Mullets, high-waisted jeans and short, sharp noise injections. Yeah, Aussie pub rock punks Amyl And The Sniffers are as retro as a pint of Snakebite, a whiff of Old Spice and a mouthful of Space Dust. And we at RPM Online loves ‘em… L-U-V. Their soon to be released debut long player is high on the ‘one to watch out for’ list, and the chance to catch them at one of their first UK headline shows was not an event we were going to pass up.
Yet, I was a bit apprehensive coming along to The Brudenell tonight. The last time I saw a show in the smaller Community Room here was He Who Cannot Be Named. About 20 people and a dog turned up to see that punk rock legend, so what chance do these unknown upstarts from down under have?
Well, someone informed the Leeds punk massive on this wet and rainy Wednesday, as by the time Amyl And The Sniffers saunter on stage to large cheers, the place is rammed.
With a quick greeting from diminutive and smiley frontwoman Amy Taylor, the band literally launch into ‘Mole (Sniff Sniff)’. Dressed in a tight red tracksuit top and high-waisted jeans, she jumps into the crowd and all hell breaks loose for the next 40 minutes.
There are a few actual skinheads down the front tonight, full on DM’s and braces brigade and any thoughts older members of the audience may have had about quietly snapping away at the front are quickly dispersed for fear of gaining more bruises than photos. A circle quickly forms front centre as skins, punks and rockers launch at each other, having the time of their lives, while us bemused punters try to avoid their flailing limbs and stay on our feet. And that’s just the first one minute and 30 seconds!
The uber cool ‘Westgate’ follows. A rumbling bass and jagged guitar riff bursts from the PA as Amy struts the stage and eyes the audience with a deathly stare, coming on like the bastard child of Wendy O Williams and Debbie Harry. She holds her microphone tight, as if an invisible man is trying to wrestle it from her grasp, as she barks the words to a stunned audience. To her side guitarist Dec and bassist Calum deliver the riffs and rumble, while behind them Bryce keeps the back beat.
Holy shit! This band is good, jaw-droppingly good. I would go so far as to say their recorded output does not do them justice live. If they manage to bottle this energy for their debut album then they surely have the world at their feet.
Between songs the live-wired singer is like a different character, with a proper loveable Aussie girl next door charm. “Someone told me you guys hate Manchester, why?” she asks prior to ‘70’s Street Munchies’. The whole band look bemused at the “Yorkshire” chants they get in reply, before launching into a high energy version that sees the singer headbanging like a loon for the entire song. As she arches her back, microphone in the air Iggy style, and snarls “…and I’m wearing my favourite sweataahh!” it feels like we are witnessing an iconic moment in music history.
I spy a girl down the front, a tinnie in her hand, shaking and pogo-ing on the spot round and round, the can frothing over, lost in her own world, as a couple of skinheads bound back and forth in front of her, this is how a punk rock show should go down ladies and gents.
‘I’m Not A Loser’ is probably their greatest song, a proper anthem. Yet the following
‘Balaclava Lover Boogie’ has full blown shake appeal. It brings the energy of prime Stooges to the fore. Powerful and intense as it builds on that riff and when it kicks back in again after the first verse it reaches another plane entirely, sublime stuff indeed.
They end a high energy set with the recent 7 incher ‘Some Mutts Can’t Be Muzzled’. With its “do you remember me” refrain, it’s part Ramones part Wendy O Williams and all killer no filler for sure.
Opening with a “sniff sniff” and climaxing with a “woof woof”, Amyl And The Sniffers delivered the goods and left us wanting more. They came, they saw and they conquered The Brudenell in 45 minutes, no encores, no fucking about…job done. Shit, it’s only 10pm! What the hell do we do now?
Tonight was one of those shows where I felt like I was witnessing the start of something great. One thing’s for certain, I will go out of my way to catch this band when they return to our shores, and I highly recommend that you do the same.
Author: Ben Hughes
Buy Amyl & The Sniffers Here