live review: Rocket from the Crypt / The Computers @ The Classic Grand, Glasgow, 3rd December
With image, schtick and sound all displaying a clear debt to the night’s headliners, The Computers tackle their support duties like enthusiastic understudies. Whether clambering up the back wall with mic stand in hand or grabbing hold of crowd members and waltzing them up and down the venue, frontman Alex Kershaw gamely does everything in his power to raise the room’s energy levels. While their rip-roaring, retro rock n roll has a tendency towards the slickly generic, their showmanship is seriously impressive.
Rocket from the Crypt know a thing or two about showmanship themselves. Dressed in matching mariachi threads, the reformed San Diegan rockers are on devilishly fine form, their high-voltage garage punk immune to the passing of time and played as it should be: fast, loud and intense. At their centre, roguish ringmaster John ‘Speedo’ Reis carries himself with a zeal that’s part Vegas hawker, part evangelical preacher, his fanciful metaphors and witty self-aggrandizement making the gaps between songs almost as anticipated as each fresh blast of horn-backed greaser rock.
A mid-set run through Scream Dracula Scream’s opening quartet (from Middle to Young Livers via twin anthems Born in 69’ and On a Rope) garners the most enthusiastic response, though there are plenty other air-punching highlights, from Carne Voodoo’s dirty swagger to Dick on a Dog in the encore (though not, incidentally, theirrecent Baker Street cover, dismissed as “a novelty item”). “We’re pretty good!” barks Speedo in the set’s home stretch, motioning to their sparkly, name-emblazoned backdrop. “C’mon, that’s a pretty good band!” Listen to the man – he knows what he’s talking about.