Over The Mooney

By londonist_mark Last edited 165 months ago
Over The Mooney

Now here's a nice culture clash for you. Over in the Astoria Bloc Party are doing their spikey London band of the year (© just about everyone) thing. A couple of doors down in the nicotine tarred womb that is the LA2 a man is playing guitar whilst crowd surfing (or is he crowd surfing whilst playing guitar). Ladies and gentlemen we give you the Mooney Suzuki from New York City, and we are definitely worlds apart.

There's no jeans and t-shirts and Gang Of Four in here tonight. Instead we have a drummer, Augie Wilson, who looks as if he's stepped out of the pages of the Great Gatsby in his golfing trousers and flat cap, waist coats, hair - lots of hair (most of it attached to bass player Michael Miles, and lots of songs featuring THE ELECTRIC GUITAR!

If good old fashioned dumb arsed rock'n'roll needed saving from a sense of the over serious then the Mooney Suzuki are going to be the band to do it.

Seconds after hitting the stage, singer Sammy James Junior is throwing shapes off the drum riser, leaping into the air and leading the crowd like a preacher at a depraved revivalist meeting. We're all brothers and sisters worshiping at the church of the Mooney Suzuki tonight. Guitarist Graham Tyler is throwing shapes right back at him when he's not diving out into the crowd or duelling guitars whilst sitting on James's shoulders.

There's no subtelty here and absolutely no need for it. The MS take their cues from America's great trash rock bands: The MC5, Aerosmith and even a touch of Kiss in there. Big rock riffs over big rock verses that break into even bigger rock choruses. If you remember their last single: the truly awesome Alive and Amplified, you'll know what I mean. Breaking out in a host of hyper active: "Na na na na na nana na's" it comes across as Sweet Charity's The Rhythm Of Life high on amphetamines sponsored by Marshall Amplification, a paen to the simple pleasure in life: feeling good through good music played LOUD without a shred of irony here because that would detract from having fun and putting on a great show. This is old school rock'n'roll pure and beautifully simple.

Of course it's not just about loud guitars. When the band break into Loose and Juicy we're pretty sure they're not thinking about the enormous amount of beer that's being flung around the front of the stage - offerings from the devoted. So just to confirm our suspicions we also get New York Girls and Messin' in The Dressin' Room. Yup, the Mooney Suzuki defintiely dig the chicks as much as they do the six strings. In lesser hands this could come across as crude and outdated sexism, but no one's being fooled here. There are as many women in the audience tonight as there are men, all of us dancing our arses off. It's all part of the party and if you're taking this too seriously then you're in the wrong venue.

If there are any complaints about tonight's show, and there are - two, it's that the sounds way too muggy and that they don't play Naked Lady. We don't think we need to tell you what that one's about!

But these are small quibbles indeed. An evening with the Mooney Suzuki will brighten the darkest of days and restore your faith in rock'n'roll. If you need any further testament, of the three friends we went with one had never heard a thing by them, one only the one song, all of us were sceptical and we all had a blast. Staggering out into the cold reality of the stench of fried onions from a botulism wagon we were thoroughly converted. Brothers and Sisters let the Mooney Suzuki into your life, your souls will be saved. Amen!

Last Updated 15 April 2005