||STEEL PANTHER - CLAWS OUT AND ACOUSTIC AT THE CROBAR
Steel Panther: The Crobar, London
27th February 2017
Words and Pictures: Philip Welford
It's 6.00pm and our fave hangout, the Crobar, is packed with rock royalty and enough fans with lycra and hairspray to make this small West End venue a serious fire hazard. We are all here to witness our favourite stadium rockers, Steel Panther, play an up close and personal acoustic gig and the atmosphere is electric (!).
After being treated to a raucous acapella rendition of several classic Panther blockbusters by the frantic fans at this special select gig in Soho, Michael Starr and Satchel prowl onto the makeshift stage to stadium level screams.
In true to form style, they're straight into the tits and arse on display. The latest addition to the sprint of Panthers is Axel, obviously. Grinning like a cat that got the cream, he's lapping up the adoration of this hundred strong gathering.
They launch into 'Girl From Oaklahoma' and the boys and girls crowding the trio are in full on backing vocal mode.
The vibe is awesome. With smiles as wide as alley cats in a wheelie bin and the vibrant crowd close enough to lick their sweat (and there was some that probably would have), you can tell this is as much fun for the Panthers as for us.
The usual balls out rock is transformed into some surprisingly beautiful ballads, with engaging dual vocals and harmonies, occasionally a bit pitchy but that's forgiven as the Bants with the Pants takes on a whole different feel in this intimate atmosphere.
'Poontang Boomerang' receives its debut outing and it's no surpise that every fan in this sweaty speakeasy already knows every lyric, closely followed by 'Just Like Tiger Woods', a killer singalong song which is given its first acoustic rendition.
The guitar twangs in a slightly ambiguous Southern blues rock style and the sound and light combo is working it to the max. The beards and boobs are bouncing along and the heat is starting to rise as shortened treats 'Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)' and 'Gloryhole' have us laughing and screaming along.
Obviously it wouldn't be the same without a beautiful chick or two pulled up on stage and one lucky lady was selected for the full on Steel Panther roasting up on stage. Beaming from ear to ear she managed however to coyly resist the tempting offer from Starr, The King of Risque, to "Get your tits out!"
Starr excels at these small gigs and his comedy timing and off the cuff top shelf banter has us all in stitches. At Panther's stadia gigs their humour is sometimes lost – but in this claustrophobic Cro it is better than Micky Flanagan on one of his Stella Artois gags. Fantastically not PG or PC, Starr and Satchel give us an hour of memories to last a long time. This is where they shine.
And finally all too soon it's encore time with 'Bukakke Tears' running down our faces, then its over. They loved it, we loved it, even the jaded rock journos hiding out by the bar trying not to enjoy it, enjoyed it. The night Steel Panther roared acoustically and Soho was led, twitching, back into their lair with a mixture of farce, sexuality and irony.