Live Review: Bones Shake / Snakerattlers / Hopper Propelled Electric – The Peer Hat, Manchester, 6th April 2018

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Bones Shake / Snakerattlers / Hopper Propelled Electric

The Peer Hat, Manchester, UK - 6th April 2018

Tonight sees my return to The Peer Hat for the first time since last years Get Fucked Festival, at which a good number of the members of tonight’s line up were present. The last time I was here much of the upstairs bar was still under construction, but what a difference a few seasons has made as the rough and ready Northern Quarter venue has risen from it’s cocoon to become an absolutely stunning location, and this has been achieved without sacrificing any of the character that the basement venue offers. Tonight sees the combined forces of the snarling blues punk of Bones Shake and the satanic rock ‘n roll of Snakerattlers hit Manchester at the tail end of the brief tour of the North of England, with the added bonus that tonight they are accompanied by Hopper Propelled Electric.
I start the evening with a pint of mushroom sour beer, which indicates that I’m well and truly in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which coupled with the strains of the sound check emanating from the basement makes for a promising start to tonight’s show. Upon entry to basement of The Peer Hat the Bones Shake frontman and Abattoir Blues Records impresario, David Brennan, draws custom skull gig stamps on your hand and pre gig all the bands are mingling with the crowd, and as a bonus I find myself with an unexpected fresh pint thrust into my hand from an unknown source which adds to the inclusive and intoxicated atmosphere that pervades The Peer Hat for what promises to be a dark and stormy meeting of the dark sides of blues and rock ‘n roll.
Hopper Propelled Electric open tonight’s impressive triple bill with a set of garage fuelled rock ‘n roll, which makes them the perfect addition to tonight’s line up. The oddly named trio capture the moment when rock ‘n roll morphed into garage punk, the straddle the line between the snotty attitude of the forerunners of the punk scene and the originators of rock ‘n roll perfectly. I’ve previously caught Hopper Propelled Electric at the Get Fucked Festival, and they seem to have moved forward, or possibly back in time, but they are unrecognisable from the fledgling outfit I caught last year, everything is sharper and more focussed and they seem to have to have found their own unique niche in the sprawling Manchester garage punk scene. A broken string briefly threatens to curtail their set but a guitar is thrust at them by Dan Oliver Gott from Snakerattlers, and Hopper Propelled Electric complete what has been a perfect opening to tonight’s show.
The Snakerattlers bring a different vibe to the bill, they deliver a stripped down approach that channels the origins of rock ‘n roll and the spirit of The Cramps. The Husband and Wife duo channel this primitive rock ‘n roll vibe with primal drums and irresistible voodoo rhythms that are tainted with a distinctly dark spirit, which for me is just how rock ‘n roll should be played. They emphasize this with the statement “we are the Snakerattlers and we come from hell and play the devils music” before Dan Oliver Gott and his hellbound guitar head off the stage out into the crowd. Throughout their set the Snakerattlers capture the dark side of rock n roll, and this of course means they fit perfectly into tonight’s bill that is a showcase of rock ‘n rolls dark underbelly. 
There is an obvious spirit of camaraderie and sense of kindred spirits coming at rock ‘n roll from different angles between tonight’s co-headliners as Snakerattlers deliver a new song inspired by their days on the road on this tour. Throughout their set there is the primitive throb of The Cramps but this is due to shared origins rather than trying to recreate what cannot be recreated. The Snakerattlers are a second welcome instalment in a trio of bands inspired by the dark and trashy side of rock n roll, and so far tonight is faultless night where the atmosphere, the venue and the crowd are in sync. At the end of their set the guitar is hurled towards the back of the stage resulting in a wall of feedback whilst Dan Oliver Gott stands at the edge of the stage and glares out into the crowd like a man possessed.
Finally it’s time for Bones Shake to take to the stage, they arrive amidst a blare of sirens that indicates they are kicking off their set with Cops, the opening track from their last years stunning Fun Box EP. Tonight David Brennan is like a man possessed on stage, constantly twisting and writhing to the thunderous backbeat of distorted dark blues guitar and sledgehammer drumbeats that are drawn from the rock ‘n rolls origins. Bones Shake headlining tonight’s line up makes perfect sense, as each band has steadily headed back in time to the dawn of rock ‘n roll to draw their primal influence, and the wild untamed blues of Bones Shake makes a perfect finale to tonight’s line up.
Cracked Lips brings a punkier element into the night, whilst staying true to the twisted blues roots, Bones Shake embrace a fuck you punk attitude and bring in elements of post punk and proto punk to deliver a sound that is outsider rock ‘n roll taken to its limits. Bones Shake manage to compress every single rock ‘n roll excess into a fiery set that ended up going on way beyond curfew and completed a line up that has showcased everything from the dark twisted underbelly of  the Northern side of the alternative scene in the UK, and you can’t ask for much for this from a gig that cost a fiver to get in and offered three bands that complimented each other perfectly.
The Bones Shake Facebook page is here and The Punk Site review of the Fun Box EP is here
The Abattoir Blues Records website is here and their Bandcamp is here
The Snakerattlers website is here and The Punk Site review of This Is Rattlerock is here
Hopper Propelled Electric‘s Facebook page is here and their Bandcamp is here
Live photography by Steven Alexis, you can click on any of the photos to view a slide show of the images