Retro Man Blog: The Dustaphonics "Big Smoke London Town"
The launch party for Graham Day & The Forefathers new album “Good Things” at 229 The Venue in London on October 31st is shaping up to be one hell of a Halloween night as The Dustaphonics have now been added to the line-up along with The Fallen Leaves. The Dustaphonics actually have a new record of their own to promote too, the fabulous “Big Smoke London Town” has just been released on Dirty Water Records and is fast becoming one of Retro Man Blog’s favourite albums of the year so far. The lead single and title track “Big Smoke London Town” is a perfect example of the delights that can be found within – it’s an evocative tale of late night London with characters inhabiting seedy nightclubs, afterhours drinking dens and Burlesque clubs. The Dustaphonics could be an ultra-cool gang who are just heading out for a night of, quite possibly illicit, entertainment as most of us are crashed out on the last train home. The titles of the band’s debut album “Party Girl” and single “Burlesque Queen” (Also released on Dirty Water Records) hint where the band are coming from and in fact “Burlesque Queen” was co-written with chesty cult movie star Tura Satana who appeared as the high kicking heroine in Russ Meyer’s trashy 60’s underground classic “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”
After various line-up changes The Dustaphonics are now based around guitarist, songwriter, promoter and DJ, Yvan Serrano–Fontova and the stunning flame haired vocalist Hayley Red with a revolving rhythm section of Eric Frajria or Bruce Brand on drums and Dan Whaley or Devid Dell'Aiera on bass. The band are just one big joyful celebration of an eclectic mix of 1950s Rock 'n' Roll, Garage Rock, Soul, Blues and instrumental Surf music, they are equally at home playing a Rock Club or The Jazz Café and have a celebrity fan and occasional lead vocalist in the shape of The Blues Brothers Dan “Elwood” Aykroyd. “Big Smoke London Town”, the album, starts of with a killer trio of up-tempo floor-shakers that will have you up out of your seat as soon as the first chord strikes up, “The Message”, “When You Gonna Learn?” and the title track are all instantly addictive with memorable hooks in abundance. The swinging rhythm section and Yvan’s equally rhythmic scratchy Lo-Fi guitar lay down a hip-shaking groove that allows Hayley’s vocals to shine throughout the album. Suddenly, there’s a brief revving up of engines and it’s into “Grand Prix” which is an effective Dick Dale style Surf instrumental. “Ride On Louisiana Red” is a steamy slice of swampy Blues which is followed by the fat twanging guitar riff intro of the excellent “Rockin’ Boogaloo”.
“Back To Mono” shows that the band can switch easily to great Go-Go’s style guitar pop before spinning out another instrumental “Fire Dance”, with its ominous Link Wray American Indian riffing, reminiscent of “Comanche!”. Next up is one of the album’s highlights “Mojo Yar Bones” with its great sing-along chorus and melodic backing vocals; it’d make a great follow-up single. The last track comes as a surprising but ultimately satisfying twist in the shape of “Flesh & Blood” which calms everything down. It’s the quiet reflective glass of whisky at the end of a full-on night of partying. The song is built solely around a simple repetitive, almost flamenco guitar motif over which Hayley’s sultry vocals float seductively, it’s a perfect ending to a pretty much perfect album.
You can order the album “Big Smoke London Town” from the Dirty Water Records on-line store or of course pick up a copy at 229 The Venue on October 31st. For more news on The Dustaphonics including upcoming gigs and tour dates then please check out their Facebook page here. With many thanks to Paul Manchester at Dirty Water Records and to Zig Criscuolo from The WitchDoktors for the excellent photographs.