band of skulls Can You Gig It?: The London Punks, Band of Skulls @ London Wimbledon Watershed, 16.10.09

John-Scott Croly skipped along to Wimbledon’s Watershed to see Band Of Skulls (above) support some people called The London Punks t’other day week.

Hotly-tipped Southampton blues-rockers Band of Skulls were this show’s not-so-secret support act, squeezing in a quick one on their way back home for a well-earned weekend off. They blew the sweaty roof off the Watershed’s dank back room – not that any of the 20 or so glass-eyed punters noticed.

Without their own following, the trio had to make do with the headliners’ early crowd – a smattering of arm-folders and phone-fiddlers who steadfastly refused to be won over, seemingly out of some kind of fierce-yet-misguided loyalty to The London Punks.

To add insult to injury, I managed to piss off drummer Matt when we spoke briefly outside. Turned out he wasn’t too happy with my drunken admission to illegally downloading their album. Oops. All in all, a shit night for Band of Skulls – a shame really, because they were fucking splendid.

Around twenty minutes later the chin-strokers finally got what they wanted when unfortunately-monikered electro-skankers The London Punks ambled on to the stage. The (by now much denser) crowd were off their chops right from the get-go, but this time it was my turn to be nonplussed.

XFM-friendly debut single “Pretty Girl” was by far the best tune on the night, rattling along like The Faint’s contribution to a Madness remix album that (thankfully) exists only in my own twisted imagination. Other tracks showed promise but lacked substance; an impressively massive sound not quite masking the below-par tunes underneath.

The London Punks are busy talking up their big name connections – singer Nathan has previously released records on Basement Jaxx’s label Atlantic Jaxx, while guitarist Greg Wizard has worked with The Chemical Brothers and MIA. P’raps then it’s time to call in a few favours, because given a bit of help with some good old fashioned songwriting, these cats might just have their fifteen minutes yet.

Listen to Band Of Skulls at

Listen to The London Punks at

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