Spank; the Eidelweiss Dance Troupe; Cinema Prague; Beaverloop, Fly By Night, June 1, 1996

The Electric Mistress CD launch was always going to be huge – you could tell by Spank’s collective fingers bitten to the quick and the poster glue on their clothing. And as Spank guitarist Sam Hobbs jigged at the side of the stage to Beaverloop with over five hundred punters in the house, you could tell they didn’t mind a bit of stress if this was the ultimate outcome.

Actually, Beaverloop seemed a little worn, a little tired, the hyperactivity of bass string snapper Loon X-wing was replaced by the look of a slightly moody punk straddling a harp. But I think the assembled didn’t mind a bit of a toned-down refresher on Beaverloopology, it was enviro-thrash for the flowerchild in all of us.

With round table discussions and catching up with old stage-diving mates the order of the evening, Cinema Prague rattled the horn-rims on everyone’s faces with their style, glamour and clamour sending about four of the five hundred spectators airborne once again – a definitive primer for the Eidelweiss Dance Troupe’s own form of full contact moshing which always leaves bells ringing in one’s head.

In fact, the little tuned bells where unveiled and delicately rang just before before the foot, thigh and hand slapping dancers. Welcomed by whoops from the obviously highly cultured crowd, the pride of Austria’s disco scene twirled and slapped with many cheers and beers being swung in the air in adoring salute.

And on such a high, Spank entered to the bright blast of fireworks not seen since the Von Trapps’ flight in The Sound of Music. Beginning with the album opener, the voice of the Electric Mistress herself, most of the well recognised Spank set rose up from the huge ‘Fly stage in rapid succession. With hardly any time to gasp or say whoo-hoo into ears, the whole band fired hard, all in unison and without the neglecting isolation of Sascha as ‘the big gun’.

Special mentions arose for undying favourites like Narcissus, Awkward and Bedlam, though particularly hilarious and gorgiously grandiose strange bits came when The Spank Choir – members of the support bands in choirboy outfits – did the thing backing Sascha in Trick and the entrance of masseuse and multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood (Vivid, Mountain Hope) on viola.

A huge production, warm and fuzzy and worthy of launching Spank’s debut CD to … welcome to the next level!

Adam Connors