Saturday, 16 May 2015

Munster Raving Loony Party......the lowdown.

The Munster Raving Loony Party, organised by those lovely chaps Thee Gravemen, was an absolute ball ! It was the 4th consectutive year it's been held and the first time I've attanded....I'll be back next year !

Boris (left), Charley(centre) and Timmy(right).
After having a hassle free flight into Barcelona, where I bumped into Lyn (Shillelagh Sister) Boorer heading home to London, leaving her other half  'Boz' in Spain to play a few Morrisey gigs, grabbed a quick coffee, had a chat and waited for the buddy henceforth known as Boris the sprinkler for reasons that will become all too apparent later, then it was simple enough taking the train to Arc De Bara, picking up Timmy Hoskins (X-Men) and his partner Penny along the way. Having left a rather gloomy Ireland early that morning the blazing sunshine of the Med was a bit of ashock and called for a drink or two....alas, no Guinness BUT the lager was only a euro 50 a pint !

Our ever so charming neighbours, Ana & Fernando.
The chalets were functional but little more than glorified sheds, but hey! we had a couple of The Smoggers for neighbours, who were there as 'Charm Bag' and the pool out the back, so nothing to complain about. The 3rd member of our humble, albeit temporary abode, was already half twatted and getting pinker by the minute, out on the bar's terrace ! Mr Charley Spliff had arrived some hours earlier and with little else to do before the evenings entertainments commenced, had quaffed several litres of the local brew! I hate playing catch up!

Good album !
The Party's festivities kicked off with Mr Leadfoot Tea himself, a rollicking set to put any one-man band to shame ! Next up (I think, bit blurry due to the heat !) were two of St Pauli's finest, 'The Cheating Hearts' with Viva Valli on drums (and stealing Charley's heart into the bargain) and Stu Black coming on like a demented cabaret singer in a rather fetching white 70's suit. They belted out their new single and a whole heap of tracks from their recent album 'Fuck Love'...Rockin' check them out here :

The Rippers.
It was after this fine set that things became a little confusing for me as due to an exceptionally early morning start, the heat and  various other factors, it was decided that we should have a couple of Jagermeisters and Red Bull to ward off the fatigue....unbeknownst to us, there are no measures and the venue had very subdued lighting...hence the virtual half pint servings of Jagermeister !..the next band we caught were Italy's 'The Rippers' who were rather loud or perhaps I was just hyper sensitive ? Anyway they blew up one of their amps !  Don't recall what happened following The Rippers only that I slept somewhat soundly,  'Boris' earned his sobriquet during the night and was on mop detail first thing that morning !

A rather motley crew to say the least.
Friday was Ladies day !  although in saying that, there were a few questionable, strange looking types in dresses and skirts, bearded etc but then so were some of the women (sorry ladies !).  The entertainment started in the early afternoon with a very well attended (but empty) pool party where we were regaled by Ukelele wielding punk outfit 'The Pukes'....a somewhat mind boggling spectacle to the hungover among us !  Although very few of us were prepared for what happened next !  Performance art no less.......a stray German tourist had wandered into our midst, complete with gold cape and Speedos, being still somewhat addled at this point, I was vaguely amused to see him drinking what I thought was washing up liquid or anti-freeze or perhaps it was both ? following an impression of the creature from the black lagoon in the pool wearing what seemed to be an alligator/Mexican wrestling mask, several wig changes later and after painting his face red, it was over and I was still none the wiser.

Las Marlenes.
The band that had the honour of being first up on Friday evening was 'Las Marlenes', those Barcelona based beauties came out, resplendid in green wigs ! making me think of the women in the 70's sci-fi show UFO...a hollerin' and a screamin' their trashy punk went down rather well. These were followed by one of the highlights for me 'Charm Bag' !  This guy & gal rocked ! Imagine if The Cramps were to get it on with The Gories and produce some kind of mutant offspring, it would be called 'Charm Bag'.......Ana knocking out solid, pounding rhythms,while Fernando let rip and tore it up! at times bearing more than a passing resemblance to 'Psychedelic Jungle' era 'Kid Congo'  their version of 'New Kind Of Kick' ended the set with a bang and left me for one, wanting more....highly recommended ! (Get their album which is brilliant as well).....

Go Girl Go !
The evening had started very well indeed and only got better as Swiss based band, 'The Jackets' took to the stage and oh my, what a presence Jackie (Jacket ?) has! the signature eye make-up (ala Penelope Tree/Souixsie) and  stage antics made them a mesmerising sight to watch. It's always a pain when you have a strong line-up of bands to pick stand out moments but the Jackets were truly a revelation, high energy, rawk and roll...if you haven't already ? Just check their video for 'Wasting My Time'. Catch them at Hipsville !

Wonderful, pure class.
Bringing Friday nights shenanigans to a close was the ever wonderful 'Miss Ludella Black' backed by the miscreant 'Masonics' always a delight and never failing to please...7 Day Fool, we got twice (an encore) and a set list to die for ! What can you say when you have Mickey, Bruce, John and Ludella on stage ? It's the kind of thing that I'd still go along to even if there was no electricity ! Thanks folk then I trundled off to talk drunken bollox with whoever was foolish enough to listen....great evening and with Boris on a last warning due to over indulging on some rather potent brews, we all managed a decent nights sleep, or at least I did.

Leadfoot and Fernando getting slowly roasted.
Saturday dawned and we were gagging for some bacon and eggs but we (I) couldn't make the hob work so Charles and myself went off in search of something less complicated while the world around us slowly came back to life, a quick dip in the pool, a couple of hours lounging on the terrace and then it was back to the day's programme with Leadfoot Tea and Fernando (Smogger) out in front of the bar giving it some, most enjoyable although somewhat warm if you weren't in the shade ! They've a ltd edition 12" mini-LP out too, which you really should own (it's on green vinyl which is kind of pretty, unlike them !).

Big smiles all round.
Fast forward a couple of hours and it was time for that power trio of lasses, Thee Jezebels ! Letty, Lois & Laura (The L'sbelles) gave it some welly making me think of Suzy Quatro (they should cover 'What Way To Die' right up their street) and 'Black Book' was awesome with that driving boogie feel to it, not long enough on stage though !  If you want to see the gig in it's entirety ? Just head on over to the facebook thing and it's there....40 mins well spent ! 'nuf said.

Sound check.
Ladies & Gentlemen, presenting one of the south coast's finest....The X-Men, or something like that was how Mr Bruce Brand introduced them, can't say I disagree in the slightest !
This really is my bag...Maaaahn, loved every moment of it ! Justin's keyboards were deliriously good, Letty (of Thee Jezebels) really got into the whole thing, throwing moves and providing the backing vocals, Debbie's skin bashing, go-go beat keeping the time and Timmy the perfectionist, hardly moving or taking his eyes from his bass provided the throb, all the while Zac's guitar fuzzed and tremoloed (is that even a word ?) along to Mark's, at times croaky, vocals which only added to the trashy as hell sound....perfection ! The best bits....well, all of it to be honest but The Witch was pretty awesome and Leave My House was way up there ! A wonderfully trippy Who do you love ? saw them slip into Naz Nomad territory going through the band members.....pure class.... and for a good few folk I spoke to after, the highlight of the weekend, don't take my word for it, watch the whole gig here :

Burns boys !
There really isn't a lot than can be said about the Masonics which hasn't already been said elsewhere ! Yep we were in awe! Yep it's the nearest thing most folk get to seeing the legendary Milkshakes ! Yep it was everything we expected and more....and Yep, the whole gig is here :

Big thank you to Daz & Lee for putting it all together, muchos gracias to Fernando & Ana, All the folk from the UK, Charleyspliff, Ian for being a charming chap and Boris....who still isn't forgiven.
Special thanks to Steven Tagg-randall for filming and photographing the entire spectacle.

We'll be back next year !

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