After watching Baby Godzilla live at the Black Heart in Camden, one of our writers called them “the best live band I’ve seen since The Dillinger Escape Plan broke” . Wow. That’s some claim. Lucky for us, professional cynic and all-round surly man, Hugh Platt, was also on hand to review. We wonder if he agrees?
6 things we learned watching Baby Godzilla in London…
1) Tonight is the fourth and final show of Baby Godzilla‘s residency at the Black Heart in Camden. The idea is simple – over a period of 7 weeks, play four shows at the same venue, ostensibly to promote a new EP, Knockout Machine. Let your audience spread news of how goddamn incredible each gig is, and let word-of-mouth do the rest. When you’ve got a band so wonderfully, uncontrollably exciting as Baby Godzilla, you don’t need anything else.
2) There is such a thing as a thankless support slot, and Bad For Lazarus are in it tonight. It doesn’t matter how good Rich Fownes and co. are, it doesn’t matter that their instrument-swapping, tri-vocalist Tom-Waits-covers-the-MC5 schtick is exactly the kind of thing that we go for in a big way – after tonight, no-one is going home with any memories other than of Baby Godzilla. Sorry, chaps.
3) Things like the division between “stage” and “crowd” don’t mean anything to Baby Godzilla. Sure, seeing musicians in amongst the crowd is nothing new for rock’n’roll – even if we discount the age-old frontman-in-the-crowd scenario, we’ve still got the likes of Monotonix, Astrohenge and Palehorse, who all at some stage have had most of their band perform where they’re not “supposed to”. But those bands had a controlled, (at least semi-)planned nature to their in-crowd experiments. Baby Godzilla just plough into the crowd from start to finish. Can a man with a guitar stand on it? Then it’s getting stood on. Can an amp stack be dragged off the stage and used as impromptu launch-pad and/or micro-stage? Then it’s getting dragged into the mosh pit. Microphone stands proving problematic? Then get a member of the audience to hold it up to your face. Just let nothing, absolutely nothing, get in the way of delivering rapid-fire punk-rock directly into the eyes, faces and ears of the crowd. This isn’t a big room. There’s nowhere to escape to. If you’re at a Baby Godzilla show, then they’re going to make you part of it.
Watch the video tom’Powerboat Disaster’ by baby Godzilla:
4) Of course all of this extreme showmanship would be for absolutely nowt if the tuns weren’t there. You can get a taste, a mere whiff of what these songs sound like by going and checking out the band’s previous mini-album, Oche, over on Spotify, but quite frankly it’s just not the same as getting ‘At the Oche’ screamed right into your face. There isn’t a live band in the UK that comes close to Baby Godzilla right now. Not even slightly.
5) [Stupid Corporate Guy Attracted By The Buzz This Residency Created] Yeah man, this residency is a killer idea. The crowd will get bigger every time. Mad shit in a tiny venue, yeah? Great for building buzz, yeah? Real grass-roots word-of-mouth level, yeah? You can’t buy that kind of cred. That’s the kind of rep a band could really build a career on! [/Stupid Corporate Guy Attracted By The Buzz This Residency Created]
6) [Everyone else on the planet] SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU ASININE INDUSTRY PRICK. THIS WAS NOT MEANT FOR YOU. [/Everyone else on the planet]