damn! I might have missed the Zardoz, but on Monday I had a brilliant brilliant brilliant evening from start to finish. Queuing up outside the Roundhouse, we were assailed by zombies hula hooping, juggling, stiltwalking - one of whom has a great career ahead as a comedian. In through the doors, down cobwebbed corridors manned by giant spiders, passed scantily clad young ladies bearing real snakes, to our seats. Jim Rose up first - wasn't looking forward to his cavalcade of weirdos, but it did prove diverting. Then four men walk to the front of the stage, hands on hearts as Matt Monro warbling Born Free blares from the sound system. Two are young, thin, long-haired; the other two are fat and old. I hadn't seen Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction since the Marquee was in Charing Cross Road but here they were, back with a vengeance and half of them larger than ever (shurley life?). The two new boys drummer The Cat aka The Sexiest Man In The World and bassist Head Boy (?) were good but it was grizzled veterans the silly Zod himself and geetarist Cobalt Stargazer (soon to revealed as Co-bald Stargazer ) who inevitably stole the show. They kicked off with Live Dangerously But Not Pretty, but the next two numbers (High Priest Of Love and Backseat Education) really let the good times roll. Top stuff - funny, moving, ridiculous. They did the one that got 'em in the charts, on TOTP, and into my heart : Prime Mover. Then more Jim Rose - getting the audience to decide the winner of a fancy dress competition (God knows what Halloween itself was like) and allowing the runners up to compete for a prize by using the Human Dartboard, which just embarrassed the entire dart-throwing nation. Alice Cooper!!!! What can you say about a 62 year old shock rocker who can appear on Strictly Come Dancing - The Results and The Andrew Marr Show with Theresa May and still (just) retain his street credibility? He started with School's Out. Started?!?!?!?. Followed up by No More Mr Nice Guy and (I'm) Eighteen! I could have left then and been happy but he just poured on a non-stop barrage of great songs and lunatic theatricality. He strangled a nurse, impaled a roadie on a mike stand, and duffed up a satyress (his own daughter! Talk about Take Your Child To Work Day!). We saw him guillotined (then reappear, grab his own head and Jonny Wilkinson it into the wings), hanged, injected with a huge hypodermic and shut in a small box that had umpteen spikes rammed through it. Only Women Bleed, Be My Lover, Dirty Diamonds, Feed My Frankenstein, Under My Wheels....as the last time the Mrs and I caught his act was on the Brutal Planet shindig I was made up to hear him blast through Wicked Young Man. Phew! We were leaving after the main show, but the Mrs and stepdaughter got distracted at the merchandise stall, so I peeked through the downstairs doors and saw the old ham done up in gold lame Topper and Tails, waving an enormous Union Jack shrieking Elected (my fave Coop anthem). It doesn't get much better than this
FM, the question they're ALL asking: did he play I Love The Dead? i think that one track did more than any film to get my head out of non-league football programmes and into the equally substantial horror fiction. Have to agree that he's retained his street-cred ("just") to a better degree than Iggy in recent years. Dead glad the Marsh-ian clan enjoyed themselves - it's just such a shame you didn't have tickets for the previous night!
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
FM, the question they're ALL asking: did he play I Love The Dead? i
Not exactly - I think the bass player belted out the refrain when Alice was being spiked in the box. He did Cold Ethyl (literally).
Recently picked up a Canadian fillum called (ahem) Suck which features Alice as a kind of vampiric spiritual muse, a subdued Iggy as a gun-toting record producer (surely that's in poor taste?), Henry Rollins as a shouty rawk DJ and Malcolm McDowell as an eye-patch wearing vampire hunter.
Have you ever seen Cooper's horror masterpiece "Monster Dog" [ROFLMAO!!!] It's quite awful, and yet loveable in that way that bad eighties direct to video type horror can be. And it includes a couple of songs that weren't on any of the albums (but came out in his big box set ten years ago or so).
The reason Coope can keep his street cred is that he never made any bones about the fact that he was PLAYING. He truly loves to mock his own stage persona (see Wayne's World and the adorable film Roadie), and as such you can see any appearance by him (DANCING? REALLY? I MUST go look up now!!!!) as a continuation of that.
Oops - my inner Cooper geek just popped out, didn't it?
I've never seen Monster Dog Jools, but I did see Freddy's Dead : The Final Nightmare last night and completely missed Coop's cameo as Freddy's dad! The singer of the song on the end credits seemed familiar and I was embarrassed when I found out it was Iggy, especially as I'd recognised Roseanne in the fillum (the Mrs spotted Johnny Depp)
And finally, I have watched Monster Dog, a Spanish made film circa 1984, directed by an Italian and set in the US (I think). The only reason for giving it a spin is that it features Alice Cooper. The Coop's career was apparently in the doldrums at this time and (like Burton and Marvin re The Klansman) one wonders whether he can actually remember making it. As Jools says above it acquired cult status amongst his diehard fans as he performs two obscure songs and they were only available here until a completist's box set was released a while later. He sings in his own voice but is oddly dubbed for the rest of the film. It's sort of a werewolf film but also features a creepy mist-shrouded house, an old codger who's a kind of a ghost/zombie, a pack of wild dogs (you'd expect a doberman and some alsations but the labrador and the schnauzer rather let the side down), a group of spaghetti western gun toting locals who offed Alice's dad years ago on suspicion of lycanthropy, an unconvincing dream sequence, some unnecessary and even more unconvincing blood-letting, and a truly unconvincing Monster Dog. It's incomprehensible and daft. Yep, it's that wonderful horror film brew of being complete bollocks and supremely entertaining at the same time (my favourite), And embarrassingly, there's a jump shock that caught me out. Aiiieeee!
Post by fritzmaitland on Oct 11, 2019 21:44:37 GMT
There's nothing like Rock'n'Roll. An Alice Cooper gig is always going to be an event, and after my stepdaughter and I attended the Hollywood Vampires shindig (with two great support bands - The Darkness & The Damned), I was instantly alert when I saw that he was playing in London again this year. When I saw the MC50 and Stranglers were on the bill, that clinched it. Hang the expense. I contacted Rachel who merely enquired "When and where?" We were going. And last night we were at the O2 arena. Alfie's Alien Assembly meant that we arrived just in time (on a Tokyo-style packed tube train) for the MC50. Most of the MC5 are now unfortunately deceased but Brother Wayne Kramer (the MC1) took to the road last year to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary with a group assembled from Soundgarden, Faith No More and Fugazi, plus an extraordinary beanpole singer who looks to be 9 foot tall (referred to as the Zen Gorilla unless I misheard Zen Guerilla). Coming on to a recording of the legendary "It's time to move! It's time to get with it! It's time to testify!" speech, they magnificently stormed through Ramblin' Rose, Kick Out The Jams, Borderline, Call Me Animal, finishing with blinding versions of Sister Anne and especially Looking At You - preceded by a rant from Kramer - "I want Donald Trump out of the White House and in the Big House!" Couldn't help thinking of the much missed Charles Black. The Stranglers, backed by an enormous picture of a sewer, and preceded by Waltzinblack (Curse you, Keith Floyd!), were also on top form. Everything was a highlight, but bowled over that Rachel recognised Golden Brown and Peaches. Shame MenInBlack was cut off after they took their bows. Hicksfromthesticksness meant we could only see an hour of the headliner before the freezing two hour slog home, but an hour locked inside Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle is still more than incredible.A Grauniad review of the Manchester beano two nights before informed me I wouldn't be seeing Elected, but Billion Dollar Babies and Dead Babies more than made up for that. Especially the giant dead baby that burst through the castle walls and retrieved Alice's guillotined head - which sang the refrain from I Love The Dead. Rachel got Poison and Jason Vorhees turned up during He's Back! The Man Behind The Mask. Surprised at Alice's Muscle Of Love too. All good.