Damien’s pick… On the 23rd of December at 8pm, the doors will open on an evening of style and substance rarely found in this time of often unchallenged expectation. Not only is it a performance by the striking talent that is Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos, but it is the band’s only ‘home’ date on their European English tour and the latest installment in their notorious warehouse parties.
For more on this secret Xmas shindig, including online ticket sales – priced at £6 (adv) and £8 (otd), click here.
Luckily for us, on top of Birmingham Review having supported JKATSW since their first release, through to this current one and no doubt beyond, we also have the pleasure of having Johnny Kowalski himself as part of our contributing staff. As such, who better to introduce this unusual evening than it’s organiser and star performer? I give you; the lesser hatted JK….
Words by Johnny Kowalski
So, it’s nearly Christmas kids. This weekend will see dozens, if not hundreds, of Christmas parties across the city. Some of them will be intimate gatherings in flats or front rooms; some will have celebrity headliners, fireworks and thousands of paying guests. Which begs the question, why come to ours?
Well, I genuinely believe that ours will be the most fun. Or at least, it’s going to be as fun as we can possibly make it. Maybe seeing three of the Midlands’ best underground live acts whilst surrounded by a boisterous cross section of some of the best freaks and vagabonds I’ve ever met isn’t your idea of fun, but I deeply recommend you try it.
First, a word on the venue – the location of which can only be found out via direct contact with the Sexy Weirdos Facebook page. We’re leading you to a specially modified warehouse space that straddles the line between professionally kitted out club and nineties rave space. The reason why we, and other bands, do things like this is despite their best efforts sometimes even the best venues can end up falling flat on atmosphere. Sometimes you need to go off the beaten track to do something special. And our hardcore fans will assure you that you can trust us to deliver.
And so, to the bands. Kidderminster’s The Stiff Joints represent an anomaly to the mainstream scene – a band that has huge grass roots support playing up and down the country to thousands of people every year, yet has zero traction in the music press because they unashamedly embrace ska. If you come to see them, you will dance. You will smile. You will sing along to songs you’ve only just heard. This is all you need to know so make sure you’re there early to see their set, or risk looking like a massive tit.
Bedrock Bullets provided one of my favourite moments at a gig this year when one of their sets in Kings Heath ended with a double bass being thrown around the stage. At one point I thought the guy was actually going to throw his double bass at the audience. At a time in music when the words ‘rock and roll’ seem to be associated with timid, uptight people, this behaviour filled me with joyous wonder. Every great rock and roll band needs a great front person and Bedrock Bullets have theirs in the charming and talented Julie Bedwell.
And then there’s us – Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos, playing a mix of traditional numbers and a host of original songs drawn from our three album back catalogue. There will, of course, be something of an emphasis on tracks from our latest release, European English. If you haven’t seen us before, expect a wide palette of high octane grooves, manic fiddle lines, a demented peacock of a singer who alternates between yelling and trying to sing, and a bass player that seems to be trapped in a Wurzel Gummidge version of Iron Maiden. Oh, and a closing medley that segues Steppenwolf, Hendrix, Boney M and even ‘Ride of the Valkyries’.
Closing the night are DJ Tenov, seen this year at Bearded Theory and Horsedrawn, and local legend DJ Christie. Both have been given a loose brief to play disco but will almost certainly drift off into other genres as the dawn approaches.
Or you could just go to Wetherspoons with the people from work. The choice is yours.
‘Megahorse’ – Johnny Kowalski & the Sexy Weirdos (taken from European English)
Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos host their Xmas Party as a secret location on Saturday 23rd December. For more on the event, including online ticket sales, click here.
For more on Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos, visit www.sexyweirdos.co.uk
For more on The Stiff Joints, visit www.thestiffjoints.co.uk
For more on Bedrock Bullets, visit www.facebook.com/Bedrock-Bullets