The Urban Voodoo Machine: Love, Drink & Death!

Wilko Johnson guests with London’s gypsy bop’n’strollers.

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Paul Ronney-Angel’s bunch resemble a Soho-set horror comic live, mixing zombie make-up and cheap suits. They’re in the well-stocked tradition of post-Clash, culturally open capital city rockers, hot-wiring jump-jazz and klezmer to a spindly rockabilly base.

Drinking My Life Away is a celebratory song for this party band, but some slices of life cut deeper, like the fly-blown corpse found in a flat in Crazy Maria’s true-life mariachi murder mystery.

This is local music for local people: Nothing To Me is surely the first warning in rock’s long annals not to ‘piss on my chips’. Wilko’s pre-op cameo on the testifying tear-up Help Me Jesus is the obvious high-point of a thin but characterful LP.

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).