By Jordan Mooney.
Before we begin this piece, we can only apologise for our hiatus – Cat on the Wall is planning something big and rather exciting, but it will take a lot of work – and, soon enough, your help – to execute.
More on that later.
Back in July, Cat on the Wall travelled to Pentrich Rock and Blues in Derbyshire as a little holiday from the continuous stresses of our everyday lives. (Sometimes, I run out of crisps. Tragic.) This intimate, proud little festival for ladies and gentlemen with big handlebars and bigger exhaust pipes is built on a series of very long standing – indeed, this was the thirtieth year of the festival – and very eccentric – established characteristics.
Clive Jackson from Doctor and the Medics (whom we interviewed last year) is the official compere for the event, and ensures that everybody knows of the huge ale selection, the size and scale of the festival, his numerous, long, flowing coats, and makes every band choose a cheese.
And the line up is always something rather special.
Showcasing numerous odd and unusual groups from the rock and roll world, one of the many bands we witnessed at this fine event was a semi-legendary group called Dick Venom and the Terrortones. With his leather thong and a whooping voice with a surprisingly large range, Dick Venom is one of the perviest rockabilly cats this side of the atlantic, and has mastered the art of being a frontman.
We eventually hunted him down after his performance to hand over one of our legendary business cards. He insisted he didn’t know any rockabilly, psychobilly, punk or indeed any bands who would apply to the Webzine. The cheeky blighter was lying to us, and handed the card off to his team of managers.
Who then sent us an EP, a Dick Venom condom, tampon and a ‘dick stick’.
Oh yes, we like this one.
Dick Venom’s new EP, The Monsterpussy Sessions, is a raw, scratchy, blood splattered release, that takes away all of the frills and doilies and leaves the band at their barest, proudly exhibiting themselves with no shortage of bravado.
It howls, it bites, it scratches, and yet, ultimately, does maintain a pleasant, constant tunefulness without becoming grating. It really does replicate the sound of the Terrortones live, and while it seems to maintain a very ‘experimental’ outlook, it feels just as worthy as any of the band’s other releases.
With the ever-evident trademarks of a live show -slight fuzziness, a very warm, furry sort of echo, and vocals fighting for domination – it’s quite literally as close as a group can get to replicating it for every listener without turning up on every doorstep. And if you’d let a man in a thong and cowboy boots turn up on your doorstep and then come in to perform in your living room, you should probably question your choices in lifestyle.
It’s sore, it’s raw, it’s biting you and it’s got a strangely coloured discharge. It’s definitely not the purest or most pleasant of releases – and that’s exactly what’s so good about it. It’s completely unyeilding in its bad behaviour – much like the group that released it.
With the usual whooping, excitable tone in Dick’s inimitable vocals, the entire album gives the evocative feel of an orgy at the house used to film the Munsters, with over copious amounts of cider and some B-movies on TV.
You wake up. It’s hazy, but there’s a very tired looking horse in the room, a motorcycle is sticking through the window and somebody’s tried to drive a hot rod through the door. Every single person is wearing a leather jacket.
Dick Venom and the Terrortones are standing on top of a mountain of semi-comatose people, all naked, dripping with sweat and a fine “DV” brand on their right hand arse cheek.
And you know, no matter how much you feign humiliation, disbelief, or disapproval…
You’ll be back again tomorrow.
We were lucky enough to find Dick strapped to a table unusually close to the ever-metaphorical Cat on the Wall towers. After pulling the electrical tape off of his lips and picking off some of the now hardened-candle wax, he agreed to an interview.
Cat on the Wall: Hello there, and welcome to Cat on the Wall! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. How’s life treating you?
Dick Venom: Cat On The Wall, dame in a chain… why, hello there cathouse! An’ no problem at all in talkin’ – life’s all pretty and peachcheeked right now!
COTW: We’ve finally caught up with you after a brief encounter at Pentrich Rock and Blues (Our apologies for our tardiness!) – We had a bloody wonderful time. How did you enjoy it? Do you even remember any of it?!
DV: Brief encounters be best sometimes, don’t ya reckon? The whole weeked was swell, I lapped it awwwl up! Well that and some others… I Got to climb beneath a pair of twinset nymphets, and think I shocked ’em right off of their pole – that was sumthin’ of a highlight, I tell ya! And from what I recall, I got good reactions… but I guess that’s as far as I remember!
COTW: You’re really here due to the recent release of your new EP, the Monsterpussy Sessions – released on cassette with some lovely (and some could say very practical) accessories. What can you tell us about this fascinating release?
DV: You got the whole kit caboodle now, didn’t you! Thought I’d throw in some my own brand of protection, a terrapon (a Terrortone Tampon for those who ain’t seen!) and a self titled Dickstick… hope I got ya’ shade right! And the Monsterpussy EP? That’s us at our most meanest, most moistest, most molesterin’, festerin’, five fingered finest so far put to tape… if I say so myself.
I mean, it might not have the straps, spenders and visual splendors of the live wettened roadshow…but I swear you can hear all the sweetsweat and strapsnaps. It’s nowhere near as clean soundin’ as the last two EPs, and, well… I kinda like it more for it.
Think some fella’ called it “the best lack of fucks they’s ever heard”, and called it “excitingly, ultimately fuckable”…I kinda liked that, it’s a sumptuous, gluttonous thing!
COTW: We’ve only seen a few cassette releases here- it seems there’s a bit of a revolution going on! What were your personal reasons for going with what the professional press still chooses to call a ‘dead’ format?
DV: Tape deck A said to tape deck B… I wanna make a baby with you. I jus’ gave them the mood music and tools. Stick that on ya tape spool an’ pipe it! Lil’ mini answerphone tapes, runnin’ amuck bequiffed an packed fulla Monsterpussy ‘tudes. Ain’t that how Maximum Overdrive starts?!
COTW: How was the production of The Monsterpussy Sessions? Do you feel that every release gets easier to work on as the group steadily matures?
DV: Huh, ummm… Pass? It gets easier for me… for Wrex (our bassist) too, I think. Ever imagined a mic stand naked? Hussie it up in bermuda pants and inflatables…by the time you’ve done that, you feel you outta take it for a date someplace – you know, wine it and dine it on crawfish or sumthin’, or, at least, take it to some backseat bingo clifftop or sidestreet…and by that time I’m so far in I forget what I’m doin’…So I quit doin’ that an’ just howled..!
As for production; this cat was decidedly stripped down. Live as live as could be. Within reason.
One room. One tape reel. We simply got restless and we wanted stuff out bare assed and bare bolts! Just as well we got the curves an the screws to get to it.
COTW: How did Dick Venom and the Terrortones first come to be? Tell us a story, uncle Venom!
DV: Popcorn in hand, white tiger on lap – lap it up, are ya ready?
I’d call it all as organic as a Fukushima mayfly. Ma’s dribblin’ vestibule test tube waters spilt, and I came and hit the ground grinnin’. I slithererd out of whatever snuffsville crater lies under whatever good rock everyone else was born on, with appetites for appetites and appetites on that, and I found a group of like minded meatsacks to rack ’em all up with.
Wrex St. Clair pulled on bass strings like babes pluck on teats, and we fixed up a clamtight flypaper to pull in the the rest. And man did we pull in! We caught more than a few, but the two we got now, (Dusty Vegas on skins, Steed Tee on guitar) are a couple I’d snap back to keep. She makes the drums wail like a she-rex on heat, and Steed makes a guitar snap like jawbreaker Jenny.
Guess a note should be me made here the two on the tape ain’t the ones I’ve mentioned. Drums and guitar, (Clint and Dresdon respectively) moved on to cleaner pastures just after recordin’… but man! I get greasy jut thinking of the stink Dusty and Steed recorded.
COTW: Yet another horror-inspired punky group from Nottingham. Come on, this is getting ridiculous now, we’ve seen far too many of you. What’s in the water, who put it in there and should we be worried?!
DV: Seen too many of us but not seen enough of me …I don’t blame ya! X. We’ve been floatin’ around since 2010, older than some, yonger than others, and who wants another lovesick puppy tale anways?
COTW: It’s pretty obvious that the group’s thematics are influenced by all of the good things in life. Excessive innuendo, B-movies, schlocky horror pictures, the rockabilly movement, loud cars…what would you say are the biggest of the movie influences? Are there any particular films you’d recommend to our readers?
DV: From old King Kong to Green Slime to Valley of the Dolls… The Faster Pussycat ilk, When Girls Collide, anthing Elvira ever told you to watch …she had a good set of… videos…
COTW: In terms of music…you exist on this fantastic threshold as one of the more popular little psychobilly-esque groups on the circuit. Are there any bands in particular on this patch of the music market you particularly love, enjoy, and recommend?
DV: Surfin Birds, Zipheads, Moonshine Stalkers are all new. Long Tall Texans, Ricochets and Batmobile are still blastin’!
COTW: And what’s in the future for the Terrortones? A multi-million pound movie deal? A 600 page novel?
DV: We need a part 3 to the Terrortone comic, parts 1 & 2 were on first 2 EPs. We wanna go play to the kind folks in the EU and the US, who’ve been buyin’ and playin’ our records, there’s some festivals I got my baby green eyes on and there’s some we’ve been proud to play this year (Rock an Blues just gone and Bedlam Breakout coming up!). Keep us in gigs, keep us recording, keep us releasing and keep us on radio… who knows whose or how many chords we might strike. As for what else else? We’ll be the first transdimentional hotrodblooded whorehounds to have a show beamed from space. Just you see.
COTW: And that’s everything! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us – here’s hoping we’ll be seeing you again very soon. Any parting words for your fans, our readers, friends, family, or even us..?!
DV: Stay Cool. Stay Pretty. Stay Sick.
Come see us sometime. I promise you cocoa.
An’ go get the new record. It’s yours free!
-Dick (and the rest of the ‘Tones) out XxX
The Monsterpussy Sessions can be bought digitally for your price on bandcamp as we speak, or purchased for only £3.50 on good old fashioned tape cassette.
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