Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Koefte DeVille - Mad Sin © Nondo

We shuffle into the Garage sheepishly, noticeably under-dressed without a Mohawk between us. UK band
Coffin Nails are on stage, preaching to the converted. In this case, a rabble of colourful psychobilly Mohawks, customised leopard-print jackets and studded faces. The female members of the congregation look haunting, in '50s, vampire Bettie Page getups.

Coffin Nails © RetroPhotoUK

Coffin Nails look the part and their take on things sounds pretty legit. But thanks to a combination of fat dick jokes and stupid lyrics, the "gravest band in the world" come off cartoon and comical. Not exactly what you're looking for when it comes to dark and sinister.

When Coffin Nails are done, Mad Sin appear from the shadows to set themselves up. The change over's the quickest I've ever seen. Because at 10:00pm, the Garage turns back into a pumpkin: the psychos get kicked out, the cobwebs get dusted and the staff brace themselves for another club night. Bizarre, I know. Usually, I'd imagine Mad Sin wiping the sleep from their eyes at 10:00pm, ready for their morning bottle of whiskey.

© Vipa

For an enormous dude, Koefte DeVille's surprisingly agile, popping shirt buttons as he kicks his leg up high above his head and bashes his face with his tambourine. Still, by song two he's pouring sweat and out of breath between songs. But when the band's in full swing, he doesn't miss a note - his personality and stage persona dwarfing his giant frame.

In the middle of the crowd, fat, sweaty, bald dudes with no shirts on punch at thin air. By now, Mad Sin have whipped up the fiercest, most unappealing-looking prison moshpit this side of a Ted Nugent show. They're gonna be sweeping up teeth tonight...

© Vipa

"In case you're wondering what happened to our drummer Andy, he got a hearing loss," says DeVille with a stunned, unsympathetic look on his face. "Apparently, we're too loud for him. Ha ha... This is Matthaeus," he concludes, pointing at the band's hard-working new drummer, who raises a stick in salute. Guitarist Stein just stands there, like the corpse of James Dean.

At the end, bassist Valle is denied his usual pyrotechnics by UK Health & Safety. And instead, he settles for a solo standing on DeVille's head. Suddenly, the lights are on and angry-looking staff are herding psychos out the door. It seems unreal. In an hour's time there'll be no traces left. Still, I knew they'd be good - they've been going since 1987 - but Mad Sin were incredible.

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