The CRAMPS are gone, but the spirit lives on in the Teenage Werewolves
The Green Door store back on 23 August 2021 held what was promised to be an exciting double band night replicating Bauhaus and The Cramps. That was the last time the bands were in Brighton. Tonight in Komedia in Brighton was, as was the last time we got a visit, the last night of the UK Tour. That previous tour was slotted in during the Pandemic series of lockdowns. Komedia was pretty near capacity with people waiting to see what was about to be unleashed and to hear some great music. Quite a few audience members were at that Green Door Store performance, and so the atmosphere was expectant, excited and full of anticipation!
The entertainment tonight was powered and provided by Jack Atlantis and his band. Chatting to him after the set it was great to hear that LA accent again and have a catch up.
Ok, this is where it gets tricky dear reader. This is where one could easily get confused. Two bands – but, save for a change of stage attire, they are the same band as we had just seen in She’s In Bauhaus! One band, Bauhaus, fairly cool and collected, the next band, The Cramps, known for their exuberant riot of a performance. Can the Teenage Werewolves pull this off?
Jack – voice, Jess on guitar, Madi on Guitar, Joni on Drums and Harrison on bass guitar. They all looked great as they returned to the stage in a change of attire.
From the get go, let me 100% confirm, this is no ordinary tribute band! The band took to the stage, settled in and plugged in. Jack (LUX INTERIOR) leapt onto the stage, with a huge grin and microphone in hand. Clad in head to toe in a skin tight black latex number, another huge set of sunglasses. He just exploded out in front of us. Talk about making an entrance, this is how to do it! Some of us knew what to expect and some members of the crowd did not realise what we were about to experience!
He and the band launched into Sunglasses After Dark, Whats Inside a Girl and the song from which the band gleaned their name Teenage Werewolf.
No one managed to equal the Cramps stylistically, they were in a different league to anyone or anything else out there at the time. Jack and the band hit that sweet spot with new outfits and hairstyles! Extraordinary how these guys morphed from one band into another. Garbage Man and Goo Goo Muck proved how damn close to the real deal The Teenage Werewolves are.
Lux and the Cramps were serious about rockabilly, horror, sci-fi B-movies and 50s kitsch. They were all about keeping it pure, raw and minimal. The Teenage Werewolves, incidentally named after a Cramps song, ticked all of those boxes. Teenage Werewolf was in the set and Jack and his band as the evening progressed set to work, raising the bar. It got loud, messy, hot and bloody good sexy fun.
More Cramps goodness fired out from the Werewolves including Pussy Do The Dog and You’ve Got Good Taste, naming a couple more. Jack, the only person with a glass drinking vessel in the venue, swigged from a bottle of “Chardonnay” from time to time.
Bikini Girls With Machine Guns closed the set, but the crowd erupted and the band stayed on stage to deliver smack in the face heart stopping numbers. Guitars and drums led us into the wonderful Human Fly and Love of Ivy, and they slotted in Most Exalted to close the show.
Jack is an ultimate performer. I think he loved being so close to his audience. He would vanish into the crowd, he would pose for selfies. There was no stopping him tonight, sweat dripping from his outfit along the stitched seams. Even the loss of one of his heels on his boots didn’t stop him. The man is a performing dynamo and one of the nicest people you could ever want to meet.
I had waited a long couple of years to see these guys again, and it was so well worth waiting for. Great to catch up with Harrison who said he has never been so busy and loving it. Great to then have a good ole fashioned chat with Jack and catch up over what has happened since we last met.
He told me that after the Green Door store gig, between lockdowns, every member of the band then went down with Covid. Jack hinted they may return to the UK next year, and was working on some dates. Will I be there? Damn right I will, and so will the crowd that gathered tonight.
Garage Punk, Psychobilly, whatever-the-hell. They were The Cramps. The Teenage Werewolves do it and do it well. Jack Atlantis replicates Lux Interior with his growling, yowling, screaming into his microphone. All topped off in a latex and high heeled wearing glory. Keep it going Jack, we love what you do.
Many people saw The Cramps, and a load of us didnt. Teenage Werewolves bring Lux and The Cramps back to life. Seriously I cant commend or recommend these guys highly enough! JUST GO SEE ‘EM!
“Teenage Werewolves”, your cure for The Cramps are the world’s best Cramps tribute – that is without doubt!
A VIDEO! Live – Can Pussy Do Dog
Thanks to The Teenage Werewolves
Words and photos by Ian Bourn.
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