Monkey Boy

Derby Victoria Inn

July 31 '98

A gig in support of the environment, donations instead of ticket price, and a mixture of styles. Punk, Death Metal and Monkey Boy. So the first dose is that on Punks Contempt.

Old school punk, featuring mohawks, 4Skins t-shirts, and the old anarchist guitar player who'se probably hitting the thirties now, getting a bit chubbier round the middle and still able to complain against the corporate industries of America. Some things never change, and why should they. It was reassuring in a “this was never who I was way”. Maybe I will be able to grow old disgracefully. Propaganda opens, paving the way for a small battery of political tinged punkoids. ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) was the obvious standout to me, having heard none of this before. Ultimately it never changed the world, but it's still trying.

Next were a Death Metal band from North Wales whose name I looked at on the posters and made a mental note of, then promptly forgot. What was that I said about growing old. Anyway, didn't sound Death Metal to me, but then I'm not into that, so probably couldn't tell the difference anyway. A hulking frontman who raged in a manner more akin to hardcore than DM. But the guitar made up for that. Social conscience as well instead of death, with songs about the environment, ivory trade in Africa, and “the works that have been constructed on a beautiful bird sanctuary where we live” that was Fields of Doom. Not bad at all.

Monkey Boy were the reason I was there. Setting up with Paul the drummer and vocalist infront of the two bassists, Disco Stu and Mark, they start with Planet Paul Pope from current single Monkey in a Rope. It's a strange sound, as you'd expect with no guitars. But somehow it works. Along with the enthusiasm they play with. Paul teasing the others and dictating the flow. Some of it looks made up on the spot, and in game to test each other. Mark on the Chainsaw Bass does his best Les Claypool impersonations, seemingly in a world of his own. And Paul jumps up and down almost as much as Lars Ulrich ever did. “You don't have to clap, just stay” requests Paul at one point, “oh, there goes one”. Some of the unfamiliar material needs to be heard a bit more before I can say too much, but they enjoy it, and it's good fun. “We're going to see a film tomorrow in Derby, what's your cinema like?” Dead Silence. “Well are there any good records stores in Derby?” More dead silence. They're better advised to go to Nottingham. Though they didn't play 10 Below from the single, which is an absolute corker of a song. Monkey In A Rocket itself ends the set, and half way through Paul claims “I'll be devestated if this doesn't reach number 1”. An interview took place afterwards, the result of which you'll read in a few issues time. For now, you could do a damn sight worse than search out the single and give it a listen. At times it feels to me like some of the energy of early Therapy? even if it doesn't sound like that.Even better than I was hoping.