Review | King Salami & The Cumberland 3 at The Old Barn, Portsmouth: 'It’s only rock’n’sausage roll, but I like it...'

​It was while watching this gig that it occurred to me – there’s a potentially untapped market here of themed shows...
King Salami & The Cumberland 3 at The Old BarnKing Salami & The Cumberland 3 at The Old Barn
King Salami & The Cumberland 3 at The Old Barn

​After all – here we are with food and drink covered by headliners, the sausage-loving King Salami and The Cumberland Three, and support act Electric Lemonade, respectively.

This is apparently only the fourth ever gig by the openers – albeit four gigs spread over several years and never with the same lineup (on this occasion the previous rhythm section have apparently “gone to Mexico”) or sound.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Starting life as a side project of Rob Hyslop, known in these parts as a member of instrumental twangsters The Gary 7 and Pompey surf-punk legends Emptifish’s final stand, the five-piece are a fine aperitif and not half bad for a whole two rehearsals.

It’s good fun garage rock – sample song title: If I Were Wendy James’ Boyfriend, which is dedicated to Portsmouth scenester Paul Groovy whose band supported the former Transvision Vamp vocalist on her last visit to the city.

But we’re here for the main course – the self-styled Sultan of Sausage and his hot-rocking trio.

While they’re based in London, this truly international band describe themselves as a “mongrel mix of Caribbean, France, Japan and Spain”, and they could comfortably add “100 per cent gonzo” to that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The King is a bug-eyed, gravel-throated live-wire. With his maracas firmly in hand, he leads the trio through one garage-rock, rockabilly, soul-infused stomper after another.

It’s all rollicking, barking mad stuff with tongue wedged firmly in cheek. Not many frontmen could repeatedly tell a Portsmouth audience that he’s in “Pompous Pompey” and still keep them on-side.

But the King is a captivating figure, frequently in among the crowd. And there’s also an attempt to get us all doing some co-ordinated dance moves with varying degrees of success.

They finish the main set with what may well be their signature song, Do The Wurst. But as The Rolling Stones nearly sang: It’s only rock’n’sausage roll, but I like it...

Related topics: