Warmduscher – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 8th June 2018

Photo by Liam McMillen

If we’ve learnt anything from Warmduscher, the indie supergroup made up of members from Fat White Family, Insecure Men, Childhood and Paranoid London, it’s that they like to embrace the eccentricity. Their sold-out Brighton gig – from Warmduscher, to Rodeo Death Burger and Jack Medley’s Secure Men – was testament to this as the night was full of Mexican wrestling masks, weird and wonderful characters and a whole load of mishaps. The night, started by new supergroup Jack Medley’s Secure Men, led by Filthy Pedro, started with anti-folk, then continued with the “Turbo folk fetus rock” from Rodeo Death Burger, and ended with the dirty riffs of Warmduscher, was one of the strangest in Brighton in recent memory.

Much like their record, Whale City, Warmduscher are supreme storytellers even in the live setting. This all comes through frontman Clams Baker, the fast talking, thrill seeking narrator and tour guide who takes the audience all the way through the dirty backstreets of Whale City. Additionally, the dark, packed-out confines of The Hope & Ruin helped to create an even better ambience for the sleaziness of the band. It’s a world that is strange, yet utterly mesmerising, so much so that it’s difficult to take your eyes off the encapsulating madness. Take ‘Standing on the Corner’, for example, which saw the band writhing around onstage to a vicious and putrid number that falls halfway between an early Gorillaz tune and a 70s funk song about drug abuse, naturally.

Throughout the night it’s a world that the packed Hope & Ruin crowd lap up. “Have you met my friends?” Clams Baker asked halfway through their set to inaudible cheers, as he introduces the rest of the band before soaring into the ludicrous, but amazing, garage-disco banger ‘I Got Friends’ which saw him list off his weird collection of friends in a surrealist manner. It’s the incredibly captivating riff, that sounds like the Beastie Boys meets Fat White Family, that saw the biggest moshing of the night as the crowd merged into one for its finale. “I know a guy in drop top convertible with a six shooter so strong, he can shoot the top of a mountain off, he can rip it off into the sky” Baker exclaimed much to the delight of the crowd. This is where Warmduscher click perfectly into place: halfway between parody and real-life, they’re a silly, maniacal slice of life, but with great songs to give them the credibility to back up the absurdity.

Correspondingly, the likes of ‘Big Wilma’ and ‘1000 Whispers’ are fantastic world-building songs that explore different genres expertly. The lead single from Whale City, ‘Big Wilma’ is short and sweet, but certainly packs a punch with combative guitar riffs and Clams Baker’s humorous and agitated vocals. While ‘1000 Whispers’ saw the biggest singalong of the night, as the entirety of the audience joined in on shouting the title back at the band.

As weird as it was wonderful, Warmduscher are as unique as they are refreshing. While not taking themselves too seriously, they’re still an excellently efficient band capable of evoking a reaction from a crowd purely on their music. As it goes, they do that and more, creating a world that sucks up the audience and spits them out into the dirty streets of Whale City. It’s pure entertainment from start to finish. Superb!

Liam McMillen

Website: warmduscher.co.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/warmduscher77
Twitter: twitter.com/warmduscherr