chris cameron photo
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 20, 1990
By Steve Newton
What do squeaky-clean teen idols Loverboy and the crude ‘n’ demented Cramps have in common? Sweet-bugger-all, you say? Pretty close, but the Cramps did borrow Loverboy’s barricade to use in front of the Commodore stage last Thursday (April 12). With a house full of pogoing misfits–the type that think stage-diving should be an Olympic event–nobody wanted to gamble on a reenactment of the violent Ramones show at 86 Street last year.
As it turned out, the barricade did do the trick, and the rowdy gang of Cramps lovers were left to vent their energy on the trusty springs of the Commodore’s dance floor. “There’s only one rule tonight,” bellowed singer Lux Interior, telling a fib. “Everything goes!” But he must have been referring to the rules on-stage, ’cause that’s where most of the craziness happened, courtesy of Lux himself.
Wearing a wet-look black jacket and slacks–the latter opened up to just above flashing level–Interior was a gyrating Elvis-from-Hell, yowling the band’s trashy lyrics on rude tunes like “Can Your Pussy do the Dog?” and “Journey to the Center of a Girl”.
Interior must have been using one of those new-fangled, indestructible microphones, because–when he wasn’t stuffing the thing down his trousers–he was using it as a percussion instrument on the stage floor.
While Lux kept the entertainment end of things up, guitarist Poison Ivy concentrated on the trebly, feedback-laden surf and rockabilly licks that drive the tunes, looking rather sharp herself in a sequined gold bikini-style outfit. With bassist Candy Del Marr and drummer Nick Knox in tow, the Cramps proved once again that they’re masters of dynamics–the intensity of the show seemed to grow as each song went flashing by.
By the time Lux hit the stage for the second encore, clad in nothing but a scarlet G-string, the group’s unique brand of mutated rockabilly has dug its rusty hooks into most everyone.