Review by Donna Craddock || Photos by Christopher James Ryan
It’s a balmy late-summer evening, and whilst the droves of students queue for cheap drinks and dance music at Deansgate Locks, Rebellion Club across the road is packed with a respectable number of metalheads, all eagerly awaiting the return of Psychostick, a comedy-metal band hailing from Arizona.
But first, we have Manchester’s Kringer and the Battle Katz, who provide me with my first experience with metal trombone (Verdict; Awesome!) and have songs about dinosaurs in space (“Space T-Rex”) and the pitfalls of losing at Streetfighter 2 (“Balrog Stole My Bitches”) and they were a wonderfully entertaining start to the evening.
Secondly, we have another Manchester band, Footprints in the Custard. I’ve been very much looking forward to seeing these guys as I missed their triumphant performance at Bloodstock Festival this year and they did not disappoint. Beginning with a charming little ditty about Emo kids being facially raped by bears, followed by a song about the merits of having sex on a bouncy castle, (after which a costume change was had, Tutus and Mankinis being de rigeur this evening) they were stupidly entertaining. They are responsible for the first ever ‘wall of hump’ I have witnessed. It’s similar to a wall of death, except you hump the person you run towards. Infantile? Yes. Hilarious? Absolutely!
Their final song, a rousing rendition of “It’s Raining Men” has the crowd properly riled up and even more eager to witness the majesty that is Psychostick.
With 7 albums (including a Christmas special) Psychostick, from ‘Clusterfuck, Ohio’ have a huge amount of material to refer to, but they manage to pick a fantastic selection for their ‘Man-Chest-Hair’ crowd. Starting with “Welcome To The Show” and quickly running into “Obey The Beard,” “Dogs Like Socks,” and “Boobs,” they send the crowd absolutely mental. Psychostick have so many songs to draw from, and while they admit that some people are never happy with their selection, they have a novel way of trying to make everyone happy-a tub of paper with song titles written on, selected by the crowd. “Sombrero Prophecy” sees them gifting a manly man in the audience with a glorious sombrero, and directing the audience to try and rip it from his head in bits and pieces. Things got a bit mental at that point, ending up with a huge pile of sweaty metallers falling over into a giant pile of grimness in their quest to retrieve the sombrero.
“The World’s Shortest Song,” “Vah Jay Jay,” and “No Pun Intended” are received with great enthusiasm, despite not one of them being longer than a couple of seconds. “Bruce Campbell” and “NSFW” (a song with nothing but the word ‘Fuck’ being sung to the tune of several well-known classical compositions. That makes it sound much classier than it is.) are obviously fan favourites so are chaotically received. They go on to debut a new song, “Adulting,” followed by “Beer” and “So Heavy” to finish their set. They leave the stage to hide behind a guitar case, not the most convincing of stage exits, but they come back to play one of my now favourite encores of all time, a metal version of “The Hokey Cokey,” to which the entire crowd puts their whole selves in, their whole selves out, in out, in out, and shake that motherfucker about.
The support bands were perfect picks for this evening, but Psychostick blew the roof off this small venue in central Man-Chest-Hair. An absolutely awesome, sweaty, shouty, hilarious mess of an evening!