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The Cramps

THE ASTORIA, LONDON

Saturday September 27, 2003

A legendary band. A fantastic set (“Garbageman”, “Human Fly”, you name it). But let’s cut to the chase here and talk about the last 10 minutes. Probably the most insane 10 minutes Uncut has ever witnessed at any gig, ever.

The song is The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird”. Five seconds in and the mosh-pit is a slam-dancer’s paradise of eyepoking chicken-elbows, but it’s what happens on stage that matters. Lux Interior, still lanky, ghoulish and determined to “fuck this place up” after all these years, crawls like a dog on all fours towards his wife, Cramps guitarist “Poison Ivy” Rorschach. He writhes between her legs, unzips one of her boots and drapes it over his face. The song has already descended into a psychotic maelstrom of primeval rock’n’roll excess as Lux rises to his feet again and clambers beyond the confines of the stage, mounting one of the main PA stacks. It’s here that he slithers his PVC trousers down. Then bares his arsehole.

A blink of an eye and he’s vaulted back down, swallowing the mic and gargling like a rabid hell-hound. He takes a manly slug from a bottle of red wine, then smashes it, taking a shard of glass and razoring away at his trousers until all that’s left is bare legs and a modest makeshift latex jockstrap. He sidles back over to Ivy, grabs at her curly auburn locks and removes a hairpiece which he dons himself as the music swells louder, ever more ballistic.

Next thing, Lux has climbed up the stage rear and tries to dismantle the luminous “Cramps” logo which starts to swing violently. He lobs his mic-stand, now bent in half like a hairpin, into the drum kit, taking half the cymbals with it. Then a hand slips down his crotch. First a fiddle. Followed by a tug. Then he’s stood there for all the world to see. Trousers in ribbons. In a red curly wig. Wailing like a banshee. And yanking at his penis.

And that’s how it ended, bar the sound of a few thousand jaws clunking to the floor. Ladies and gentlemen, that was The Cramps. And that’s entertainment!

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