LIVE REVIEW The X-Possibles / Stu Dent and the Wankers - the Joiners 11/7/03 by Ged
All I said was 'I can't hear the vocals, sort it out' in the hope that the inaudible singer would hassle the sound engineer. I was just being helpful right? The next thing I knew the vocalist, crouched on the stage, had me, three feet lower on the dance-floor, in a headlock and simultaneously banged by head against the monitor a couple of times whilst screaming in my ear 'Can y'fucking hear me now!'
The fact that Tibbie X is a 4ft 9 girl who looks about 16 made it all the more embarrassing. To cap that, after a bit more friendly heckling she beckoned me over, grabbed my arm and bit it - really hard, drawing blood and leaving teethmarks.
I didn't think that I'd top getting a black eye from the Parkinsons or singing and dancing on the same stage as Ari Up, but getting bitten by a self-styled Noo York Punk Queen in front of a full house of young and old punks at the Joiners is some achievement in a perverse kind of way. (You're an embarrassment -scolded the wife) It also seemed to help get the audience going; I haven't seen so much dancing at a Joiners Punk gig for ages. This, 'just another Oomff gig' turned out to be quite an event.
Stu Dent and the Wankers played one of their annual, no-practicing required, sets of early 80's punk-an-Oi covers, dedicating the shite-est of shite Anti Nowhere league songs to me. They were great as usual, Rooster resplendent in a beautiful drape jacket and saints shirt. Stuart topless, Cov John sweaty and grinning. Chris err…drumming. They are effortlessly brilliant, loads of banter, taking the piss out of themselves, each other and anybody and everybody. They went down extremely well, oldies and youngsters dancing and falling over. They are the most lazy, complacent band on the face of the earth though. Why they don't actually practice, write some songs, record them and play some gigs outside the county boundaries I dunno. ( I know Chris and Stuart are in the more serious Beautiful Life, Cov John is in retro-indie band Snaffler but …) If they did, they'd out-beerzone Beerzone. The Wankers have got it in them to record one great album… but the trouble is it's probably the first Punk & Disorderly compilation, note for bleedin' note.
A couple of people who'd seen X-Possibles at HITS had said they were good. I expected them to be standard Cov-John-approved American pop-punk. I was impressed when after a song or two they revealed themselves as a Heartbreakers-go-faster punk rock'n'roll band with a real Killed by Death type of sound and songs to match.
Singer Tibbie X threw me, not literally, but by her appearance; Punk Chick, Cheerleader style. Blonde pigtails, all legs, cleavage and tartan mini-skirt. She's a bit come-hither, a bit fuck-you. She's a looker but paints a red scar across her face to give her a tuff-gurl image. She made me think of an American Wendy James initially or one of Shampoo - which is a fucking insult because she sings more like Kat from Babes in Toyland or the woman outa L7. She's a great frontperson, albeit in a theatrically 'punk rawk' kind of style. She's a queen of trash and once you can hear her vocals, a distinctive singer. The guitarist Ricky Chips is fantastic too, a heavy-lidded off-his-skull natural talent with a goofy charisma -in a true Thunders/Sid mould only with a big grin on his face instead of a bad drug habit. The drummer made me laugh due to his big gay-style droopy moustache which made him look like Freddie Mercury - the bassist and rhythmn guitarist played their parts well but lacked the visual impact of the other three, and yeah, I was getting pissed.
The set (24 hours on) is a blur of speedy punk tunes, heckling, dancing, sweating and verbal and physical abuse. They gave good gig. I had a brilliant laugh, as did the Old Boys down the front; Faron, Rut, Ian, Gaz Suspect….and so on. I love a band who are spurred on by a bit of verbal abuse and the defining moment was when I shouted for Chinese Rocks (indicating I guess that I had them sussed rootswise) and they played it. A totally sloppy, unrehearsed, unplanned version which sounded fuckin' spot on. When I shouted for it, Tibbie looked at Rikki cracked up laughing as he launched into it. Genius.
After the set I spoke to Tibbie who was really cool and friendly. She said she loved being in the UK, the audience reactions had been great, everywhere they played they'd been given loads of beer and she was worried that It had meant she'd put on weight. HITs was fun to play as she'd seen loads of great bands including some favourites of hers like Vice Squad and the Angry Samoans. I asked if she often attacked overzealous or mouthy fans and she told how once she'd picked on the wrong guy and had literally been thrown across the stage. She told us with huge pride how they're banned from CBGB's cos of an incident with her throwing bottles at the audience. How there are six good bands in New York - Leftover Crack being one , them another. (I told her they were shit and they didn't go down as well at the Joiners as they did-which is true.) She and Rikki were a couple six years back but now are just mates, Ari Up didn't like the Xpossibles at all when she saw them play ….and so on ……….. I promised to email her to do a proper interview & she gave me their CD A great night out and I had the scars to prove it and a stinking hangover the next day.