A Wild One on a Hot Night: Cherry Glazerr Live
It’s a hot day in May when Californian punk foursome Cherry Glazerr do the honour at London’s Garage. London-based all-girl band Dreamnails have already heated up the temperature and the atmosphere in the compact venue with their loud and cheerful punk pieces when the eagerly awaited headliners get on stage: Drummer Tabor Allen, Sasami Ashworth on the synthesizer and Devin O'Brien on bass guitar start playing an intro when lead singer and guitarist Clementine Creevy seemingly appears out of nowhere. Wearing a t-shirt from the band Kiss as well as white shorts, she greets the audience with “How are you going you dirty bastards? You sick fucking weirdos?”, which leaves some cheering and others giggling confusedly. By the time Cherry Glazerr start playing their iconic “Had ten dollaz” from the record Haxel Princess released in 2014, the mosh pit is in full swing. Creevy is noticeably pleased by her audience’s enthusiasm when she exclaims “Holy shit! This is awesome!” in between songs.
Cherry Glazerr's lead vocalist and guitarist is the absolute centre-piece of the stage. Charismatic and raw, altering between high-pitched, almost yearning howls and forceful, angry screams, she seems totally absorbed in her music as she head-bangs through her ferocious guitar playing. Creevy started writing music in her high school bedroom aged only 15, and until today, five years later, handles all the song writing. The band’s critically acclaimed third album Apocalipstick was released earlier this year and it’s the first record produced with the changed line-up. As well as new producers Joe Chicarrelli (The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, The White Stripes) and Carlos De La Garza (Bleached, M83, Paramore). The result is more than convincing: The record is a complex ensemble packed with domineering guitars, Allen’s unforgiving drums as well as the versatile and often psychedelic synthesizers of multi-instrumentalist Ashworth. “Told you I’d be with the boys” was the first song to be released from the new album and the audience immediately tags on to its catchy guitar intro.
Throughout the show, it becomes more and more apparent that Creevy and her band mates simply love what they’re doing, as the singer conveys emotionally: “We’ve been on tour for six months and nights like these make me love this so much. It’s the best job in the world!” But aside from a simply great musical performance, the show also features a lot of random surprise moments, whether it’s Creevy playing angry and shouting “Shut up! Shut the fuck up!” into the microphone right after one song, or, seemingly about to address the audience to say something but burping loudly into the mic instead. Even the tree pose from yoga is thrown into the mix. Yes, she’s a wild one, to say it with the lyrics of “Nurse Ratched”, also featuring on the new record.
Slower songs such as “Trick or Treat Dancefloor” or “Teenage Girl” from their 2013 release Papa Cremp, which could just as well stem from the seventies or “Nuclear Bomb” from the latest album give the audience only brief periods to regain their breath. Creevy’s short guitar solo merges neatly into an out-of-this-worldly synthesizer solo. After nearly an hour and a half of steaming rock and punk, the band bids goodbye with an encore including Cherry Glazerr’s interpretation of the Nirvana classic “Territorial pissings” announced by Creevy with the words “OK stinkies, we’re going to play some encores”. The show undoubtedly leaves me looking forward to the unexpected stuff that will certainly be coming our way from this group over the next years.
All images supplied by Sam Cashmore