Live at Cockpit on Saturday, 2nd April 2005
Imagine a world where Axl is king, and Wayne and Garth are the court jesters. Time stands still beyond the Eighties, and Francis Rossi and Lemmy have a love child. The resultant spawn is the dirty haired, stretch denim-clad Tokyo Dragons. If you like AC/DC, drink Newcastle brown ale and have dubious personal hygiene then you'll have been head-banging down at the front of this gig anyway. It's like The Darkness without the humour or the glitter. They probably rode their motorbikes home, with 'Born to Be Wild' reverberating around their skulls.
The Croydon nine-piece Do Me Bad Things captivate us with a glamorous mix of metal guitars entwined with disco sensibility and thick pop hooks. When Chantal Delusional takes to the stage, Do Me Bad Things are electric, and the hair-raising atmosphere goes from 0-60mph in under five seconds. Her powerhouse vocals are reminiscent of Skunk Anansie - particularly on their current single 'What's Hideous' - and she throws into this already turbulent combination an enchanting stage presence from being a mere twenty years old, coupled with the innate ability to sing with an incredible passion, vigour and intensity.
In addition to Chantal and backing singers, there are two other male vocalists and in this democratic band, they all take it in turns to holler. When Chantal partners up with Nicolai, the Ziggy-esque lipstick bitch with penchant for silver sequins, the dichotomy between the two works well and the chemistry feeds into the adoring crowd. The duo open the set with pop heavy former single 'Time for Deliverance' and the diverse set of influences some how merge together and produce a unique, exciting and sexy sound.
But herein lies the problem: when Nicolai or Mark Woods croon on their own, the impetus is lost and everything drops down a gear. Both Nicolai and Woods are strong in their own right, Woods reminiscent of Screaming Trees/occasional QOTSA warbler Mark Lanegan, but after the high intensity and power of Chantal, it is too much of a disappointing drop to be brought down to a rather turgid pub-rock level.
Consequently, the gig was one of highs and lows. Streamlining DMBT to Chantal and Nicolai on vocals and dropping the backing singers seems a sensible proposition, but would that rip out the heart of this disco-metal confusing and delightful nontet?