Steel Panther at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London - live review

LA glambusters stand firm in a post-Weinstein world

Art for Steel Panther live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London - live

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As a bunch of young men slug booze from a cowboy boot, you’d never guess it was a chilly Monday night, but that’s the Steel Panther effect. Nine years on from their debut and Steel Panther’s gag – parodying 80s glam metal at its most excessive – hasn’t changed. While their jokes about “titties” are arguably wearing thin, it’s the execution that has kept them going. The songs are the backbone – the punchy Party All Day and power ballad Community Property could come from any of the mega bands they caricature – but they’re also charismatic and their comic timing is on point. They all play their parts, from Lexxi Foxx’s vain, pouting bassist to Satchel’s crude quips. If you’re wondering, in a post-Weinstein world, whether they’d scale back their schtick, the answer is no. Steel Panther shakily straddle the balance between all-out offence – “Shut up bitch, I’ll Chris Brown your ass!” quips Satchel. “Just kidding: I would never hit a woman… in front of other people” – and perceptive satire. As anyone familiar with the world they parody will know, calling it satire could even be considered a stretch. But while it’s all silly fun if you feel in on that joke (and you really, really hope that everyone here is) some moments feel unnecessary – particularly when young female fans in their bras are encouraged onstage to gyrate and take selfies. But whether you love or loathe their loutishness, it looks like Steel Panther are set to continue riding this routine for quite some time.

Hannah May Kilroy

Hannah May Kilroy has been writing about music professionally for over a decade, covering everything from extreme metal to country. She was deputy editor at Prog magazine for over five years, and previously worked on the editorial teams at Terrorizer and Kerrang!. She currently works as the production editor for The Art Newspaper, and also writes for the Guardian, Classic Rock and Metal Hammer.