Barb Wire Dolls / Louise Distras / Dapitz at Bannermans, Edinburgh (15th October 2016)

First up tonight, local Edinburgh old school punks Dapitz. Having seen the lads before, and being a punk as well as a metal fan, I was looking forward to it.

dapitz-edinburgh-2016The band have a new bass player who is a fair bit heavier on the bass which actually works really well in the context of the band. The boys have a new album out shortly, a copy of which was thrust upon me at the gig. I’ve not had a chance to listen to it yet but judging by the new tracks tonight its gonna be a stoater with “Armageddon” being a particular favourite tonight.

Dapitz are a lot tighter tonight with both guitarists playing well tonight and the drummer Jeff is a wee powerhouse on the drums keeping the old one/two rhythm going. The singer, Ian, was totally on form tonight and his teeth were in which made all the difference with the vocals! The band blast through a thirty minute set with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. This is proper old school punk with no airs and graces about it.

If you like your bands like 999, The Clash, Sex Pistols and so on then Dapitz is definitely the band for you. If you get the chance go see them live and pick up the CD at the merch stand, then do so. They need to get their Facebook page bang up to date and get the promotion ball rolling – no excuse in this day and age for not staying up to date as it will help the band in the long run.

Next up is Louise Distras who Rodney Bingenheimer (KROQ Radio) decribed as “The UK answer to Joan Jett”. High praise indeed and you can see why in the older material for sure. The band are quite the powerhouse with Louise Distras on guitar/vocals, Violet Stow on drums and bass from Zoe Vivienne Parr.

louise-distras-edinburgh-2016They play a number from 2013’s excellent debut Dreams From the Factory floor album and since then she has toured with the likes of Billy Bragg, The Buzzcocks, and the Damned to name but a few. We also have Kerrang TV/Magazine picking up on her new single “Aileen” about serial killer Aileen Wuornos who killed seven men who she said had either raped or attempted to rape her. She was executed in 2002. This is real powerful stuff.

The band are full on live with Zoe rarely standing still on bass and Violet was quite the powerhouse on drums. Louise is quite the intimidating front woman from her full on guitar and vocals to her spoken word, which I have to say is very powerful indeed. The band are very intense live and before Louise launched into a spoken segment, she said she wanted a diva moment and asked myself and another gentleman who was taking the odd photo down the front to move to the back… which said gentleman did. I moved to the side slightly as I was mainly here for the headliners.

I really enjoyed the set tonight. It is not often you come across someone with such strong convictions and who is willing to get it all out there and it was kind of refreshing to have the spoken elements along with the rock n roll elements. If they play down your neck of the woods go catch them, and give the new single a wee listen… and look up the story behind it.

The main event now. When I first encountered The Barb Wire Dolls back in 2014, I described them as one of the most exciting bands I have ever seen and that still holds today. The band are touring on the back of the excellent new album Desperate (reviewed here), released on Lemmy’s Motorhead label and signed up by the man himself which says it all.

The Dolls are now a five piece with Jay Jay (bass) gone and replaced by Iriel Blaque, along with adding in rhythm guitarist Remmington. The band’s sound has become fuller, which you really notice on the new album, over the more edgy debut album Slit and even more so live. They hit the stage running and don’t stop with tracks like “Shut Up Slut” from 2012’s Slit, which would sit well with the early Sex Pistols. Just listen to the guitars – pure early punk.

barb-wire-dolls-edinburgh-2016-2The first track from the new album, “Darby Crash”, kicks in with the crunching guitars we’ve come to expect from the Dolls with Isis asking to be let in on your secret as she changes tone all the way through the track. A wild ride in the form of “Destroyer Boy” from Slit is simply one of the highlights for me tonight, with Krash in full flight on the drums while Isis seeks and destroys the audience tonight. The track changes pace all over the place between Pyn and Remmington with Iriel pounding away with Krash.

The guitars tickle away on the intro to “Surreal” as Isis carries us along on the crest of a wave that is her voice. When slowed down as in this track, it shows the depth that she can put into a song when not shouting out the lyrics. Accompanied by hints of the Foo fighters in the guitar work, this is no bad thing. The crowd is bouncing about now as we have a “Heart Attack” from Desperate, sheer cardiac is so true with the band in full flight as this track takes on a life of it’s own. Krash thunders in, “Here we go!” yells Isis and we do… another favourite from tonight.

Old school kicks you in the head with the “Walking Dead” from Slit as they tear through it. Isis screams she’s the Walking Dead – nothing could be further from the truth. This is a band truly alive, doing it for real and you can see why Lemmy signed them up. As they kick in with “Take Me Home” with it’s bounce-about infectious grooves, you realise that Krash is truly important to the sound of the band as he plays away with ease filling in all the required areas that make up the bands unique sound. This along with the voice that is Isis Queen, as we speed into the ending that takes us all home.

barb-wire-dolls-edinburgh-2016-1The guitar intro that takes us into Nirvana territory in the form of “Devil’s Full Moon” from Slit is stunning. This track could have been a female fronted Nirvana meets L7 with the honey-laden angst-filled voice of Isis screaming that she wants to feel underneath her skin. The guitars of Pyn and Remmington takes us into “Your Escape” as we are told to get out, get out, get out before it’s too late… not a chance not with this mob on stage!

The band take it up a notch with Isis screaming she wants to start a “Revolution”. Next, another that would easily fit in the original punk movement, the band end a stunning if all too short set with “We are Champions”, the single from last year. A hot sweating audience line up to meet and greet the band at the merch stall afterwards, no airs and graces here.

This is a band still carving its own direction, not following any crowd and they are more than happy doing it. Lemmy obviously saw himself in the band as, like him, they are the real deal. What you see is what you get, and I tell you what it is – a pretty damn killer live show that few so-called punk bands would struggle to match. If the band ever get near your area go see them and get the albums.

All photos by Gary Cooper.


  • Train Meets Truck – new
  • I Wanna Know – Slit
  • Shut Up Slut – Slit
  • Darby Crash – Desperate
  • Destroyer Boy – Slit
  • Surreal – Desperate
  • Heart Attack – Desperate
  • Walking Dead – Slit
  • Take me home – Desperate
  • Devil’s Full Moon – Slit
  • Your Escape – Slit
  • Revolution – Slit
  • Make Riot Not War (We Are Champions) – single 2015
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October 21, 2016 10:50 AM

[…] managed to squeeze in the time to chat with Barb Wire Dolls frontlady Isis Queen – along with reviewing the gig and taking all the photos. We’ve scheduled in some sleep for him a week on Thursday, but […]