Thrash Hits

April 16th, 2012

Live & Photos: Andrew W.K. @ London HMV Forum – 12 April 2012

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Andrew W.K. is something of a living legend. After he told us all about movies in 2010 and 2011, there was little chance of NOT going to follow him around the UK. We went to see him in London and then we went to see him in Manchester, where Gary Wolstenholme took some cool photos of the ‘Party Hard’ god. Whilst reading this review, you ought to listen to I Get Wet. It’s the right thing to do.

Six things we took away from partying hard with Andrew W.K. in London:

1)If you’re under the impression that I Get Wet, and indeed Andrew W.K., is a one-song wonder, you’re gravely mistaken. The best thing about this album is that it’s relentlessly killer with very, very little, if any filler. From the opening notes of ‘It’s Time To Party’ through the piano-laden stomp of ‘Girls Own Love’, the guitar-led stomp of ‘She Is Beautiful’ and the punky ‘Party Til You Puke’ to the brassy overtones of the title track, it’s all ultimate party music. That’s why this one album worked so amazingly well for a whole hour tonight.

2) Andrew W.K. is bigger than ever. This gig is the biggest he and his band has ever played and there seems to be a surgence into the mainstream. Obviously, the cult club classic, ‘Party Hard’ has facilitated this massively, but there’s more to it. Maybe in these austere times, the simple message of have fun by partying resonates stronger than ever. Maybe people are just finally cottoning on.

3) The crowd is surprisingly young tonight but unsurprisingly sweaty. Partying hard at a gig involves moshing and that requires two things of you: 1) dancing in the moshpit, where you will sweat profusely; 2) being young enough to dance in the moshpit. Instead of a roomful of 30ish types, like at Will Haven’s big comeback gig last year, there was a full range of ages. Clearly, Andrew W.K. transcends demographics.

4) It seems as if Andrew W.K. is having as much fun bounding across the stage as his fans are having bounding across the moshpit. Proof that fun really is infectious. Basically, the Forum is one big moshpit. This actually becomes true with every stage invasion (there are many). Props to security tonight for not being plonkers about that, by the way.

Andrew W.K. @ Manchester Academy 1 - 13 April 2012 c/o Gary Wolstenholme

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5) If you haven’t been paying too close attention to everything Andrew W.K.’s been doing, you’ll probably be asking, “Who’s that woman onstage?” Well, that’s his wife, Cherie Lily. She adds a powerful, energy and dynamic to the live show that undoubtedly spills over from their marriage. It’s cool and it works brilliantly. What with the other four dudes onstage with Andrew, the lycra-clad, overtly feminine touch is exactly what this party needs.

6) While this is the tenth anniversary of what now appears to be a bona fide classic album, there’s life in the still-actually-quite-young dog yet. New song, ‘Headbang’ makes you do exactly what it says on the tin. Andrew W.K. knows what he’s doing it and with this song, he’s showing that he wants to carry on doing it for a while yet. It’s also heavier than anything else he’s ever written. METAL!


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