Alternative Dubstep Orchestra + The Frenzies @ Hare & Hounds, Honeycomb Club, 22nd October 2011

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Retro-reverb, Rockabilly surf riders, The Frenzies, have an exotically named guitarist/vocals, Daz Dolczech, oozing kitsch Stratocaster cool and sporting a flat-topped haircut clipped with military precision. Couple this with singularly named, Simian on oil-rig sized baritone Sax, evidently polished with distilled Viagra, and we have the makings of a virtual Tarantino themed beach-party – both ears included. Keeping with the south of the border motif there is the mescaline/Tequila (possibly) inspired rhythm section of Dick Guru (honest!) vox ‘n drums and bass-monster, Colin Dsylva.

Unashamedly celebrating a Latino/Mex fusion with Link Wray antecedents (Rock apocrypha attributes him with creating the first distortion/fuzz effect by taking a razor to his speaker-cones) The Frenzies bask in a soda-pop and bourbon drizzled homage to The Hurricanes (think Pulp Fiction, ‘Out of Limits’) or covering The Surf Dawgs’ ‘Surf Rider’. There were instrumental segues tantalising referencing ‘Misirlou’, the traditional Greek Folk song adapted by Dick Dale & his Del-Tones and used to iconic effect by Tarantino. Sometimes the Sax honks like a dredger on heat, other times there’s a Jim Morrison “Crawling Kingsnake’ groove so utterly laid-back it could be spiders screwing in treacle. With, ‘There’s Something Wrong With You’, the Sax moans like a fog-bound liner colliding with Jaws having a difficult dump. Inevitably, and most welcomely, we’re treated to ‘Rock Around The Clock’ and ‘Summertime Blues’ and still there was more. Heavenly stuff. The Honeycomb Club really do the chalk and cheese concept with élan.

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Setlist including: Surfin’ Bird, Comanche, Surf Rider, Frenzy, There’s Something Wrong With You, Rock Around The Clock, Summertime Blues, Do It Right, Flipsville.

ADO celebrate their muse within a ‘genre-bending’ collective orchestral ensemble where the creative dynamic rumbles passionately inside a seething crucible of workshop fusions, composition, and organic live-improvisations. Membership is ever flux-like, it’s experimental ‘philosophical’ and, evidently, democratic. Giving lie to the adage that the camel came about after a committee was given the brief to design a horse – ADO have given wings to a soaring Pegasus of musical synthesis.

At Green Man Festival last August, with ultra knee-trembling, intoxicating probing syncopating beats, ADO seismically shivered the Chai Wallahs’ tent-pegs in to worm-squirming mercy-begging submission – punters like-wise. Their horn-honking, hot-polished chrome ensemble, complimented by visceral dub-rap vocals and psychic-brain smear percussions together with scratch turntablism, evoked ambiguous anticipations of being head-butted by a deranged triceratops.

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‘Where the Hell are these guys coming from?’ An attractive young lady asks. I proudly point to my ‘Brummie’ T-shirt. ‘Birmingham?’ She exclaims, ‘Well fuck me!’ I gladly confirm the former, but sadly, decline the latter.

And so it is again at the Hare tonight with perhaps some nuances of Space-Rock/Gypsy-Flamenco/Spaghetti-Western thrown-in for good measure. Half-close your eyes and you could’ve been transported to a brick-vaulted, smoke and sweaty Parisian cellar club. Fully close you eyes and you’d have tripped over the ultra-cool groovers cutting the rug delinquently.

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And just how more over-whelming can the magisterial titled ‘Power Of Ra’ ever get? Principal vocalist, Mish Maybe, is exotically enigmatic and beguiling regal, transcended as though a Praise Singer weaving her spells amidst intoxicating unguents swirling beneath the stately pleasure dome of Kubla Khan: hypnotically primal, of possessed, ritualistic beauty. A state of anoesis, the ancients called it. At The Hare, they just think you’re pissed. Some gig eh? There is no alternative to the Alternative Dubstep Orchestra. Surrender – be assimilated.

Setlist: Stereotype, Major Drop, Waterfall, Sierra Leone (mountains of lions, did you know?), Power of Ra, Play Dead, Walk on By, Wake-up Call, Cockney Thug (see it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?)

Review – John Kennedy
Photos – Ian Dunn

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