When this hell of a double-header rolled into The Cambridge Hotel on Thursday 18 June, I knew I was in for some mayhem. Combine the tumultuous forces of old school ocker punk lords with new breed stoner-punk ruffians, both infamous for their wild, thrashing, beer-drenched antics, and chaos will surely ensue…
Musically, the Dune Rats and Cosmic Psychos come from two different schools of punk. The Dunies have this low-fi garage/surf sound that can drift freely between mellow one song, and raucously pumped the next. Then there’s the Cosmics, who hit you right in the face with their fast-paced, fuzzy-guitar, bare-knuckled brunt.
Spiritually, however, these two bands are joined at the hip. They believe in the party. Ripping it up until only scattered shreds of old clothes and dignity remain. Neither take themselves too seriously. It’s all about having fun, getting fucked up, and passing out, just to wake up with bruised eyes and the mother of all hangovers, ready to do it all again.
Needless to say, these dudes kicked ass. Both bands. Equally. I must admit, being a loyal Dunies fan, at first I wasn’t too sure on the pairing, or whether the Cosmics could still hold their own. But, the genius who put this double-header together nailed it.
Amid the solid crowd, a few frenzied on-stage antics, death circles, and some killer tunes, I learnt a few things along the way…
1. It’s not a Dunies show without someone doing a ‘shoey’
Step 1, open beer. Step 2, take off shoe. Step 3, pour beer in shoe. Step 4, scull.
The token Dune Rats party trick. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you’re against the idea of sullying a new pair of shoes, I guess?), Danny had a brand new pair of Vans on so BC didn’t have to deal with any extra dirty-feet juice. BC was then generous enough to toss it into the crowd for one lucky punter to finish off. What a guy.
2. Or crowdsurfing
Due to “the man” and his “rules”, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen crowdsurfing at The Cambridge, but this show seemed to be an exception. Though relatively short-lived, it was cool to see a couple of keen surfers were able to get up and have their moment, before not-so-gracefully tumbling to the ground, unscathed and uninterrupted. A rare sight.
3. Death circles are not just for dudes
Though my lanky bod was definitely not made to mosh, there are evidently some chicks out there who are keen to wrestle their way to the centre, pushing and punching with the best of them. Go get it, gurl. You do you.
4. The Dunies throw themselves – quite literally – into their music
Seriously. They heave their entire beings into their performance so violently, I’m sure these dudes must wake up covered in bruises after every gig. They’re all thrashing bodies, flailing limbs and head-banging. And it is the goddamn goods.
5. Cosmic Psychos can still shred
Sure, they may look like a bunch of old, sweaty dudes rocking next-level ‘dad-bods’, but their on-stage energy and genuine gusto proved they can still kick it with the kids. They didn’t slam themselves around as much as the Dunies, but they were damn near close.
6. Lyrical genius isn’t important when you’re funny
If you wanted some thinking-man’s music, then you’ve definitely come to the wrong show. Dune Rats’ opener ‘Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana‘ ends with the earnest chant of “Marijuana… Marijuana… Marijuana…” and then there’s the Cosmic’s ‘Fuckwit City‘ (“is the place where you belong…“). And I’m not complaining! It makes for some hilarious viewing. And, I’ll never forget this piece of musical gold by Cosmic Psychos:
“Nice day to go to the pub, go to the pub, go to the pub
Nice day to have a beer, have a beer, have a beer
Nice day to have a schnitzel, have a schnitzel, have a schnitzel
Nice day to have some chips, have some chips, have some chips
Nice day to have some sauce, have some sauce, have some sauce
Nice day to have some beetroot, have some beetroot, have some beetroot
Nice day to go the pub”
…Can’t argue with that.
7. Screaming “It’s fuckin’ bullshit maaaaate” in public is totally acceptable
At a Cosmic Psychos show, that is. The legends closed out with ‘Better, Not Bitter‘, the song that contains this gem of a chorus. Classic.
8. I kind of wish the Cosmics Psychos were actually MY three crazy, irresponsible, old uncles…
These old dudes would be the life of the party, they’ve got years of experience! They’re the type of guys you’d introduce to your friends, and at first it’d be weird, but then your friends would like them more than they like you. Imagine the stories they would tell. Imagine the disapproving looks they would get from your parents…
Well, what an educational evening.
Keep up to date with the Dune Rats crazy tour antics by following their DUNIES TV video diary here, the Newcastle show may even make an appearance in an episode soon.
If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live