Hey Barracuda’s got a gimmick. Fun? No. Not even for a minute.
TO paraphrase someone far more erudite than I shall ever be, my expectations for seeing this band were low. But holy fuck.
Johnny Barracuda’s ‘Soho Dukes’ ambled on stage with the grace and poise of a past their sell by date group of wannabees dressed in threadbare hand-me-downs. A group who had just failed an audition for a middle-class, home counties amateur dramatics society casting for their ‘alternative’ Christmas panto, ‘Oliver meets Les Misérables’ – and believe me, Misérables the following forty minutes certainly were.
Their band’s highpoint was supporting Guns N’ Roses, twice, in one of their many previous incarnations, Monterrez.
Their highpoint was in 1987.
And if by now the words, horse, dead, and flogging aren’t beginning to form on the horizon, please, read on.
Don’t get me wrong, cliché rock and roll can, on occasion, be enjoyable. But for that to happen a band need to possess a modicum of talent, or at the very least, a shred of originality. But cliché rock and roll can also very quickly die on its arse when a group offer the impression they are only performing for the benefit of their own, fragile, egos
And what the fuck is it with that mechanics inspection lamp Barracuda? Praise where its due if you’d just carried out an MOT on the way to the gig – why else to explain it being glued to your face for half the songs?
Believe me, I was not alone in hoping part of this act, or gimmick, involved said lamp becoming welded to the singer’s face necessitating a swift visit to A&E for its removal. Sadly not.
However, just when you thought the barrel had been scraped clean, along came a song called, ‘Bovver Boys.’
“Bovver Boys, Fops and Dandies…” and if you’re expecting the next line to be, “Oi oi, A pint of shandy makes me bandy…” believe me, you’re not that wide of the mark.
It was at that point I remembered those wise words from the great Johnny Mercer, “I could eat alphabet soup and shit better lyrics.”
The Soho Dukes, live at London’s 100 Club 2023. An extraordinary event and one that shall, unfortunately, live long in the memory, and as the torture ended, the band slithered from view, a fellow gig goer turned to me, his face a mix of pain and bewilderment and said, “Bovver Boys? Well, they certainly, ‘bovvered,’ me.”