Live Review: Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats – The Garage, Islington

From Darkness Comes Salvation

A few years ago, quite a few in fact. I was baby-sitting my little sisters while my folks were out meeting friends. I was about 10, quite responsible, so don’t be phoning social services (it was the 70s, health and safety didn’t exist then), and ‘Salem’s Lot’ was on TV. The moment when the Nosferatu style vampire came straight up out of the floor in the police cell scared the shit out of me, and I never felt more alive.


Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats

The subsequent ‘Hammer House of Horror’ TV Series only encouraged this addiction to what must have been an early form of adrenaline sports, that involved coming out from behind a couch.

A few years later while supposed to be studying for school exams, I was instead reading James Herbert’s (sadly recently deceased) incredible Rat trilogy with a pounding heart. It encouraged a beautiful primal response to the darkness. Rather than the desire to flee, fight smashed in the door with a bloodied axe, my inner Johnny definitely wasn’t a dull boy.

Watching Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats last night made all these memories come flooding back in the most wonderful way. I grew younger as I walked up to the stage, it was like walking through a spiraling time-tunnel onto the set of an episode of Hammer House of Horror. Darkened walls, sparsely decorated with ornate gilt mirrors, ornate tea urns and framed pictures, all splattered with flickering stains from the white noise glow of sporadic TV sets. It felt like the horrors of my youth where about to spill out, all watched over by the framed Witchfinder General Vincent Price. It’s not all serious though, there’s a Celtic scarf draped across a speaker stack too.

Rather shrewdly/malevolently the band sweep through the shadows to the emerging tv sounds of the opening track ‘I’ll Cut You Down’ and burst into the full on aural attack on our brains and our psyche. And they remain in shadow, conspiring silhouettes for the entire show. It is incredibly effective. Such distillation only draws focus to the songs that are thundering out like a storm of black death. An onslaught that is like your whole life flashing before your eyes, you’re about to die, and it is awesome!

From the primordial soup of influences that are clearly part of the lineage of Uncle Acid, they are somewhat related to the likes of Neil Young, The Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s more experimental days, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and cinematic soundscapes amongst many others. Some folk may have been hearing the songs for the first time, but you instantly feel like you’ve known and loved them all your life. Classics are resurrecting from the stage.

You want to climb up and turnaround the picture of The Witchfinder to see if there is a Dorian Gary image on the other side, as they don’t have any filler tracks. There must have been a deal done on a Cambridge crossroads at some point, resulting in the excellence that comes forth, it is extraordinary.

There is an incredible amount of riffs and raw grooves that hypnotically entice ‘metal-heads’ out from behind the couch of their fears, and they actually start to strut, to dance. Uncle Acid have now become the ancient Sirens of Rock, enticing/lulling us from our safety, in our euphoria they are going to smash us against the rocks of our realities, all to a beautiful shamanistic soundtrack. We are going to die, so why is everyone smiling so much?

Suffice to say, it is an incredible gig, and you should see the band on any/every opportunity. Two albums down and a brilliant new one ‘Mind Control’ to be released in a few week, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats are definitely one of the greatest bands around that you’ve never heard of.

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats ‘Mind Control’ will be out on 15th April on Rise Above Records. A Flush The Fashion review will be posted prior to release. Check Uncle Acids facebook page for more information.