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Turbonegro Boat Trip.


I’d all but given up hope of shivering me timbers aboard the SS Turbonegro, figuring it most likely to be a purely Musick Biz Parasite show. But Turbo don’t forget the Jugend, and thankfully some tickets went out to the people who like the band - because they fucking LIKE them.

So, tickets in hand, off we merrily went to stand in the shadow of Big Ben with an admiral assortment of denim delinquents. Awaiting the arrival of Das Boot, I spotted none other than TV Smith and Gaye Advert milling around. Cool! The writers/players of some of my fave punk songs from yesteryear were gonna share in some of the greatest punk songs of THIS year.

Ah, but what is this I see sailing towards us? Not a warship? Not the Good Ship Venus? No, just yer usual Thames touristy-type boat - but with a difference: six denim-clad death-punks on it’s stern (that’s the front - I looked it up). The TurboThamesTrip: London&Mac226;s No.1 tourist attraction! I don’t fucking think so, judging by the incredulous stares from passers-by!

So on we go - each receiving our very own SS Turbonegro sailors hat! Just as it was gonna go on me head, I spotted ‘Rule Britannia’ cruelly printed on the other side - BASTARDS! I’m not wearing THAT! Fuck Brittania! All thoughts of revolution soon passed as I noticed the queue for the bar and hurriedly joined it lest it should grow even bigger and result in some sort of shortage. There was barely time to have a beer, deliver a bag full of Gin Goblins CDs to Happy Tom, and watch yet more incredulous looks from the occupants of the other boats sailing the Thames when a shout of (strangely enough) - “Oi!” - came from the PA.


Yup, Turbonegro had somehow slipped on stage - well, the part of the floor designated as the ‘stage’, and we hadn’t even noticed! Perhaps they&Mac226;d learnt some tricks off Tore Torrel, the magician who made them appear out of nowhere on their Scandinavian summer dates? Whatever.

“Just Flesh” kicked off the proceedings in fine style and the place was packed within the first verse, sailor hats aplenty. This “Ass Cobra” classic seems to have been slowed down a helluva lot since it’s vinyl appearance, but still fucking kicks you right in the teeth, in a distinctly Kings Of Punk fashion. Baby make it hurt, baby make it last - oh yeah! By this time the crowd were already starting to spill onto the ‘stage’, but were amazingly well behaved. Not one Village Idiot to be found, and good vibes prevailed. The Jugend were united in deathpunk (and the journos were no doubt cowering at the back and sides). But who’s this? Not someone you&Mac226;d normally expect on the water - it&Mac226;s that most promising cowboy himself, the Prince Of The Rodeo! Mucho guitar pyrotechnics from Euroboy dominate this Dudes fuckin&Mac226; CLASSIC! And on cue, the crowd go wild! Hank, by this point, has stripped down to his Scandinavian Leather, thus causing a bigger crush as his beergut spills forth. Be careful if you go swimming in yer homeland’s waters, Hanky-boy! Half way through the song, possibly spotting Lesson 5 being delivered on Tower Bridge by a curly ginger-haired fool, Hank climbs through the boat’s open-top and disappears from view. Well, at least from our view - there&Mac226;s probably still dumbfounded tourists on other boats wondering: WHAT WAS THAT???. An extended middle bit perhaps sees the rest of the band wondering where he’s gone, but before long we’re all riding high, riding low, as the song takes us places other bands can’t even fucking dream of! Have I told you how much of a classic Prince Of The Rodeo is yet?!


Hank returned from his visit atop, telling us of seeing the highlights of London, and a huge statue that he took to be Paul Weller: “I said to Paul Weller, to get a statue like that, you must&Mac226;ve been selling your body to the night! (more like selling shit albums to old cunts of every age). But that was a cue if ever there was one, and indeed “Sell You Body (To The Night)” was up next. Now I don’t mind admitting that if this song was done by just about anyone else, I’d fucking hate it (apart from the fast Motorhead bit!), but somehow it all makes sense with Turbo. Christ, they can even get me liking 80’s permed euro-metal! Still, it starts with a cry of “human flesh” - something that’s always enjoyable to shout out. Euroboy goes into pose and throw-rawk-shapes overload in keeping with the song - but - are you ready for some darkness? The lights go out, the PA cuts, and there&Mac226;s a thump as the boat hits something - at last, I think, the pigs have boarded us, and now we can give them the battle the Pistols never did! Richard Branson can appear looking like Cat Weasel, and Chris Summers can be ol’ Cookie and carry on playing the drums until a rozzer puts his hand on him to stop! If you’ve not seen the Great Rock n Roll Swindle - you have no idea what I&Mac226;m going on about! As always greets power cuts, a great cheer goes up from the crowd, and though I’ve been trying to hold it in, I have to shout “they&Mac226;ve arrested Malcolm”.

As it turns out, the cops haven’t formed a boarding party, but the boat is in danger of capsizing - which is almost as good. The assorted Turbojugend, it seems, weigh quite a bit more than the Turbonegro and their gear, so naturally one side of the boat is sinking into the murky depths. Everyone kinda just stands around while there seems to be some to-ing and fro-ing outside. Of course it doesn’t take long before the crowd starts singing “I Got Erection”, whilst no doubt other boats on the Thames speed up to get away from whatever the fuck is going on. Eventually someone explains to Hank what the problem is and he sorta explains it to the crowd: “you’ve been eating too much, you’re too fat, you’re too stupid” - and people make a half-hearted attempt to balance the weight. Without too much further ado, the band break into the fast (and funnily enough, BEST) part of “Sell You Body” - and off we go again! Splendid.

After this it’s time for Hank to give us all an important historical lecture. Apparently this trip hasn’t happened since Malcolm McDowell forced Queen to do the very same thing, though really, he went on to explain, it was all about networking with the ‘industry nobility’. Of course that should read ‘industry NOABILITY’ - the bunch of cunts.

“That’s what we’re all about, we’re just arse-lickers and cock-suckers, and this one is for the business-people: “Turbonegro Must Be Destroyed”.

And it&Mac226;s off into one of Scandinavian Leather’s finest moments. I’m sure most of the aforementioned business people were cowering down the stairs by this point. Reminiscent of the Ass Cobra material, this never fails to get the crowd going - and I love the TOTALLY Ass Cobra guitar solo - muso fans! “Back To Dungaree High” was to ‘educate the ghost of Mark E Smith’, and what can I say - another fucking classic! I dunno - few bands have so many damn AMAZING songs - starting of with New Rose drums it knocks you flat with it’s killer chorus - such a trip just to survive, indeed! Talking of surviving, the boat was still in danger of going to meet Davy Jones and his locker (what’s in it, the other three?) so Hank called the crowd onto the ‘stage’ to balance things out. Now Turbo were in our midst, which was a most enjoyable perspective, it must be said. I could sit down on Pal Pot’s keyboards - thus adding my own piece of piano backing if I wanted. It was time to “Get It On” - and we did! A mass crowd singalong ensued - we liked it, loved it, liked it, loved it. Handsome Hank Von Helvete did too!

Next it was time to get “Drenched In Blood”, though no bucket of blood was forthcoming this time. A balloon did appear floating above Euroboy&Mac226;s head, which seemed a strange substitute. Hank was obviously eager for some “Good Head”, dedicating it to some flavour-of-the-month band before realising he still had to “Fuck The World” first. And Fuck The World he did - whilst some blonde-haired twat waved the afore-mentioned balloon around and didn&Mac226;t know the song - I smell the blood of journalist. Well, I would’ve liked to. Did I mention I slightly dislike the musick press?! But fuck all that – “Good Head!” And who woulda thought it? Mucho wildness from the ass-em-bled m-ass-es (sorry - had to!). Now it has been said that this song in itself encompasses (there it is again!) everything rock n roll is about - and you know what – it’s true! Classic tune - and who can go wrong with an extended noise outro?


According to the set-list it was encore time - but no way could Turbo squeeze through the crowd for the ‘walk-off-stage’ part, so it was straight into what is surely one of the Wonders Of The World, “Age Of Pamparious”. Now there are a lot of theories as to how this song was built, but I reckon it had to be alien intervention myself. So, er, WONDROUS it is. And about Pizza too! Motherfucking pizza at that. Cue expected crowd chaos - better step back as the deathpunk burns!

Now I have to say it - there was ONE disappointment in the night - and this was it: Turbo tour manager holding up one finger at Hank. The dreaded ‘one more song’ finger. The dreaded ‘one more song finger’ that should ALWAYS be ignored. The major problem I had here was that “Sailor Man” was the next song on the list - and the one I’d been waiting all night on. With the release of “Scandinavian Leather”, “Ass Cobra” has been slightly sidelined, so it’s always a joy to hear stuff off the album that got me into them in the first place. But no! The one song that should been played ended up being missed out cos of that damn finger. Nooo! No fair! Let us fucking sink! With “Sailor Man” as the soundtrack Neptune’ll see us alright! But it’s not to be, boys and girls. Not this time anyway. Instead it’s the usual set-closer, and classic in its own right, “I Got Erection”. Not before another short history lesson from Mr.Von Helvete. This time it’s the story of Gay Fox - the guy who was so horny he came like an explosion under the English parliament. See, educational as well as pleasant on the ears, that’s Turbonegro. But the touchpaper was lit, and there was no going back - off went the song, and off went the crowd once more, including your correspondent, here displaying just how pogoing should be done (no room for The Grapple though). Pal Pot handed me the mic - so naturally the backing vocals were exceptional too! I don&Mac226;t believe for a second the soundman found himself instinctively reaching for the ‘mute’ button on that channel, no way.

All too soon it was over. Way too fucking soon. It was about 50 minutes, but seemed like 10 - truly the sign of an exceptional gig. All that was left was to confuse Happy Tom with: “I thought you were gonna do Frigging In The Rigging” - as he made his way off to snort chemicals off Gin Goblins records (it’s true - shocking eh?). Fucking hell, still another 4 hours or so to go and the band’s finished. Fortunately the bar was still there, alongside some great disc-spinning by the DJ - everything from the Damned, to Crass, to ATV, to Killing Joke, numerous 60’s garage nuggets, alongside some awful disco and metal. Can&Mac226;t beat sailing up the Thames, beer in hand, listening to “London Calling”. Turbo were conspicuous in their presence and seemed happy to talk to the hordes. See - nice people too!

All too soon 2am came (not before I’d managed to find a tenner - result! Being Scottish, this is my best memory of the evening). Time to leave, arrghhh! As we stumbled down the gangplank, I swear I saw a ghostly image of a curly-haired ginger fool being pulled about by figures in black. Hmm, who knows - but they say on certain nights by the banks of the Thames all sorts of weird things have been known to be seen. Judging by tonight, the same is true of the river itself. A hundred or so sailor-hat wearing freaks chanting “I Got Erection” whilst six denim-clad freaks do the same - there MUST be tourists vowing never to return after witnessing that little display! Good!

“Extra special mother-fucking summer boat party” - it was advertised as. And you know what? It mother-fucking WAS!

Dave Gingoblin – tMx11 – 09/03
Try this out: www.gingoblins.com

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