Reptilian Humanoid at the Star & Garter: Live Review
Words and photos: Anthony Firmin
The anticipation for this gig is huge but it sadly clashes with many other offerings this evening. And this line-up is pretty diverse which makes it all the more intriguing.
Opening are Manchester’s very own fuzzy scuzzy surf rockers Thee Windom Earles who’s performance is preceded by a dedication from their bassist Shell to Kathy Rocker, a massive icon of the Manchester scene who will be sadly missed, with the proceeds of tonight’s show being dedicated to charity in her honour.
Thee Windom Earle’s are on first on opening with an instrumental which gets everyone’s feet shuffling and starts a set that draws from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s... you get the picture. The Monkey Face is in you, always!
A lizard, namely Dan Thornton, is asked to unzip the Mexican wrestlers mask of their keyboard player, a sensual act but necessary so the man could sing, he also goes topless too. It’s great fun to hear them blast through these tunes, and Sexy Pizzeria is boptastic!
Silverchild are back with a new drummer Rich Beecher, another one, and after only three practices he is thrown towards Hades. And the boy does good, very good, a real heavy hitter which is what the band needs with their Led Zeppelin style heavy blues rock.
Guitarist Vic’s licks are attacking my ears, it’s like they are going to war as they march out of her Marshall speakers. The aforementioned drummers beats are wrapped up perfectly with Max Ryles booming bass, and it is all topped off with Alex Hiley’s soaring vocals where Jukebox Junkie is the perfect vehicle for the band, it is an absolute monster and for me is the highlight of the set.
Like being at the bottom of an ocean, it’s deep, heavy and bluesy especially their final song Pluto Pass which has a groove that could move a garage as it motors along, this for me is the highlight of the set. Oh, and did I mention that their new drummer is an absolute machine?!
The lizards are here and it’s only the Reptilian Humanoid’s second gig with Chris Taylor singing as they open with the Melvins version of the KISS song Going Blind is a surprise. And it’s like a different band, in a good way, making the band more dynamic with The Lizard really showing off his voice over it’s three or so minutes.
Although Charlie Powell’s keys were lost at times at the start of the set, when we did hear them there was more than a flash of brilliance to them, Mark Baxter’s Thunderous Thunderbird bass really cut through the mix too. Like a WHSimths delivery van, Don’t Watch The News is delivered on time, it’s done so well it would have Donald Trump posting ‘fake news’ on Twitter.
The band even manage to wangle another cover for the final song in the shape of a medley of Type O Negative and Black Sabbath, Drunk In Paris/Into The Void being dedicated to the Manchester metal icon Eytan just helps to reiterate the fragility of life.
A times he comes across like the mischievous Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull but overall Taylor makes a huge difference to the bands live act, the band don’t feel like they are holding back and it is heavier, more dynamic and spirited, and a more confident performance.
For those who came and saw and heard, well they went away with a soul full of great music and the most fantastic of times.