Review | Atomic Suplex

emma atomic

Atomic Suplex @ Rattlesnake, London 19 April

You either love or hate a bit of Born To Ride punk rock, spiced with rock’n’roll swagger and sin. It’s instantly recognisable to all, and if not liked by everybody, it’s long since stopped being threatening or ground breaking in any way. Bands such as Lesbian Dope Heads On Mopeds [all blokes] otherwise known as Gaye Bykers On Acid, Gallon Drunk, [all blokes], SpizzEnergi, [yep, all blokes], they come around, like the seasons and even last through the years. This doesn’t mean that the sheer loudness and fury of an experienced bunch of rockers full of honesty and joy is boring or uninspiring. They’re intelligent enough to know that good songs or nay, this is seriously indulging personal bravado and release – and therefore, they share the humour and elation, often even playing “dress up”, initiating props into the manic on-stage scenario.

Atomic Suplex boy singer wears an old fashioned motorcycle helmet and goggles, singing Madonna style into his mic, playing guitar with saw-blade, chugga-chugga rhythms on his sharp-shaped Gibson. It’s a boy thing, has been for twenty years. But is it the girls are flavour? Well, no, our main aim is to support women in music – which thankfully puts us at the top end of Saying Something New Stuff. But wait, in this band there is Emma, sweet by name and in nature even when she plugs in her guitar and takes up the charge with the LEAD role – but then it depends on your own definition of sweet. She takes up most of the stage, meaning to cling close to the large amp, we can tell, but unable to contain herself, including jostling for stage space, with lead singer-goggled-man, and finding that she is unwilling to give in. We do a little dance, not because a girl is pushing back, or playing raucous lead in an old skool punk rock band, but because of this: it’s no big deal.

At the girls are HQ we notice more and more bands fitting into our criteria, championing women in music, because we are almost at a point where a woman in a band is a given, just like the 90’s, when suddenly everybody knew someone in a band.  Even more, a woman in a band can be invisible – in a good way – part of the musical mechanism, but that’s not Emma, interestingly the guy photographers don’t take pictures of her tonight despite the fact the woman owns the stage. Is that a step forward or what?

This isn’t art, breaking boundaries or saying anything fresh, but it’s refreshing, hip sticking out, and contentment with a wry grin. It’s fun, no mistaking, thanks to Suplex energy, likeability and a blessed predictability in song titles like opener, ‘Set It On Fire’, ‘Ass Tecnica’, ‘Bathroom Party’, the single, or ‘Rock And Roll Action’. We think there are several songs with Rock And Roll in the title.

Crazy kool punk rock + alcohol, always a winner on a Friday night.

Ngaire Ruth


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