Live Reviews

The Germs live

Engine Room, Brighton

Okay, so at this point in time I don’t think there are many bands that cannot be risen again, and returned from the dead. I rarely get surprised anymore, but that said, news of a Germs reunion did leave me a quite amazed. In effect, a resurrected Germs minus Darby Crash, was up there with a Rotten-less ‘Pistols, surely?

A friend rang me a couple of nights before this gig to see if I wanted a ride to see Motorhead, The Damned and Girlschool. I declined, explained I was going to The Germs instead. I felt like I was going to the lesser-gig, but thinking about it, the bands I was being offered a lift to currently include collectively 4 and at best 5 original members… and I was actually going to see a group with 3 originals onboard. Ack, so much so consider! I think it’s best the music does the talking…

And so, a tight crowd is gathered in the grubby Engine Room; it’s certainly one of the most eclectic crowds I’ve seen for a while, quite fitting really, because when The Germs first emerged in late Seventies Hollywood, no doubt they would have been playing to similar crowds of disaffected freaks and weirdoes, lumped together under the punk banner. I went to this gig with little preconception about what would happen when the band actually hit the stage… and whether it would be spectacular, or merely a spectacle. I was pleasantly reassured that we were in for some fun when, with guitarist Pat Smear, drummer Don Bolles and singer Shane West all set to go… bassist Lorna Doom could not be located… she finally stumbled on to stage, big grin, plugged in and seconds later they were off.. What We Do is SecretMedia BlitzLexicon Devil… ooowwww!!!!

The music was as raw and disjointed as I could have hoped; simplistic, primal… perfect! And whilst the musicians thrashed away, Shane ‘Darby’ West lurched and drooled and shouted and hollered, and crawled on the stage, and fell in to the crowd… and of course we knew exactly where the moves came from (the guy is an actor for fucks sake!!) and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had to adjust to what was taking place, get past the obvious points that were so wrong with this, and take it for what it was – a blast.

Not by any means the most essential gig I’ve been to this year, but half way thru their set I thought to myself… I really would not have wanted to miss this.

Pete Craven
Pics by Zac from the London Waterats show