There’s been an amazing amount of hype on the goth scene recently about the relatively new explosion of psychobilly, horror rock, and death rock, often influenced by 50’s rock n roll, and b-movies. Devilish Presley are at the cutting edge of the scene.
Jacqui Vixen, Devilish Presley’s glamorous bassist and backing vocalist has cited her influences to be more Chuck Berry and Robert Johnson than traditional goth. Tonight, at Junktion 7 there’s going to be some serious rock ‘n’ rollin.
Abigail’s Mercy are a good fusion of goth metal, and no doubt influenced by Lacuna Coil. Powerful female vocals are contrasted by grunty male backing vocals, although melody prevails. One song features the lyrics to ‘Paint It Black’, although this is probably referencing the Inkubus Sukkubus cover of the song rather than the Stones’ original.
All Gone Dead are aesthetically brilliant and portray the typical death rock look with lots of black and white. However, they don’t really live up to their appearance; they are a mish mash of the Virgin Prunes and other more trad goth acts such as the Clan of Xymox. The highlight of their set is a cover of Adam Ant’s ‘Ants Invasion’ with them replacing the word “Ant” with “Death”. Style over substance.
Devilish Presley’s Johnny Navarro gets the crowd going with his chant of “Hell Yeah” before they begin. Jacqui Vixen looks stunning in a short black skirt, as she wields her silver glittery bass and prepares for action. After a few unfortunate technical problems, they begin with ‘She’s not America’ from their ‘Disgraceland’ album, which delights the crowd.
Johnny’s vocals are slightly reminiscent of Brian Molko’s from Placebo although the sound is a lot more raw, whilst Jacqui’s vocals are actually the more traditionally rock of the two. This is followed by ‘Levi’s Dog’ from their first album ‘Rust Garden’ which features a great guitar solo by Johnny.
Although Devilish Presley are a two piece plus a drum machine, perhaps it’s a little too far to call them “the Gothic White Stripes”, but it’s understandable how such comparisons have been drawn. But there are many more diverse influences here, ranging from T-Rex in their most recent single, ‘Hammer Horror Glamour’ which has got to be the stand out track of the night, to The Cramps, to plain old rock n roll.
They wind up the evening with ‘Black Leather Jesus’ featuring more fantastic riffs from Johnny and is certainly one of the crowd’s favourites. Whatever you want to class Devilish Presley as, they are an extremely entertaining and engaging live band, and the crowd were left begging for more.
They didn’t get an encore though. Devilish Presley had already headed to the bar.
That’s deathrock ‘n’ roll for you!