The 100 Club, Oxford Street, August 12th

After a lengthy hiatus the droogs are back. It's safe to say that Campag Velocet haven't really existed anywhere other than Pete Voss's addled imagination for the best part of the last three years. The fact that they're back and firing on all cylinders again is a pleasant surprise - and tonight, seeing them in the same venue that I first saw them five years ago - they sound as crazed as they did before.

Equally obsessed with Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange and the search to create a new kind of rock and roll , the bands approach to songwriting can definitely be defined as idiosyncratic. Taking musical influence from absolutely everywhere - Pink Floyd to Hip hop, Primal Scream to acid house and all points inbetween - and hurling a load of seemingly random lyrics over the top, isn't exactly a new trick (it wasn't first time round either) but Campag Velocet do it with such abandon and obvious relish that you can't help but get caught up in the whirl.

There are only a couple of old tracks tonight, the set being mostly made up of songs from the comeback album "It's Beyond Our Control", but "Bon Chic Bon Genre" and "To Lose La Trek" sound totally at home amongst their newer siblings. "I've been around, I've been knocked down... Now I'm BACK AGAIN!" barks Voss during "Motown Clic", a combination of Liam Gallagher, Ian Brown and Mark E Smith, only slighltly less sane and with more attitude - if you can belive that. He's always been convinced of his own star quality and now he seems more determined than ever to make us believe.

His cut-up stories of clubland madness and urban angst are set to a soundtrack of proto-funk and unhinged acid rock that makes both the arse and the brain twitch. The closing yob-dance salvo of "Ain't No Funky Tangerine" and "Who Are The Trumping Men" have the small and admittedly partisan crowd dancing and totally up-for-it, screaming for more. Good to have them back.

Richy [ August 14th, 2004 ]

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