Amyl and the Sniffers at Heaven, Charing Cross, 2 April 2019

I first came across Amyl and the Sniffers at End of the Road last year. They were a lot of fun – an Aussie potpourri of punk and metal. Think Sex Pistols, Ramones, AC/DC and Joan Jett and you’d get there. Back in September it made me feel rather nostalgic for my youth.

So I’d been looking for an opportunity to see the band again. I bought their album “Big Attraction and Giddy Up” in the meantime; but, to be honest, it really just told me that this band are all about the live experience. I liked a couple of songs a lot – “Cup of Destiny” and “I’m Not a Loser” – but otherwise, on record they sounded a bit run-of-the-mill.

Fast forward to last Tuesday, when my friend Tony and I went to see the band at Heaven, at Charing Cross. They had a couple of support bands, whom I’m afraid we missed. First, we definitely planned to be in the pub; second I’d hoped we might catch a bit, but mistimed it. Amyl and the Sniffers came on at 9.45 and launched their onslaught of punk and metal riffs. Singer Amy Taylor plays the part of rock front person to a tee, and guitarist Dec Martens is a walking classic, with the mullet, the riffs and the poses. The rhythm section eschewed T- shirts early on. All the clichés, you might say. But if you like this kind of music, then they are a perfect distillation.

Beyond the two songs I mentioned above, I couldn’t tell you what they played. It doesn’t really matter. They just rocked. Amy did a fair bit of crowd surfing, but wore her parka for the last go, as her top seemed to find itself undone on the previous incursions. She swigged what looked like champagne (or Prosecco?), although she had a bit of water too. She expends a lot of energy on stage, for sure. The boys shout the choruses and lay down those riffs and rhythms. It is rock’n’roll. Nothing more, nothing less.

They played for about 45 minutes. That was enough. It all gets rather exhausting, even when you are standing at the back, supping a lager.

So, if you have a penchant for punk and 70s/80s metal, go and see Amyl and the Sniffers. Otherwise, stay well clear!

A few more photos. In keeping with the punk ethos, I didn’t crop or improve them. They are what I managed to capture over the heads and into the lights on the night.

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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