Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween 1997

Here is a review from the Hollywood Reporter of the Cramps' annual Halloween show back in 1997, by a reporter who might possibly have been vaguely aware of who the Cramps were. I don't know how the hell "Surfin' Bird" qualifies as the Cramps' "one actual hit."

Concert Review: The Cramps at The Palace, Hollywood

Publication: The Hollywood Reporter Date: Thursday, October 30 1997 By Daina Darzin

Back for their annual Halloween show, the Cramps were -- well, Cramps-like. The veteran punkabilly cult favorites have refined their gleefully surreal trash 'n'
horror shtick to a science. It's worked for them since the early 1980s, and they're sticking with it.

The Cramps may be a novelty attraction, but they're one of the best ever: the Screaming Jay Hawkinses of their generation, they're an influence on everyone from White Zombie to neo-rockabilly artists. Dressed in head-to-toe purple glitter spandex, frontman Lux Interior was as manic as ever, brandishing his mike stand like a weapon, jumping around the stage and writhing on his ever-present zebra-striped rugs. "I'd like to inform you what you're missing on TV at this moment," he announced. Then he went on to read the TV Guide description of "The VH1 Fashion Awards" in a hilarious tone that redefined the term "dripping with sarcasm."

Interior happily suggested himself as Most Fashionable Artist, then showered the audience with torn-up bits of TV Guide. Poison Ivy provided her usual minimalist, deadpan vibe, a perfect counterpoint to Interior's chew-the-scenery approach. The Cramps recently released a new disc; new material included "Queen of Pain," an ironically jaunty honky-tonk tune. "Thank you, masochists," Interior quipped afterward. Overall, the Cramps' new material seems to be heavier and more atonal -- more punk, less billy.

The Cramps also ran through their reliable stable of oldies, including their cover of "Psychotic Reaction," "The Creature From the Black Leather Lagoon," "What's Inside a Girl?" and of course, the Cramps' one actual hit, "Surfin' Bird." The sold-out crowd was enthusiastic throughout.

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