To be seen as totally kick ass in the world of rock and roll you need more than just talent, ability, grit, determination and guile – you also need swagger and style (look at Iggy Pop to prove this) …. and the Gentlemen Of Distorted Sound have these attributes in abundance.
The rumours surrounding this band buzzed around the Hobgoblin, Staines like a bluebottle in a kebab shop even before the lads entered the joint. The whispers included gems like:
· A couple of years back the band rehearsed 108 separate times before a single performance just to ‘get their sound’ perfect for the show
· There is a shadowy Eastern European oligarch ‘bank-rolling’ the band to the tune of a cool million
· The band had to audition seventy drummers until they managed to get the ‘faultless’ percussive sound
· The singer is known as ‘Pappy’ by a remote tribe in a Pacific archipelago – who worship him as a deity
Well, whatever the truth of these rumours and the hype, the band came out in flesh and bones, to play some classic rock for the guys and girls of Staines on Sunday . But they played it with a big mouth and one almighty swagger for the smallish yet enthusiastic crowd at The Hob.
The band sashayed through a series of grinding blues melodies, rockin’ riffs and the kind of mammoth gypsy licks that might turn a young girls head and may even steal her fragile heart.
The lead vocalist Gareth Nugent looks like a cross between the Shamen’s
Ebeneezer Goode and Jerry Garcia. He came on dressed in a black fur coat, top hat, scarf of black silk and twirling a cane. Quietly, almost gently, he speaks to the crowd. But his voice comes alive when it is roared and trembled into the microphone. That voice cuffs you round the ears like Mum would do if you didn’t pay attention. That singing voice has an aristocratic kinda growl to it, and yet it is subordinate to, and harmonious with, the melodies. Quite extraordinary.
The snake-hipped chancer on the lead guitar shimmied across the stage like a dirty weasel on the search for a discharge pipe. Mako (guitars) is arrogance on a stick. He plays sleazy zip-gun guitar with long lazy fingers sliding slinkily across those slutty frets. He makes the notes trill, swoop and dive around the backbone of each song like a hungry vulture – prodding, chugging and grunting in the process.
Bass guitar is provided by Lawrence who has that stockbroker look about him. Well washed and cared for. He looks like he hasn’t changed out of his smart Sunday best after seeing his Nan for tea. And the band’s percussive needs are reliably supplied by Richard.
But you soon realise that the G.O.D.S. are ostensibly a two-man twin-ego affair. The stage demons and the black magic are evoked by those two voodoo spell-masters on vocals and guitars. For the slower song “Where are they now?” (The Gods in Your Head) Gareth strapped on an acoustic guitar to prod some raw chords and to add backbone and bite to this Zeppelin sounding number – probably their finest song of the evening- and it appears to be something of a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ for them.
After this tune, it was clear that the excited crowd at The Hob were smitten. The band also played “I’ve got a Beautiful Face for Evil” with its moody vibes, rumbling bass and spidery, muscular and lascivious guitar sound.
After the concluding number (La Grange) the crowd were left wondering if they had just witnessed a myth of a band playing the real deal or witnessed the real deal of a band playing like a myth. But one thing is for certain- Gentlemen Of Distorted Sound can pack more entertainment and attitude into one of their sets than Linford Christie can pack luncheon meat into his well-worn lycra.
Crucial, life-affirming arrogant classic rock. Trippier than a six-pack of miaow-miaow – and this stuff gets you higher than the cow who jumped over the moon. These guys are assured to put a Fizz in your drink.
Are you kidding me, i dont know how much you were paid to write this, but, the two posers up front just made people laugh, they were more camp than a row of pink tents, and as for the “‘faultless’ percussive sound, the poor fella was out of his depths, sometimes slipping out of time, and the look of grimace on his face when he mistimed a crash was painfull.g
Good try lads, keep up the practice.