Lemonshaft – Staines Hobgoblin – April 30th 2009
Take four guys dressed in drag Pythonesque. Give ‘em guitars, drums and a laptop. Fill a room to the brim with hot girls and successfully refreshed young lads. Press ‘Play’. Voila. Lemonshaft.
Lemon yellow mane bobbing in the lights like a lion that lost his courage, (but replaced it with a plectrum,) the lead singer and bassist ‘Tomelthwaite’ loads up the vocals like a coalman loads up a dray. The loose-hipped supporting singer and sometime keyboarder ‘Petrelli’ looking like a miniature sweet transvestite with beads, a perm and the same lackadaisical nonchalant attitude you might expect from Frank n Furter – acts the fool, thumping the keys every now and then – adding a sprinkle of words or poetry and/or documentary to the proceedings. The crash smash drums are slightly out of control (as are most of their sounds) and astutely provided by ‘Christopheles’. Completing this crazy bunch team, the crust of the meringue if you like, is Alex on slicey lead guitar.
The Life of Brian costumes do not conceal the elemental rawness of this troop. This is a band with a rough, earthy unpolished edge. The songs are often inefficient as unadulterated punk numbers but truer in style to space ritual or stoner rock extravaganzas.
The repetitive ‘Sh**ty Banana’ song reminded me of the Mighty Boosh punk song “I did a sh** on your mum, and she rather liked it” and Tomelthwaite seemed rather pleased that his lazy song (like the Boosh one) only has two chords. The ‘I Want to Take You Out’ song reminded me of The Pulp Fiction quote: JULES: Take care of her? VINCENT: Not that! Take her out. Show her a good time. Don’t let her get lonely…
With song titles like ‘Weef kin Rock’ (geddit?) and ‘Raise Your Bra’ you know you are going to experience the lighter and dumber side of rock when you spend a night with these shafters. But it is the ambient experimental space-rock that really surprises you (and blows you away) and is the most satisfying aspect of this amazing funtime band – who, incidentally, sound vaguely like a 2009 version of Spacemen 3 or, perhaps, Flaming Lips.
Although the band didn’t end with their youtube hit ‘Heather Graham’ (you have got to check it) the boys finished in a frenzy of flaps and flourishes with their ‘Monk’ song ( I dread to think what it all means – but I imagine it has something to do with the rhyming slang definition) and, eventually, took a bow from an appreciative and very happy happy crowd. I don’t know when or where they are next playing, but wherever and whenever it is expect a party, fun, naughty lyrics, and crazy space-centric punk rawk.
© Neil_Mach April 2009