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REVIEW: No need for a blame game at the Tooth and Claw, Inverness as Victorian punks The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing stormed city alongside Mitch Benn for raw, raucous, hilarious night

By Kyle Walker


The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing

The Tooth and Claw, Inverness


CLAW blimey, guv’nor – what a night The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing offered up in Inverness.

Playing in Inverness on a cold Monday night in October would seem a daunting task for anybody – let alone a band making their first visit to the Highlands.

And while attendance may have been understandably a little bit shy, the 20-to-25 people who made it out were treated to an all time great gig at the Tooth and Claw bya band who brought a unique, furious approach to music into the venue.

The London-based Victorian-themed punk rockers made their trip up the A9 to celebrate their 10th anniversary as a band – playing venues and cities they’ve never played before.

And what they offered was…well, Victorian-themed punk rock – but much less gimmicky than such a description might suggest. A description like that might conjure up images of tops and tails, clipped accents and songs about ladies coquettishly displaying ankles.

However, the band concern themselves with far murkier aspects of Victoriana – as one might guess from a group who draw their name from the infamous Goulston Street graffito allegedly left by Jack the Ripper.

Hence, raucous punk rock belters about Burke and Hair, ironic savagings ofCharles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and odes to cheap gin reverberated around the walls of the Claw throughout the night.

The Men tore into these songs with their teeth. On stage they are just electrifying to watch – raw, visceral and theatrical in equal measure as electrifying frontman Andy Heintz snarls and prowls and gesticulates from the centre of the stage.

But lest you think that this all sounds a little bit too silly to be taken seriously, it should be stressed that the whole night was also incredibly funny. The Men count two comedians – guitarist Andrew O’Neill and bassist Marc Burrows – among their rank, and their easy patter and commitment to a bit for jokes frequently had the crowd collapsing in peals of laughter.

With the help of fantastic support from comedian and singer/songwriter Mitch Benn – whose Jeff Lynne-style rock opera take on The Very Hungry Caterpillar was a particular delight – it was a night that left the crowd roasted both by the heat of the punk rock energy and the roar of their own laughter.

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