Review | Oh! Gunquit at The Loft, Southsea: 'Playfully sleazy rock'n'roll'

When Oh! Gunquit get to their song Whiplash, frontwoman Tina Swasey brandishes – oh yes – a whip with which to (gently) flagellate the faithful before handing it to a member of the audience to do the same to her.

Sunday, 24th April 2022, 11:40 am

This is fairly standard fare for the London-based five-piece who trade in a playfully sleazy brand of rock'n'roll – and the full house at The Loft laps it up.

The sound is something akin to what you'd get if you chucked The Cramps, Link Wray and Dick Dale in a blender along with the punk spirit, a filthy sense of humour and a sizeable love of the outrageous.

Simon Wild powers the songs with his greasy guitar riffs while Chuchi Malpersona on saxophone provides a powerful counterpoint, the latter frequently jumping off stage and into the throng.

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Oh! Gunquit at The Loft, Southsea on April 23, 2022. Picture by Chris Broom

Regular bassist VV is missed, but super-sub 'Nacho' ably steps in.

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Songs from their three albums with names like The Splank!, Toxic Witch, Head Bites Tail and Never Sorry pass in a blur.

Swasey is a livewire performer – never still, she commands her stage, high-kicking, shaking all manner of maracas (when not handing them out to the front row), and often also playing trumpet.

Oh! Gunquit at The Loft, Southsea on April 23, 2022. Picture by Chris Broom

She is definitely not afraid to work up a sweat for fear of messing up her hair or makeup.

And of course, her legendary (in certain circles) trumpet-playing-while-hula-hooping routine to their cover of Johnny and The Hurricanes' 1959 instrumental hit Crossfire brings the house down.

They finish with the frenzied Voodoo Meat Shake, and it's over all too soon – the audience reluctant to let them leave.

Oh! Gunquit’s albums are great fun, but they are exercises in the proverbial attempt of trying to catch lightning in a bottle – it is on a stage they truly come alive.

Oh! Gunquit at The Loft, Southsea on April 23, 2022. Picture by Chris Broom

The band are back this way on July 31, playing at the Pompey Punk'n'Roll all-dayer on the end of South Parade Pier.

Another foray into the wild world of these self-proclaimed ‘exotic rockets’ can't come soon enough.