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Mick

Sinclair

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DOA

February

1984

Sounds

live review

 
 
DOA

London 100 Club

THE 100 Club on one of its typically grim weekly punk nights. The two dour support acts faithfully carry a bleak reminder of the scores of UK loser punk bands who fumble to set a low standard and then fail to maintain it. That grid system thrash that lacks any racing-heart exuberance. It's as if they've been embalmed!

DOA have no conceit, no concessions to anything other than that very charge of exuberence. A crack of joy and endeavour that most of the UK pretenders to the Anarchy crown lack.

You shudder when you see them. Just glimpse that hair: a guitarist with lengthy blond locks! And the clothes. The clothes! Timber! Lumber shirt-tails flail outside trousers.

A daft beginning. An amp ceases and a microphone prettily tumbles to the angle of greatest droopiness as the first words are gushed at it. An audience finger rights the offending tool.

To the chagrin of a minority of miffed natives, these colonials have the nerve to stand there and enjoy playing. Instead of conforming to a set, their set conforms to them. Their unabashed recognition of limited abilities allows them wildness and fun in what's become the most predictable and mundane of pop's back alley subcults.

They mix their legacy of high-drama race tempos with a startling assortment of cover versions and giggle as they lace them with fake blues endings.

Not so much worldbeaters as batterers. I sweated a lot. It was good.

 

mick sinclair

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To read many more articles and reviews (over 140,000 words-worth!) written by Mick Sinclair, buy Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London