DZ Deathrays - Live At Hotel Street, London

Anti-Jubilee punk party
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Nestled away from the overt commercialism of Oxford Street in a secret part of Charing Cross lies Hotel Street, the new art gallery by day and live music by night venue created by Sailor Jerry. The walls are adorned with iconic Sailor’ artwork and strips of pinup girls, and free poured drinks such as “Backyard Lemonade” are served in glass jam jars. Situated next to a sex shop, Hotel Street recreates the debauchery of its inspiration perfectly (named after the infamous Hotel Street District where Norman Collins - the tattoo artist - made his name) - there could be no better location for an Anti-Jubilee party with DZ Deathrays.

In a very small, busy and sweaty room, Brisbane thrash duo DZ Deathrays appear from a stairwell to a reception of cheers. Without saying a word or even picking up his guitar, frontman Shane Parsons hands a full bottle of Sailor Jerry to the crowd. One by one the fans swig and pass (apart from one greedy fellow who decides to neck half of it - good luck in the morning, son) before the gig sets into motion. Beginning with recent single ‘No Sleep’, the front row don’t mess about with a shy nature and create a pit from the word go, which spurs Shane to drop his guitar and crowd surf as they head into their relentless album starter ‘Teenage Kickstarts’. Two songs in and a bottle of rum has disappeared and a screaming Australian has been lifted into the air...surely this must be a new record.

This early start is a sign of things to come, as the set goes on in this mental manner for sometime, with a bouncer intervening when the pit gets rocking. The big bald man grabs a guy and has a stern word. Drummer Simon shouts something at the bouncer and the swaying lad laughs in the hired security’s face. Who says punk is dead?

During ‘Gebbie Street’ they invite a girl (who has shockingly similar long hair to Shane - bit embarrassing) up on the stage to play bongos. Not content with sitting on the floor with them like some Occupy Camp hippie, she holds them under one arm and headbangs to the chorus, surprisingly keeping in time with the song.

The set finishes with their EP highlight ‘Teeth’ and drummer Simon climbing the speakers with his drink, which he fails at miserably and collapses on the floor. He lays their for a while before getting up and playing an impromptu instrumental with Shane before leaving the stage in a haze of feedback and spilled rum. You would never think that they only flew in from Hamburg this morning, as the whole set oozes with an unnatural energy and vibrance that is not often found in modern bands.

Tonight the spirit of punk is most certainly alive and well, and if you were elsewhere watching some boats float down a river, don’t worry - maybe you can come along for the Platinum Jubilee.

God save DZ Deathrays.

Words by Jamie Carson

Check out some photos from the event HERE.

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