Team Tyson were brave enough not only to support both the night’s headliners but battle a broken string. Up tight telecaster punkabilly with just enough brittle, lo-fi twitch to distinguish them from the usual Kreuzberg rentapunk racket. In fact the last time I saw Tyson was at the Fete de la Musique outside the Weisse Taube, the Turkish neighbourhood kids stealing their mike for a good natured impromptu rockin’ karaoke moment.
No chance of that tonight as a reluctant audience kept its distance. One thing “your favourite kick in the ass!” know how to do however, is to keep going. Herr Kugler chopping out amphetamine riffs that clearly impressed Martin Constable, guitarist with Selfish Cunt.
Selfish Cunt’s 20 seconds of celebrity was earned throwing horse shit at Pete Doherty and sabotaging Snow Patrol’s equipment, achievements greater than many a forty year music career. Martin Tomlinson, the ex face of Burberry, is a deliciously narcissistic sex tantrum, preening and spitting out agit-diva slogans, punk concrète.
In their original incarnation, Constable’s ferocious SG squawls and new wave non-riffs and Tomlinson’s hysteric provocations were only, barely, held together my a massively overdriven cheap drum machine. From those anarchic first performances, were riot often ensued, a band has somehow emerged and Joao Pires’ drumming and Matthew J. Saw’s bass hold some kind of equilibrium as Tomlinson leaps into the audience screaming “Its all just a FFFFFake, its all just a SSSshow” in his most hideous Lydon warble, before acting out a grand mal seizure.
In some respects the rage and antagonism of Selfish Cunt’s music, even it has moved toward somewhat more conventional arrangements, seems out of place outside of its natural habitat of Hoxton fashion pack vampires and wannabees, which is a shame as the evidence of their latest, English Chamber Music, shows a band confident not only in its ability to deliver a confrontational performance but also capturing the sound.
Confused members of the audience shouted “Iron Man”, to which a perplexed Tomlinson replied, “who do you think we are, Destiny’s Child.”
Throwing flamenco horns over his head and adopting a series of poses lovingly rehearsed in the mirror, Tomlinson alternately flirted and sulked, attacking the audience, heckling it for its indifference but any sense of urgency was hard to evoke from the less than capacity crowd, even as he molested Dorf’s photographer.
The response seemed one of general disinterest. The Berlin crowd, perhaps over familiar with the antics of the city’s very own Selfish Knut, The Boy From Brazil, just shrugged and wrapped themselves up against the February cold.