The Nekromantix Return to Seattle for a Night of All Things Macabre, by Holly Homan

Friday October 6 brought a return of psychobilly heroes the Nekromantix with a night of macabre themes.

Lead singer and upright bassman Kim Nekroman came on stage wearing all black with his signature bass shaped like a child’s coffin with the head stock shaped like a cross. But he didn’t just beat the bass strings, he also spun it around, cradled it like a guitar, climbed on top of it and even licked it (yes, you read that right) on more than one occasion. Towards the end of their show he even sat on the floor with the bass placed in front of him, pulled the mic down to floor level and played.

The highlight had to be when they performed their classic, Haunted Cat House. Nekroman stopped just before repeating the chorus, In that old haunted cat house, and goaded the audience into a frenzy. He darted from one side of the stage to the other, pointing at different people in the crowd and asking if they were ready for it, before returning to the mic and continuing the song. This sent the audience into a moshing and pogoing frenzy.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen the Nekromantix, but I’d guess maybe four or five times at least. I’ll gladly see them four or five more times and even more. I always enjoy their shows. Joining Nekroman was his long time guitarist Franc, but there was a new drummer this time who slammed hard enough to provide the electricity for the band’s performance. Apparently their previous drummer quit without notice and they snagged Scott Churilla who drummed for Reverend Horton Heat until about 2 months ago. He jumped on this Tour a few days ago without knowing the songs. This is what amazing musicianship looks like.

Playing prior to Nekromantix was Seattle’s punk quartet, Die Nasty. Fronted by the dynamic Lauren Goffin, she strutted and paraded about the stage, writing and twisting in a sexually provocative manner, often using the structural post on stage as a stripper would. She wore all black, matching her jet black hair that was accentuated by her bright red lipstick against a very porcelain complexion.

The rest of the band (Steve Ross- Guitar, Lonnie Bristle- Bass & Dain Hudson- Drums create a very hard driving punk sound. Seeing Die Nasty perform is always a pleasure. They are pure punk for hip people.

Playing before Die Nasty was Seattle’s foremost psychobilly band, the Raw Dogs. It had been a couple years since I’d seen them and was actually equally excited about seeing them again as I was the headliner. This band has to be seen to be appreciated. They seemed to have developed quite a following judging by the non-stop circle pits that held steady throughout their set. They looked as though they came right off of a freak show.

Singer Jerry ” H.J. Loveshaft” DeVille wore white face makeup, dark glasses, a snake skin cowboy hat, no shirt and what looked like snake skin pants that were “painted on.” Some of his teeth were blacked out as well. He writhed and twisted and even slithered about the stage as he growled into the mic. Guitarist Joey Bones looked like Chucky the doll. He also wore white face makeup but with black around the eyes along with blood spatters. Bass player Skwerll actually was wearing a shirt at first, but that came off after about two or three songs into their set. He still plays barefoot. He sported a neon green paintbrush Mohawk, elf ears and black makeup around his eyes that rayed upward like a spider web. He often climbed on top of his bass with such ease and precision he reminded me of Golum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Drummer Ian “Bam Stroker” looked completely normal, but slammed away as if possessed by demons – several demons. Raw Dogs are always pure entertainment but all four of them know their way around the art of making music. They’re fine musicians as well as performers and I always have so much fun watching them perform.

Before Raw Dogs was another Seattle band, the Ghost Train Trio. These guys are more traditional rockabilly with lots of twangy guitar licks, singer & Gretsch player extraordinaire (Patrick Mackinnon) had a smooth pleasant voice one minute, but could growl with the best of them the next. Joel Putzier who played double bass, plucked so fast his fingers should have fallen off and Bob Farwell on drums kept everything together. The Ghost Train Trio play that roots rock just as it should be played. They are well worth checking out.

Opening the entire night was a Sacramento band calling themselves Screature. This four-piece was all goth and macabre. They were fronted by Liz Mahoney on vocals and she had unbelievable pipes! She had long dark hair, wore a khaki jacket and silvery flecked see through stockings. The reddish makeup around her eyes gave her a zombie look. Drummer Miranda Vera and organ player Sarah Scherer both had straight ebony hair, porcelain skin and bright red lipstick. Guitarist Christopher Orr tortured his strings, making them scream for mercy. They were intriguing, to say the least.

Nekromantix always put on a great show, but this night, with all the supporting acts, was the perfect prelude to the best holiday ever, Halloween.

– All photos property of Holly Homan, all rights reserved.

Holly Homan has seen and photographed Nekromantix at least five times in the last four years. To see Nekromantix through the years, go here.

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