Guttermouth – Camden Underworld

By paul

Guttermouth Camden Underworld 16/12/08

Chaotic and offensive is one way of describing a Guttermouth show. Weird and wonderful, is another either way; when a bands set consists of more banter than songs, they are either trying to prove something, or really don’t give a fuck. I’m going to go with the latter option.

Taking tonight’s show as my base point, let’s look at the facts. Take out the bands opening song – a five minute, off microphone chat to the front row. Take out the randoms pulled up on stage to ad lib, be it the guy forced to sing, the girl who drummed better than the bands own drummer or the various guys brought up to play guitar / bass. Then take out Mark Adkins swapping shirts with a young girl and allowing her to touch Mark Jnr. Take out the sticking of someone’s personal effects into the guitarist’s rear, and take out the vomiting on stage. Then, further to that take out the psychology student licking chunks of vomit off the mic lead for two t-shirts, no encore and a venue only a third full. What have you got? Your guess is as good as mine.

Bakers Dozen, Derek, Lucky The Donkey, Do The Hustle, Chug a Lug Night, Scholarship in Punk, Asshole, Bruce Lee vs. The Kiss Army, 1, 2, 3 Slam. They are all there amongst others. But given the above, statement, one has to wonder, does the music really come into it? Did it ever? Was the band only a front to purvey childish mannerisms? Does anything actually even matter anymore? Well yes.

Six years ago Guttermouth came to the UK, and they (relatively speaking) conquered it. Their witty banter, furious pop-punk-punk (yes. Two. For good measure.) and all round good time attitude was not only appealing but it was addictive. Now, the banter is akin to a verbal rendition of a Young Ones episode and the comedy is wearing thin. The music stands up like it always did, but when you have to listen to ten minutes of abuse in between songs, you have to wonder why. It’s a shame really, more than anything else that Guttermouth have descended to this point. Potentially a brilliantly funny band, with the added bonus of having some very catch tracks. In reality it would appear they are a band far from their glory days, riding the last few waves of their career out on the back of a monstrous wave built upon chaos, disorder and offensive live shows. That is potentially no bad thing. The Pistols (arguably) pulled it off but then again, Guttermouth are not anything like the pistols. A fairly empty Camden Underworld says that alone.

So where’s this going? Well. More to the point, one wonders where Guttermouth are going. When, at your live shows you don?t make any new fans, or impress any old ones. Not giving a fuck doesn?t seem like a particularly cunning game plan. I guess only time will tell?