There’s not many band out there who could put on a show like the one Rocket From The Crypt did at Gorilla in Manchester on Sunday night. There’s not many bands out there like Rocket From The Crypt.
The San Diego bruisers hadn’t played in the UK for nine years before last night, so it was no surprise that it was to a sold-out crowd with a blend of old punks, men dressed like the Fonz and girls rocking vintage 50s outfits.
Frontman Speedo may no longer have a quiff of his own, sporting a far more sensible haircut, but in their matching suits and on-stage swagger, the band haven’t lost any of their cool in between splitting up and reforming.
Nor have they lost their edge, with opening duo of Dollar and Don’t Darlene packed with riffs and blaring horns. They may not have had much room for the six of them on the Gorilla stage, but that didn’t stop them rocking out.
Nor did it stop the occasional crowdsurfer, with the first one ending up with Speedo surfing on top of him before they were both flung backwards, crashing into the mic stand and drum kit. No harm done, though no crowd surfer got that close again…
RFTC rifled right through their back catalogue for the setlist, with nothing new to promote, meaning that the likes of early single Boychucker got an airing (and fantastic it was too), and it was great to see the crowd going equally crazy for them all.
Well, almost equally. The Scream Dracula Scream quadrilogy of Middle/Born In ’69/On A Rope/Young Livers was a clear highlight, four songs from a band who were at their absolute peak, and all four sounded incredible 18 years later.
Speedo was on typically playful form in between songs, earnestly joking about his connections with Manchester as well as the percentage of their fee the band were going to be donating to us to buy warm clothes to keep us safe while we work in the ‘cold mines’.
Light Me and A+ In Arson made for a suitably warming duo from The State Of The Art Is On Fire mini-album, while Group Sounds was well represented in the setlist, and somehow the band managed to prevent all the 2-minute-long blasts of noise and energy from blurring into one.
Their quirky sense of humour showed up again after the finale of Come See Come Saw, with every indication that there would be an encore followed a few minutes later by the house lights coming up. That was met with boos, but the band were back on stage within seconds, with Speedo faux-apologising, saying he thought the show was over.
Fans were then invited to request songs for the encore, almost all of which were completely ignored because the band ‘would need 20 minutes to learn some new songs’, but the glorious My Arrow’s Aim and Glazed made for the perfect ending to a great night. Hopefully they’ll be back soon.