Robin Black and the Intergalactic Rockstars & The Sneakers @ The Kings Head, Fulham 16/2/03

Good Robin Black for opting to play a totally free show tonight. A low-key farewell date to conclude their debut British tour with Pretty Boy Floyd its the last that will be seen of them on these shores, save a cover of The Sweet’s ‘Hellrasier’ to be recorded over the next few days in Nottingham, til an April return with The Wildhearts.
Certainly they seem to have made their mark though judging by the impressive turnout for a chilly Sunday night. The explosive edge is somewhat taken off their exit by the proposed pyro show for the night being scraped, by still they promise to go out with a bang, or several, as Robin proclaims they will fuck some of you later tonight.
Before we find out if Mr Black got any hot action though The Sneakers have come to crash and burn and warm us up from the February freeze outside, or at least to half-arsedly flick the switch on the electric fire.
Sounding like the Quireboys or The Black Crowes topped with the bloody stupid Afro of Toploader, as sported by the guitarist stage right, they knock out smooth keyboard-led blues rock. Its pleasant enough fare but so polished for radio it loses the very dirty, bleeding heart rawness this genre derives its whole whisky soaked charm from.
Flanked by hordes of fishnet and glitter clad squealing beauties from as far afield as Sweden, Canada and London and fortified by a domino line of Becks bottles by the drumriser, each of which Robin cracks open with his teeth and downs in turn the Intergalactic Rockstars look every inch the rock’n’roll cliché and they’re on a mission to rock you.
Armed with only a Planet Fame sized ego and a neatly-applied coating of eyeliner they launch an initial attack in the shape of Cheap Trick-esque album opener ‘T.V Trash’ – the first strike in their campaign to ensure they Will be your favourite new band by the end of the evening. Continuing the assault with ‘Suburban Sci-Fi’ ‘Time Travel Tonite’ and some deadly hip-shakin moves they halt battle only long enough to swig some more beer and flirt with the front rows in underhand attempt to sleep with the enemy.
A whole lot more fun to watch than the other kind of Star Wars the Intergalactic Rockstars finish up victorious, the audience captive for closer ‘So Sick Of You’. Mission accomplished they return for an encore of the modest ‘Better Than You’. Combine a charm like that with the collective powers of Amen and the Wildhearts and the next time we see them if could be footing one of the best bills in rock history. All hail. /Alison.

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