Monday, May 09, 2005

Selfish Cunt Scene Report

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Oh, we missed this one from January courtesy of You're So Old Street:

Selfish Cunt’s contempt for the scene is obvious, and tonight they cut through the bank holiday bonhomie like a pop-cultural flamethrower. Behooded singer Martin Tomlinson has barely delivered the opening couplet of “Britain Is Shit” before losing his temper and roaring at the soundman to turn up his vocals. His request is met, and for the rest of the set your reporter’s eardrums will jump every time he sings (or screeches) a word.

The hood is quickly torn off to reveal a face smeared with eyeliner and burning with rage and, as his bandmates tear through a clutch of songs from their imminent second album – including “Born From a Mother”, “I See a Rat” and “Uncle Sam” – Tomlinson basically wages war on us, wading through the crowd and spitting out each line as a direct challenge to whoever gets in his way.

At one point, he repeatedly thrusts his microphone into a woman’s face, asking, “Anything? Anything at all?” As he pushes towards her, forcing her back, she drapes an arm round him and smiles, as if expecting him to kiss her. He looks like he’d sooner kill her. In fact, you wonder how far he’d go if there weren’t a burly guy attempting to restrain him. Would he push her over? Trample her underfoot? Watching a Selfish Cunt gig can sometimes feel like witnessing a crime and doing nothing to prevent it. This, you suspect, is by design.

Weirdly, the same girl spends the rest of the gig trying to work her way back into Tomlinson’s path. Indeed, it’s fascinating to observe the range of responses drawn by his challenges. One man attempts to kiss him. Others threaten a more violent reaction. At one point, Tomlinson’s eyes seem to lock with your reporter’s, but as he storms our way we realise – with relief – that the wine-drinking sophisticate stood in front of us is his real target. Lyrics are screamed into the unfortunate man’s face, but he flinches not, nor does he make an escape when he gets the chance. In fact, most punters seem to take Tomlinson’s attentions as a compliment; we actually end up feeling rather left out.

I wonder if he was wearing his thong.


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