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THE MOBBS are a trio of English gentlemen whose urbane and well-bred appearance lies in stark contrast to the ferocious intensity of the rocket-fuelled sonic blasts of their guitar-based rave ups.
They take all the best that post-1950s rock’n’roll has to offer – a big helping of sixties beat group rhythm’n’blues, massive Clash-like punk riffs, Wilko Johnson’s machine gun attack attitude, the suave yet rough hewn Medway garage-punk blues legend Billy Childish’s demeanour (and obsession with our country’s glorious yet ludicrous past), with the addition of a great healthy dose of Pythonesque humour.
One review described them as being ‘like The Rockin’ Vickers meets the Leyton Buzzards’ – a fair enough assessment if ever there was one – the whole deal being ‘whipped up by scything guitar and punchy rhythms, everything lorded over by the compelling tones of the elaborately mustachioed Joe’s vocals’, his tongue firmly in his cheek throughout. My personal favourite comment in a review is that, ‘It marks the first time I've heard the word “nonchalant” used successfully in a rock song’. I say, jolly good old boy!
These Northampton lads are named for one of their local heroes: Edgar Mobbs. Captain of Northampton Saints RFC from 1907–13, who also played and captained England at cricket, he set about raising his own company to fight in WWI. Within 48 hours more than 400 men had volunteered, with Mobbs himself as a private.
He rose through the ranks to command the 7th Northamptonshire Regiment (known as ‘The Mobbs Own’). Wounded three times during the war, he was twice mentioned in dispatches and received the DSO in January 1917. When he was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele, leading a charge on a machine gun position, the whole county mourned.
While he is still renowned on his home turf, The Mobbs hope to give him the fame that he truly deserves, albeit in the form of good, rollocking punky rock’n’roll. The music would no doubt bemuse and befuddle him were he to have any idea of its existence but he would no doubt appreciate their proud, though somewhat dubious, boast that they have been responsible for ‘a 250 per cent increase in sales of cravats and moustache combs’.
Being aware that these gentlemen are planning to kicking your arse and leave you for dead in a Northampton gutter is one thing; their brilliance is that they do it in such a way you can't help but pour them a gin and run them a bath first.
The Dirty Water Club started in October 1996 in the Tufnell Park neighbourhood of north London, at a venue called The Boston. The club's name is derived from The Standells' 1966 hit 'Dirty Water' which glorifies the US city of Boston, Massachusetts.
Past performers have included The White Stripes (voted by Q Magazine as one of the top 10 gigs of all time, Mojo one of the top 30 and Kerrang one of the top 100!), The Gories, NOBUNNY, Kid Congo Powers (from the Cramps), The Fleshtones, Billy Childish, Radio Birdman, The Dirtbombs, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, The 188.8.131.52's, The Horrors and The Brian Jonestown Massacre to name just a few. The club has also seen some original '60s performers, such as The Monks, ? and the Mysterians, Kim Fowley, Sky Saxon, GONN, Michael Davis of the MC5 and more grace its stage.
Their in-house record label, Dirty Water Records, is one of the leading garage/beat/(real) R&B labels in the world.