The Creepshow – Camden Underworld

By Tom Aylott

By the time The Creepshow launches into an encore performance of ‘Rue Morgue Radio’, everybody’s favourite Camden dive has really gotten an atmosphere about it. Despite the fact that the venue has seen far larger crowds and only half the venue is open, the band has managed to generate a reveller’s tone with an impressive performance. For the Ontario horrorbilly punks, this is a good night.

Since Punktastic caught HAVE NOTS [3.5/5] towards the beginning of last month, the Boston band has trawled around the UK and Europe. Tonight is one of the final performances before the quartet heads back Stateside for a tour with Big D and the Kids Table. Unlike that last London outing, tonight’s crowd is sparse. Still, the band manages to rampage through a set of grizzled street-punk, showcasing material from excellent new album ‘Proud’. For those that do manage to catch the set, it’s a decent offering that impresses again.

THE MOONSHINE STALKERS [1.5/5] on the other hand fail to make an impact. Whilst pertaining to be “not just a psychobilly band”, that’s exactly this trio is, and if it wasn’t, the band certainly wouldn’t be on this bill. For a group that’s still finding its feet (previous incarnations as Killing Seymour, and before that Vivian Von Ghoul and The Zombie Wreckers proved futile) it’s probably understandable that the identity isn’t quite there. Each track anonymously filters into the next generating very little interest and making for a very long 30 minutes.

It’s hard for Punktastic not to compare and contrast tonight’s show with that of the last time THE CREEPSHOW [4/5] played in the capital. Back in December the Ontario horrorbilly punks played to a rather sparse crowd at the Highbury Garage. Those that attended could be seen swing-dancing their way through an enjoyable set. Tonight, whilst there’s not all that many more people in attendance, the Underworld’s relatively intimate confines adds more of a punk rock feel to things, with a raucous pit enveloping the front of the room. What hasn’t changed is the band’s performance.

Showcasing last year’s impressive album ‘They All Fall Down’, the quartet offers up a fine set full of its trademark horror themed ‘billy music. Vocalist and guitarist Sarah Blackwood leads the band through the likes of ‘Hellbound’ and the album’s title track, at one point even taking to the floor in front of the stage. The diminutive frontwoman is practically lost for a moment. Sean McNab’s thunking double bass resounds throughout, surely one of the lynchpins of this band’s success. Ultimately it’s the type of performance that is essentially fulfilling yet still leaves the crowd impatient for more. It also begs the question, why isn’t this band more popular?