Shacklewell Arms, London
5th July 2023
Have you ever seen that iconic Jay Reatard Live at Cake Shop gig? Imagine that mixed with the charm of Ron Gallo and a Buzzcocks influence. That is Alien Nosejob. Guitar worship at its highest, the man with the fastest fingers in punk rock takes to Shacklewell Arms for a spontaneous set of tracks played at a speed that even Jay Reatard would be proud of.
When I say ‘spontaneous’ set, I mean spontaneous in the sense that there is no setlist. “We just made it up” lead vocalist Jake Robertson tells me afterwards. There’s a lack of direction but a complete ability to remain in full control throughout. After each track, the Aussie band look at each other before one of them just suggests a song and they crash into it. “We are a covers band” Jake jokes before playing classics such as Misfit’s Static Age and Buzzcocks’ Boredom (which honestly feels like it could have been written for them).
If you have spoken to anyone in the Aussie punk scene, you will have heard the name Jake Robertson. As prolific as he is in their scene, his name is also one that’s shared around the punk scene here in London. Part of Australian bands such as Ausmuteants and School Damage, Alien Nosejob is his iconic solo project.
Blurring lines between punk, garage, and power pop, it’s remarkable watching the speed in which they new wave punk quartet play tonight. With a super-human ability and perfectly executed precision, the band also switch instruments in between songs just adding to their ever-expanding list of talents.
You know when you walk away from a gig like “fuck, that was special”, well this is one of those moments. The Shacklewell is full of people who I believe to be witnessing punk history right before their very eyes. If you weren’t at this gig, I hate to break it to you, but you really fuckin’ missed out.
Words by Jazz Hodge, you can find her Louder Than War archive here.
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