Last month Warmduscher brought their infamous mix of electronic noise, post punk, and rock n roll to a sold-out Pink Room In Yes. The London based five-piece blessed the stage in order to raise funding for travel to their showcase at South by South West Festival (SXSW) and for their accommodation in their first ever tour of the USA and Canada thereafter. For a freezing and tempestuous Monday night, the turnout was incredible, even hosting Radio 6 DJ Marc Riley, and their performance was second to none.
Contradictory to what was about to follow, Warmduscher calmly and humbly set up their own instruments. Their eccentric and tattooed frontman Clams Baker Jr. could be seen cutting through the crowd before the gig, seemingly incognito, in order to confer with the sound technicians. Sporting baggy joggers that were tucked into some high top trainers, Baker Jr. mounted his signature sunglasses over his eyes and with his self-aware sleaze he took position on the stage.
Adam J Harmer (Quicksand), the band’s guitarist, stood next to him seemingly juxtaposed in his typical classy shirt. As the lights dimmed and the smell of cheap aftershave meandered through the air, the Motley Crew, looking a little less sparkly than they were at Glastonbury last June, found their stations. The madness soon began and Warmduscher rocked the Pink Room with their unholy noise.
Throughout each and every song, Baker Jr skilfully played with his sound pad to create some wild and interesting loops, at one point saying “I like that noise” while Quicksand barely took his eyes of the guitar to bring some intricate guitar parts to embellish the electronic madness. The former used his expressive hand gestures and rhythmic leg movements to charm the crowd as the band’s bassist (Ben Hopcraft, a.k.a Mr. Salt Fingers Lovecraft) rocked back and forth to power out some funky and deafening basslines.
It was impossible not to move in one’s own uncanny way and let go of all inhibitions. As soon as their biggest single ‘Midnight Dipper’ began to pulsate a mosh pit was birthed which didn’t die out until the very end of the gig. The frontman’s explicit proclamations, Anthony Kiedis esque, made the crowd go wild, and people began to bash into each other in the blue/pink hue of the room as white light was splashed onto the singers face.
Warmduscher are known for not taking themselves too seriously, but musically they couldn’t be more serious. Their songs were spaced with inaudible jokes, but soon the band would re-erupt into their tight musical sets, giving any modern post-punk band a run for their money. Their clear competence and experience yet self-deprecating humour brings a refreshing, fun and less pretentious aspect to the post punk music scene. They are our very own, 21st century, Bloodhound Gang.
As Warmduscher approached their last couple of numbers, they invited the female-fronted support act Duvet onto the stage, who had given their own powerful performance beforehand. The gig received a fitting end, as it degenerated into an unexpected yet brilliant conclusion. A personal highlight of mine was Clams Baker Jr. handing out dollars to outstretched arms in the front row, while the support act hoisted more of their friends up onstage to dance alongside Warmduscher.
A few moments later, and it seemed like half of the front row was up there. It has to be said that every person there that night had their own unique experience. One lucky fan got to temporarily donate their gold rimmed glasses to Baker Jr., who donned the glasses while giving it his all for the last two songs. Symbolic of Warmduscher themselves, Baker Jr. carefully returned the glasses once the chaos had subsided, showing a certain talent and class which was in harmony with their cheap and raucous image.
Our ears were even blessed with Warmduschers unheard latest single ‘Love Strong’ which they released later that night at midnight (February 28).
The music came to a crashing end and the realisation set in that I was partially deaf in my right ear due to the complete power of the music. This was something which wouldn’t right itself for a couple of days after, but was well worth the inconvenience for witnessing such an amazing and refreshing performance, and it has been one of my favourite gigs so far of the 2022/2023 academic year. It has to be said, that everyone, especially post punk fans, should go and see Warmduscher. They will revitalise your ears with an expert yet trivial and light-hearted version of the well-loved genre.