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Andrew WK Live
Stuart Clark, 19 Apr 2012
Forget Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and all that other religious mumbo jumbo. The world is split into two distinct groups – those who worship at the plimsolled feet of Andrew WK and those who simply don’t understand the gonzoid glory of the Wilkes Krier boy.
Or whoever it is that’s donning the white jeans/t-shirt combo these days. It may sound like a mad grassy knoll-style conspiracy theory, but I’m not entirely sure that the Andrew on stage tonight is the same one I interviewed nine years ago when he played his last Dublin show in the Temple Bar Music Centre.
Whether or not he’s ‘4 Real’ or an elaborate MTV-courting construct is kind of moot when the show is as ass kicking as the one the Academy is treated to tonight.
Built like the proverbial brick shithouse – were he to be Irish he could solve all of Declan Kidney’s tight-head problems – WK spends the entire 90 minutes fist-pumping, scissor-kicking and generally behaving like an ADD kid who’s OD-ed on Jelly Tots.
Joining him on stage are a pair of the most grizzled guitarslingers you’ve seen this side of Motörhead; another seriously shape-throwing six-string sharpshooter who may or may not be plugged in; an Animal from The Muppets-style drummer; and a vixenesque backing singer in a one-piece leotard who’s almost as frenetic as her employer.
They’re a motley crew alright, but well able to recreate the studio bombast of 2001’s I Get Wet album, which is performed tonight in its entirety.
Short of adding Twink to the line-up, it couldn’t be any more of a pantomime, with the likes of ‘It’s Time To Party’, ‘Party Hard’ and the Meat Loaf-meets-Black Sabbath ‘Girls Own Love’ designed to appeal to kids of all ages.
‘I Love NYC’ becomes, natch, ‘I Love Dublin, Ireland’; ‘She Is Beautiful’ is the most raucous of lust songs; and ‘Don’t Stop Living In The Red’ soars to almost Arcade Fire-ian heights. Add in Andrew’s Phantom of the Opera keyboard playing and a carefully choreographed stage invasion and this was a whole lotta fun.