Wicked Spins Radio – The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Live Review Exeter Phoenix
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
– Andrew O’Niell – The Wattingers
Reviewed by – Shaun Histed-Todd (The Snuff Monkey Show)
Venue – Exeter Phoenix – 3 November 2016
I’m here at the Phoenix in Exeter and tonight’s gig has been moved from The Cavern due to a recent fire at the venue. Throngs of punters adorning tailcoats, top hats, bowler hats vamped up with various mechanical gadgets greet us on entering the venue meaning one thing we are at a Steampunk gig and it’s to see the UK’s leading steampunk band from London The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. TMTWNBBFN or The Men for short.
Supporting them we are given The Wattingers who till this week
I was unfamiliar with, they are a two piece outfit kitted out in garb from a Western film where hell has opened up, Martin H Wattinger on vocals is dressed to fit the part in an outfit that would sit well in Stephen Kings Dark Tower series, whilst Cletus Kye-Babadook Wattinger on bass sporting a grinning razor toothed Hannibal Lecter style mask would be a fitting character from the horror depths of Clive Barker’s imagination. A horror box of some Steampunk creation which I’m assuming houses a drum machine pulses with lights, a glass vial bubbles away, all make for a very visual and entertaining show. Musically The Wattingers sound is an industrial fuelled blues and spaghetti western themes add to that a tinge of The Birthday Party and Tom Waits. Great stuff and very entertaining and I shall be certainly keeping my ears out for more from them if they don’t get to me and cut them off for a sideshow trophy for one of their props.
Next up we have Andrew O’Neill axe man of The Men, presenting to us his Stand up comedy set. I’ve enjoyed Andrew’s comedy as long as I’ve been into TMTWNBBFN and I was looking forward to seeing the man himself do his stand up live, we are presented with gags about racists – immigration and xenophobia short renditions of classic songs from likes of Type O-Negative to System of a Down and a number of others but all in his own humours style and re-written lyrics oh and about his cat Ghost who is claimed to be a scientific genius. The audience love it and laughter was equally shared Andrew truly is a comedy genius.
Next up its time for The Men to take to the stage, and it’s been a long time I’ve had to wait to see this band play live. After first learning about them when I spotted and recognised Andy Heintz of 90’s grunge goth rockers Creaming Jesus on the cover of a magazine (The Chap) around 2009, TMTWNBBFN consisted of Andy and Andrew O’Niell and over the years they have evolved with Marc Burrows on Bass and Jezz Miller on drums joining them to complete the line up we now know of.
So now here I am finally getting to see them live as the band takes to the stage and as the intro plays out there is a slight hitch as Marc’s bass amp I understand plays up, but it’s a small hitch and
all is taken in good spirits and we are quickly propelled into the set. They look great and fit the part well and you could really believe these are punks from an altered bygone Victorian era. The tunes come fast and elegantly as we are treated to older classics from the first and second albums – Charlie, Steph(v)enson, Victoria’s Secret, The Great Stink, and Poor Georgie as well as a host of songs from their latest album – Not Your Typical Victorians – which as I’ve just purchased were all very new to me except for the current single – This House Is Not Haunted – but even though the new songs are fresh to my ears they equally sounding powerful and tight. As Andy swaggers back and forth across the stage at times I spot that imposing and menacing frontman, remembered from Creaming Jesus days, but mostly I see a different Andy here tonight with smiles of mirth and a character played out that steals the Steampunk genre brilliantly. Marc wields and thumbs out the bass as he straddles and leaps from one spot to another; Andrew thrashes and strums his axe like a metal warrior as Jezz kicks out the beats. At one point during the set the band leaves the stage leaving it open for Marc to present to us an acoustic track – Princess Charlotte – from his own side project (Before Victoria), given the rest a break from the stage before rejoining us for more steamblasting. As the night draws to the end, we get three more songs on the encore – Brunel – Victoria and Margate FHTAGN. A fantastic show performed by these Gents, hats off and I look forward to the next time.