CKY (Live Review – The Underworld, London, May 22 2017)
When a band’s legacy and reputation endures for as long as CKY’s has, it’s obvious they’re on to something special. Last night, CKY’s latest tour came to an end with the second of two shows at legendary London rock venue The Underworld – and some 500 residents of the capital’s underground scene watched them close proceedings with a sonically pummelling set.
Live, CKY strike the perfect balance between punishing alt-metal and bouncy, disco-inflected party tunes that underline the fact that this band are all about having fun and not taking life too seriously. Beyond The Human Drive In Hi-Fi, Sporadic Movement, Sink Into The Underground, and Frenetic Amnesic comes an earth-quaking, pit-sparking run-through of Rio Bravo. And we’re fucking off.
CKY know their fans – and the reaction to Flesh Into Gear and Shock And Terror was appropriately OTT. Days Of Self Destruction – a fresh cut from upcoming album The Phoenix, reviewed here – received plenty of focused attention, the crowd soaking it in before moshing for Attached At The Hip and going completely apeshit in response to CKY’s ultimate signature song, 96 Quite Bitter Beings.
One slow, bluesy guitar solo spot later and Escape From Hellview emerges as the Underworld echoes every single lyric. It’s the kind of response every band dreams of – and in CKY’s case, it’s more than deserved. Then comes Promiscuous Daughter alongside some Pete Townshend-style windmills and the traditional stage-abandonment-in-preparation-for-encore fake-set-closer moment.
And what a hell of an encore. Joined by none other than Jackass legend Bam Margera for a cathartic cover of Turbonegro’s All My Friends Are Dead before diving into G G Allin’s Bite It You Scum and tearing through epic climax Knee Deep, CKY ripped their home stretch a new one. Many front-row high-fives later, it was all over – and the overexcitable chaos continued outside the venue, as it always does on any given Camden evening.
CKY’s reputation remains as solid as ever. If you get a chance to see them live, you know you have to do it. No doubt.
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