UK Decay




live review



A STAGE in darkness. The post-disco silence is pierced by mic feedback and the buzz and click of guitars being linked to amps. The easy paced flickerings of a strobe light race to a rapid gallop and burn into the optic nerves. A blood-rush of metallic, hand-burred strum and the first shuddering chords of ‘Unexpected Guest’.

My first clocking of Luton's finest. Singer Abbo prances and pirouettes like a male Toyah (without the pretensions), dinkily dancing back and forth through the narrow corridor formed twixt monitors and drums. The dynamo behind the skins rarely moves to a straight beat but fires incessant machine gun rolls like an over-wound Steve Morris.

Save for the looping phased guitar of ‘Stage Struck’ the tenderly tempoed into the ‘Battle Of The Elements’ there is little variety. But the strength of UK Decay lies in that unflinching avalanche of aggressive velocity, something similar to hearing the rapid cackles of a live pig being roasted on a spit amplified to a thousand watts.

The most direct and positive statement of the set proper comes with 'War Games' which benefits no end from the added vocals of the bassist (Vic Twiggy?) and guitarist. The real quintessential kerrang however, is saved for the encore of ‘For My Country’ (a great record). The devotees clustered stage front are handed the mic by Abbo to chant the refrain in unison. A classic stab of prime punk protest.

A vicious storming assault was packed into their modest forty-minute support slot. They exude a primal punk ooze which can either repulse or engulf, depending on the state of your mind/stomach. Me, I need a second helping.


mick sinclair

any use of the text on this page is subject to permission

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