Monsters from Mars show review
story Brian LaVallie
Upon entering the Kensington Club for the Saturday night bill of DJ Mikey, the Hell On Heels burlesque show that included a sword swallowing fire eater, and the Monsters from Mars, I was greeted by two lovely big hair, wide smiles and shaking hips door girls, dressed like they were auditioning for an Austin Powers film. I gladly handed over the three-dollar cover.
Once inside the dark lit room, DJ Mikey was posted up against the wall spinning from his collection of fifties thru recent surf/garage rock with selections from around the globe. The music reminded me of the Velvet Underground or Iggy and the Stooges with a surf twist providing a good vibe. The short songs kept DJ Mikey busy changing seven and twelve inch colored vinyl in-between conversing with passersby and giving an occasional well mimicked seal bark of approval. On the opposite side of the room in front of the stage on about a sixty inch diagonal screen was projected footage of fifties and sixties era women dancing and gyrating in garter belts, heels, sequin corsets and fishnets then usually removing their tops for a finale of smiling boob jiggling. About fifty friends were enjoying the atmosphere and keeping the bar girl busy. All of the booths were full to capacity.
After quite a few tunes from DJ Mikey the burlesque show girls who had been mingling with the crowd began to assemble and began their show. They were dressed similar to the door girls with rich red hair, short skirts and boot pumps. One girl had a white hairdo reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe, another a Nubian princess with a good sized black Afro. They were admirably announced one by one in voice and by text from a card girl who held up names such as Ophelia Handful and Dixie von Trixie as they appeared. It was a time machine exercise to sixties Las Vegas as they danced to music reminiscent of the theme song to Hawaii Five-O. They removed silk gloves, skirts and shirts to whoops of excited delight from the crowd. Bras were flung aside as well revealing all or painted glistening nipples to appreciative cheers making a smooth transition from the projected images during the DJ set to the current flesh. Next a man who is part of a circus smoothly swallowed a sword and proceeded to swallow fire announcing the intentions of his feats beginning with “I will swallow fire then I will….” prior to performing them. He was able to hold the fire in his mouth for long enough to blow it out to one and then two sticks that he had used to consume the flame from initially. All providing an entertaining contrast to the sexiness of the burlesque.
After a short break and a few raunchy jokes from promoter Bob $tencil (A Bob Stencil does Comic -con video on the httP://www.myspace.commonstersfrommars site is worthwhile for Borat enthusiasts) dressed like a seventies player with big shades and attitude like an oversexed, well paid porn director, the Monsters from Mars tore into the fading laughter with full force prompting instant uncontrollable dancing to speedy drumming, meandering guitar and organ over loopy bouncing bass. The five piece founded in the summer of 2001 consisted of original members Scott Jones on small basses and Theremin and Thor Andersen on lead guitar, sometimes singing as well as Alex on baritone guitar, Anastasia on Farfisa organ rounded with Paul Naylor on drums. They meshed well with a surf/garage and punk feel combining Dick Dale and the Dead Kennedys to form a rebellious fun groove that inspired mostly soul moshing with a small episode of slam dancing.
The Monsters from Mars achieve a complexity of sound reminiscent of sixties surf/garage bands due in part to their equipment. In addition to a Marshal amp head, guitarist Thor Andersen uses a Fender outboard reverb tank that is similar to a reverb guitar pedal to add sound depth. Scott Jones (bass) also plays a Theremin through a delay pedal to give a creepy eeriness to the background and the Farfisa organ (Italian-sixties) gives a great accordion tone popularized by sixties greats the Animals and the Monkees. The short and sweet songs were broken up by short solos, cheers and 1,2,3,4 count ins. They played their surf/garage style through a cover of Britney Spears tune Toxic, found on their more recent seven inch vinyl Surfing through a creepy castle available on tictactotally.com, as well as the B52’s classic Rock Lobster to finish their set. The Monsters from Mars delivered the goods in spoonfuls.
Everyone had a great time and I’m sure is likely looking forward to their show at the Tower Bar coming up in March. Surf’s up for the Monsters from Mars. BV
Photos © Reviewer Rob.