Download 2014: Steel Panther

Can you ever have too many nob jokes? To this Steel Panther say no. You always need more nob jokes. And pussy gags, and tit laughs, and all that gyration-fuelling stuff that powers the Steel Panther heavy metal party.

The trousers are tight, the hair is permed, bassist Lexxi Foxx is poised with lipgloss and a glittery hand mirror… All is in place for the likes of Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World to thrust the Steel Panther fiesta into everyone’s happy faces (‘thrust’ being the appropriate word - there’s a lot of thrusting tonight). If you haven’t seen them live before, but are familiar with their brand of raucous industry-parodying glam/hair/mental-metal, you can probably imagine what it’ll be like. Got that picture in your head? It’s exactly like that. But even sillier, and with more boobs.

Not that the Download powers don’t try to avoid this last element. Lead duo Michael Starr (vocals) and Satchel (genuinely very good guitar) incite lady punters to show their assets with rampant gusto. Cameramen have clearly been briefed to be a little more PC this year - probably the only time we’ve heard such a brutal crowd chant of “WE WANT TITS!” Unperturbed, the Panther storm, screw and scream their way through such ditties as Community Property, Asian Hooker and a personal favourite Gloryhole.

Now, we love a good slab of puerile filth as much as the next person, but the sheer barrage here is pretty darn relentless. And the funny thing is that some of the biggest laughter-inducing moments come from the less lewd bits of between-song banter. “As I’ve said for years, Download is my favourite fucking festival, of all time” Satchel declares. “I thought you said it was Sonisphere” interjects Lexxi. “Shut the fuck up!” comes the retort. “I’m sorry about our bassist, he’s pretty stoopid. That’s why he plays the bass. Just four fucking strings…”

17 Girls sees (wait for it…) 17 girls brought up from the audience. This time the boob-flashing can’t be avoided by the wavering cameras - it’s ever so slightly cringey, but they all seem happy. And then again, Steel Panther (hosting and playing at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods tomorrow night, incidentally) would probably argue that it’s best to go hard, if you’re going to go at all.

Party on. (7)

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.