Junkyard, Spread Eagle, Shark Island at Camden Underworld, London - live review

What kept everybody?

TODO alt text

Some 28 years after their major-label debut Law Of The Order was released, Shark Island – well, frontman Richard Black and hired hands – finally arrive in the UK. It’s appropriate that they begin with Make A Move as Black, who claims that Axl Rose ripped off all of his stage mannerisms, still sashays, twirls like a spinning top and works every inch of stage. The music sounds great too.

Tonight also marks the first time that Spread Eagle, featuring current UFO man Rob De Luca on bass, have performed outside their United States homeland. Back On The Bitch, Switchblade Serenade and Suzy Suicide are embellished by flashy stun-guitar runs, reminding us why the New Yorkers are regarded as slightly glammy, hard rockin’ cult heroes.

Back in the UK after more than a quarter of a century since their last visit, Junkyard have hardly changed, save for the absence of co-founding guitarist Brian Baker who now plays with Bad Religion. Each member sports a denim cut-off held together by patches, spit and sheer optimism.

The music is a formulaic mix of southern rock, punk and rockin’ boogie. Had the members of the Quo met in a truckstop in Tennessee they might have sounded something like this, but Junkyard can still tear it up like few others, a finale of Girlschool’s Emergency hitting the right note.