stamping Your Foot For?” kicked things off and immediately got the place bouncing as Christian let his hair fall over his face getting lost in his guitar, while Dolf screamed and rattled his machinegun like vocals on the bellowing crowd. It was clear from the start of the song that something wasn’t quite right with the sound levels, as in they weren’t loud enough. As much as I love King Tuts as a venue and I’ve professed my love for it on many occasions (in all honesty probably more than I have to my own mother) it does seem to be suffering from sound problems of one kind or another much more often. It just didn’t have that extra notch, if you will the spinal tap turning it up to 11 factor, the sound seemed to be stuck at more of a 7 and it definitely wasn’t doing The Datsuns any favours.
The band ploughed on through regardless of whether the sound was slightly impotent and never let their energy or professionalism slip for a second. As expected the likes of “MF From Hell” and “Harmonic Generator” from their debut album got a great reaction and turned into sort of shout-alongs as the punters Scottish voices and bands New Zealand vocals merged into one. The slide guitar in “Stuck Here For Days” was as vibrant and ear bending as ever while the band even decided to throw in a cover of “The Ramones” track “The KKK Took My Baby Away” for good measure. It’s inclusion perhaps hinting at their listening habits during the recording sessions for the new album and also going some way to explain it’s raw Punk edge. So I hear you ask what were the new songs like live then? Well the answer is the ones they played sounded fucking awesome.
For me “Head Stunts” shines as an energy packed return to form and I couldn’t wait to see how the tunes translated into a live setting. I expected the set to be heavily laden with new material, but only four new songs were played which I found a little strange considering it was a tour to promote the release of the album. The breakneck punk sounds of new single “Human Error”, “Hey, Paranoid People! (Whats in your head)”and “Yeah, Yeah, Just another mistake” along with the more laid back “Eye of the Needle” however all went down well with the devoted audience.
Whether it was a conscious decision to not overload the setlist with new material or not I don’t know, personally I would have liked to see a few more thrown into the mix if for no other reason than to show that they are fully behind the album they’ve made.
The short call for an encore seems to be a growing trend in the music world, and after leaving the stage for only a matter of seconds “The Datsuns” returned to play a frenzied version of “Fink For The Man” before exiting stage for the final time. I was half expecting another encore since the last time I saw them play Glasgow they did three but one seemed to be enough for the band on this occasion.
The Datsuns are always going to be a great live band, they’re always going to put on a show and try their level best to kick the arse out of any stage that they come across. Don’t get me wrong this was a good gig, it just could have been so much better. Tuts turn your sound up!!! I don’t know about everyone else but personally when I’ve seen a band like The Datsuns the night before I want my eardrums to be ringing when I wake up in the morning..