: ROB TYNER , DENNIS THOMPSON , WAYNE KRAMER , FRED
on bass DEREK HUGHES
COME BY STEVE PEACOCK [SOUNDS]
forgotten what a good sort of atmosphere you get at all-nighters: everything
seems a lot looser and less formal between the hours of midnight and six,
a chance for everyone - people and musicians - to stretch out a bit. The
Kings Cross Cinema seems to provide just the right environment for such
events - at least it did on Saturday when Kingdom Come, and the MC5 played.
Perhaps Kingdom Come took their looseness a bit too
far towards the end of their set - three jams all along much the same
lines did end their set on a bit of a down slope - but I enjoyed the band,
and found myself absorbed by their combination of musical and visual ideas,
and by their flashes of cackling insanity. Musically they're fine, and
their rhythm machine fits into the music much better than I'd thought
it would. "Time Captains" was - I think - the musical high point.
But along with that, there's a constant streak of drama
running through the band's set. Some of it is planned, costumed figures
appearing and disappearing, and some of it isn't - looks of horror on
their faces as something goes wrong. It'll sound daft to them, but unplanned
accidents like the failing synthesiser become equally as involving as
the planned stunts. It was that kind of night.
The MC5 were the antithesis of that: slick, tight, hard-rocking
and very together, they steamed through a set that was mostly exhilarating
but occasionally fell a bit flat. Numbers like "Thunder Express",
"Motor City Is Burning" and "Poison" showed them at
their tough, aggressive best. These Detroit bands can certainly do it.