The Soapgirls in Stalybridge
The Soapgirls hit Stalyvegas and it gets messy, very messy...
Anthony Firmin dons his pack-a-mac!
Tonight is the last ever gig at the Old Thirteenth as the owners have decided to sell up which is a real shame as tenant/landlord Richard Guerin has put a lot of effort into promoting good live bands at the pub. It is also sad that the venue is closing as it has a great stage, great sound and great lights. And the pub has the longest pubname in Britain: The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn, that is one hell of a mouthful.
South African band The Soapgirls who have relocated to Europe for the summer are playing here as part of their Disturbed tour. The bands fan-base are in partying mood too as it is Mille’s birthday today and some have dressed up appropriately to celebrate. And by dressed up I mean overweight men in their 50’s wearing thongs, wigs and tottering around in high heels – I kid you not.
The band were supposed to hit the stage at 9pm but only turned up at the venue shortly before that time. A support band was booked but they didn’t end up playing – such things are not unusual at a Soapgirls gig. After nearly an hour of frantic setting up and sound-checking the band launch into Welcome To The Neighbourhood.
And so the torrent of pop/punk tunes starts backed by the thunderous skin beating from Jay who drummed for them during the previous tour and is now part of the Soapgirls touring family. The voodoo drink makes it’s return too, but sadly this evening there are no takers of this concoction; previous consumers have ended up in hospital with their stomachs being pumped or arrested or simply just passed out. The drink is a prelude to Voodoo Child (no, not a cover of the Hendrix song) and it sounds good this evening.
Haters sees the Soapsuds (the fans) get onstage with an invitation to spit on the girls. I can never find a gentleman and now I cant find anyone to spit on me. A couple of volunteers were encouraged to suck on “used tampons” which apparently taste like a good Merlot, an interesting lead in to the new single Bad Bitch which is followed by a lovely and joyful little ditty Rather Be Dead.
A progression from the wet t-shirt contest see’s the roles reversed, we now have the “wet willie” competition in the Soapgirls house of fun. The final song is Champagne Cocaine which sees Asti Spewmante (sic.) being sprayed over the audience, with bags of talc being thrown around the room – the place was definitely a mess by the end of the show.
However, a question arises: is the spectacle of the Soapgirls show overshadowing the music? The band are gutsy and passionate, the songs are poppy alt-punk grunge with hooks that catch and stories to tell, perhaps they should just let the music do the talking. You can almost see Ben Elton creating one of his infamous shows about them – and they would hate it! Champagne and cocaine anyone?