Live Review from Underground Rocks 2023!
Proximity (soundcheck song)
Used To Say
Through The Park
Garden of Love
ENCORE: Salty Pork Hands (aka Jazz Song)
On the surface, The Ferals are a straight rock outfit, though Chris B’s theatricality adds a dimension of showmanship that sets the group apart. Props were rife throughout the set—from a blue and yellow fabric top hat to a small cat toy. Her magnetism and stage presence kept eyes and ears on the stage, and the band formed such a sturdy backbone.
Searing opener Woofie saw Chris B adopt her best Alice Cooper sneer over William ’s thumping drums, before she channelled Blondie to rap over driving guitars on Used to Say: “I’m free/I’m sweet/I’m tattooed/I exist/I’m Chris B.” Instead of shallow aggrandisement, the track played as more of an exposition of the male gaze and female empowerment. Either way, Mark’s blistering solo made it a great track.
Sultriness oozed from following songs Through the Park and Oh Mother. Craig’s solo on the latter sounded straight from Josh Homme’s playbook, while Judy’s slinking bassline on the former ska rock number recalled early No Doubt. Chris’ theatrics raised a notch on Superficial and she entered the crowd, emboldened by a Slash-style solo, full of 80s metal licks from Craig. Jagged, staccato guitar defined the low and saucy Garden of Love, before the tempo picked up again for the cacophonous Shocked for a vicious punk breakdown of pure riot grrrl proportions.
Encore Salty Pork Hands started slow and brooding before breaking into balls-to-the-wall rock, which was appropriate for the sentiment of the song. As the rhythms locked in, Craig ripped into another amazing solo and Chris B started up a chant of “hap sap lou!” “咸濕佬!” (“perverted man”) for a hilarious closer to a set as fierce as the band’s moniker promises.