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Electric Six - O2 Academy Islington, London - December 5 2014 (Live Review)

Monday, 08 December 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Photo (Inset): Frank Nash

It's that time of year again: some supermarket is exploiting our emotions through a Christmas advert and Electric Six are touring. Year in, year out they drag their sordid arses to our tiny isle, flogging a new (often excellent) album and reminding us that there is, in fact, a fire in the disco. And the Taco Bell.

Doors open at the confusingly early hour of 6pm, leaving LiA playing to a meagre crowd. They happen to be ace, though, and their synth-drenched rock occupies the middle-ground between the Prodigy and some of the, er, less good hip-hop that's shoved in our ears on daytime radio.

Rapper Sky Adams' confident, competent flow juxtaposes perfectly with Laura O'Connell's gorgeous melodies, especially during the band's arse-kicking medley of Dido's Thank You and Plan B's Pieces. A full wall of instrumentation makes for an undeniably massive sound, delivered with plenty of unkempt energy.

And then we have Andy D, who carves his name into the minds of all in attendance. What happens after he hits the stage is a little like a sexy, infinitely more awesome version of the Future Sailors sketch in The Mighty Boosh.

Our moustachioed hero takes the stage, man boobs on display and furiously jiggling his arse, and serves up a blend of Mindless Self Indulgence-meets-Kunt And The Gang techno filth. His wife stands impervious on stage with him, crooning along to Nasty – allegedly the song that will 'make marriage sexy again' – and all manner of sonic atrocities.

We're treated to an educational song about Roosevelt, an unbelievably catchy tune in the form of Angels On The Dancefloor and a crowd invasion from the man himself. Bring Me The Horizon are headlining a sold out Wembley Arena across town tonight, but that just means that a few thousand people are missing out on the best thing in the world. Ever.

Andy D may be the best thing in the world, but tonight Electric Six are the masters of the universe. Looking sharper than a samurai sword coated in shards of glass and rusty nails, the Detroit rockers are welcomed as returning heroes. Dick Valentine stands at the front, hair slicked back a la Danger! High Voltage and with a grin plastered across his chops.

The ‘80s stomp of Karate Lips sets the ball rolling, proving once again that this band is no mere novelty. The song, along with others from their latest LP, 'Human Zoo', is testament to the Six's songwriting prowess. (Who The Hell Just) Call My Phone? is another genuine highlight, resulting in the vertical movement of writhing, sweaty bodies.

Electric Six are tight, hard-slogging players. Gay Bar is gone within six songs and the only complaint is that, with 10 albums to choose from, cuts have to be made. Only After Hours is aired from 'Zodiac' and there's barely anything from 'Flashy', but when they're blasting out Danger! High Voltage through gritted teeth like they haven't done it in years, should we really care?

Valentine is on blistering form, replicating his vocals from the records, freezing during guitar solos, shouting 'Yes!' an awful lot and generally making everyone in attendance want to be him. As Dance Commander's militaristic disco folds everything to a close, bodies bash against one another and Electric Six complete another self-proclaimed 'wildly successful' gig. This band is no one-hit wonder and it's about time people realised it – everyone here does.


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