Rat Daddy

Live (Sucking Diesel / Dead Jack / The Grit)

The intense humidity and the sweltering St Mary’s evening heat was intense. It was not, however, enough to put off Southampton’s rock lovers from turning out in force. Ahead of them was an evening of diverse entertainment from four bands with very different styles, headlined by local heroes Rat Daddy.

Proceedings were enjoyably kicked off by the classy new-wave punk chic of Sucking Diesel who wooed Rat Daddy’s supporters with their bouncy tunes and strong chorus lines. Their sexy female vocalist commanded the stage with style and shined in the Joiners’ dinginess showing more than a hint of Gwen Stefani and PJ Harvey about her. 

Hot on the heels of Sucking Diesel, the amiable freak show of young metal-punksters, being Dead Jack, took to the stage to immediately win the crowd over with their charm and then to entertain all with their raw and exciting brand of rock. The scarecrow frame of the lead singer topped off with a Stetson was almost reminiscent of some type of ‘Emo Suggs’ if one has ever existed.

Armed with squeaky toy sharks and magnificent vocal chords Dead Jack showed a great deal of promise in a relatively short set. Headline gigs surely beckon for these boys and it will be interesting to see what more they have up their sleeves (or under their hats as the case may be).

Next up were rockabilly ska-punk outfit The Grit who made a long trip south for the final night of their tour. Oozing with confidence and fully equipped with anti-gravity hair and an entertaining and accomplished double bass player, these Geordie lads did their best to gee up the crowd with constant tongue-in-cheek banter. The Grit boast an impressive array of spiky tunes with provocative titles like ‘Surrender’ and ‘Angry C*nt’ that were perfectly executed with humour and panache. 

With the three support acts over with it was time to give Rat Daddy’s faithful fan base what they came for. This was, from the striking of the first chord, a large slice of Whitesnake inspired eighties retro rock. The stifling heat of the room did little to curb enthusiasm as Rat Daddy clearly enjoyed taking centre stage. They quickly set about building up the crowd’s excitement levels as they stormed through an upbeat trademark set of melodic hits.

Rat Daddy are a band who unashamedly wear their influences firmly on their wristbands and what they lack in originality they make up for in their passion for Dave Lee Roth inspired power ballads.

After a couple of well received encores the crowd stepped back out into the humidity of the night, thoroughly entertained and safe in the knowledge that a little bit of the 80s still exists (and long may it continue to do so) right here in the heart of Southampton.

Guest article from Matt E.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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