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Guitar Wolf / Atomic Suplex (live at The Dome)

Guitar Wolf live at The Dome October 2016London
7 October 2016

Atomic Suplex are in many way the ideal support band for Guitar Wolf, having seemingly followed them right into the gaping jaws and fuming exhausts of jet rock’n’roll.

A frontman with a pilot’s helmet complete with mic, decorated with the words ROCK and, of course, ROLL, some sleazy good-time boogie-woogie cranked up to eleven, a sax player (who I don’t remember from last time I saw them, several years ago, but who is a welcome new addition if a new addition at all) screeching all over the top end… yeah, we’re in the right place.

Atomic Suplex live at The Dome October 2016

I haven’t seen Guitar Wolf in several years, so I am understandably quite looking forward to this. I am especially looking forward to Seiji (or Guitar Wolf, if you will) doing his traditional “chugging a whole beer in one before starting to play” entrance. I do so hope they still do that.

Guitar Wolf live at The Dome October 2016

And here they are, all with the heads of Godzilla; Japan’s King Of The Monsters replicated as Japan’s Kings Of Jet Rock’n’Roll. “But how”, I find myself worrying, “will he do the beer thing? And how”, as my panic increases, “will Toru (or Drum Wolf) keep his hair in order?” And then Guitar Wolf does the beer thing, emptying his drink right into his gaping kaiju jaws. It’s impossible to tell how much actually goes into his mouth, though a lot of it visibly doesn’t, but it’s still the coolest thing in the world at this moment.

Guitar Wolf live at The Dome October 2016

And then Drum Wolf’s swapping his Godzilla head for his traditional comb, all the heads come off and the band begin to rock. And rock they do. They’re playing their little hearts out. But something’s wrong. It’s a fairly substantial something — I CAN’T HEAR THE GUITAR. The sound guy’s jacked up the bass and the drums and clearly failed to notice the name of the actual band. GUITAR wolf. That’s GUITAR. Not DRUM AND BASS Wolf. Fortunately Guitar Wolf himself is not having this. After ten minutes of diminished and somewhat lacking rock’n’roll, he’s taken matters into his own hands and just rammed his own amp up, garage-style. And then things get much better.

Guitar Wolf live at The Dome October 2016

It’s a great set. “Jet Beer”, “Wild Zero”… all the greats. Total gleeful rock’n’roll frenzy by the masters of frenzied glee. As is traditional, a dude is “selected” from the crowd at one point to “reluctantly” play guitar, whereupon he is psychically enslaved by Guitar Wolf who really won’t let him go until he finishes that solo.

Guitar Wolf live at The Dome October 2016

“Summertime Blues”. “Jet Generation”. The hits keep coming. And then it’s all over, with a soaking wet and very happy Guitar Wolf playing in unamplified silence until they take him away.

Guitar Wolf live at The Dome October 2016

-Words: Justin Farrington-
-Pictures: Dave Pettit-

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