Amazingly, the day before the gig Steel Panther announced another tour in November with tickets on sale on Friday. With their recent opening slot for Def Leppard/Motley Crue and a performance at Download coming up you can’t fault their work-rate. Pretty damn good for a band a lot of people classed as a novelty cover act not too long ago.
Openers The Treatment weren’t too bad. A young bunch of upstarts from down south with all the bottle needed to get a crowd interested in them. They really looked the part with all the poses, bouncing, jackets, flash guitars and so on. The music wasn’t half bad and after the first couple of tracks my foot was tapping. It took me a while to find anything about them online – the name doesn’t make it easy to Google – but if you want to sample some of their stuff then check out their MySpace page.
Steel Panther bounced on stage (despite their creaky ages – Michael Starr‘s 50-ish years is constantly referred to throughout the set) around nine o’ clock and launched into a cracking set of songs from both albums. Starr has a cracking voice and in Satchel they have an incredibly talented guitarist. Drummer Stix Zadinia (*childish giggle*) is no slow poke either, and also a dab hand on the keyboards. It’s always hard to rate bassists especially with the mushy sound you get at the Academy, but Lexxi Foxxx at least looks the preening part.
Despite being just off the lower floor area, we had a cracking view of all the action. They easily had the energy of the younger opening band, and a sense of humour more appropriate for an early teenager. Nob gags, blow-job miming, constant cries of “boobies!”, painful segues into each track – all of this made for a highly entertaining 90 minutes. If there was anything missing it was [name song here].
As ever, when a band has a decent amount of material to pick from, they always have to skip some stuff. In my opinion I’d hoped for “Stripper Girl” and “The Shocker”. Although I bet that there was one guy in the crowd who was more disappointed than me at the lack of the latter – he’d gone to all the trouble of dressing up for it!
The set passed in no time at all, including a couple of songs for an encore. The teenage part of me loved them grabbing girls from the audience to dance on stage for them and – surprise – one of them flashed the audience. I’m sure she’ll love that one cropping up all over Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…
We legged it right after the gig to dodge the crowd and because Wendi had to drive home. As it turned out, the band left the venue while the crowd were still outside to sign autographs and get pictures taken. Great to hear that they’re still very much in touch with the people who are spending hard-earned cash to put them where they are. There aren’t that many bands that will still do that in this day and age.