Punish The Atom, Mystery Meat, Stupid Club

Mark Ralph 13/05/2005

Another Friday night in Camden, strange men shouting outside the tube station, people on push-bikes selling 'skunk weed', and the indie elite assembled and ready to party. Friday the 13th offered Camden club goers two great nights of untamed rock. With all the stories and urban myths that surrounded the previous Club NME night, I was surprised to see the happenings of last week did not seem to deter the Topshop student types that frequent this kind of event. Ignoring all the hype (and the very high probability of me pulling in such an event) I strolled passed the venue un-phased knowing that my night at the Turtle was going to be something else.

Unfortunately, not due to indie snobbery but delayed bowel movements, a result of my previous night out made me miss the quirky Teenage Mutants, who apparently shall be known forever more for their outstanding contribution of 9 second songs, screeching loudly, and amazing costume design.... who'da thought there would ever be a female Darth Vader, or a teenage mutant ninja turtle playing drums?

Stupid Club took to the stage for only their third ever gig! I'm not too sure if I believe them though, as their whole set was practically flawless and they looked as if they have had all the time in the world to gel musically with one another. A nice mix of fast and slow - hard and soft material from the boys seemed to please the crowd and I guess comparisons can be drawn with other soft-rock bands, but I wouldn't know to be honest.

Mystery Meat - beef, lamb, pork perhaps, but chicken they most certainly are not. From the ashes of Ikara Colt rise Mystery Meat a good-time three piece that are clearly going to be 'the next big thing' or whatever. After a minor technical bass mishap (I'll place my money on a dodgy lead) the three find their feet and provide the Purple Turtle crowd, now in full boogie, with one of my favourite songs of this year - Kiss My Lurid Elements, which reminds me of the sort of balls-out rock I had fallen in love with as a nipper. Bass, drums and guitar perfectly complimenting one another, it's a simple tune that delivers maximum punch. Tracy's power stance, Alex's Plant-esque shrieks, Adrian's solid groove all make for a great show and I will make sure to attend as many of their shows as humanly possible. Tracy, who played bass on Ikara Colt's second album is also easily the nicest 'rock chick' I've ever met and I think I love her.

I've heard so many good things about the final act that a poorly timed piss-break was definitely out of the question. Jumping around to Punish The Atom's first song of the set seemed easier than I thought, even with a bladder full of Kronemburg and I only found myself rubbing shoulders with the (almost) legendry Ms. Kelly Osbourne herself! Argh-fame!

Vocalist Joey Bell didn't seem to care who was in the crowd and scaled the DJ tower jumping back onto the stage and into bassist, Jonny Legender (great name) on more than one occasion, clearly unhappy in keeping within the confines of the stage. The live presence of this band is amazing and Christy Fowlston seemed to be 'giving evils' to those who weren't jumping around as much as he had liked, reminding me of Andy Huxley from the 80's Matchbox not just hair-cut-wise but his movements on stage too. The final song of their set ended in style with Tracy of the previous band rugby tackling Joey sending him tumbling to the floor and into my bad knee, which hurt him more than it hurt me I'm sure. Are Punish The Atom really as good as the clued-up indie population say they are? No, they are probably a bit better, but don't rely on my hazy comments - go see them for yourselves.