@ Newcastle Think Tank?, October 5 2015

The new face of Beck’s Bier. The poster boy for Tesco spring water. Stand-up comic, would-be impressionist, endearing raconteur and camera-ready fashionista. Biters frontman Tuk is all of these things. And more. 

But most of all he’s a mad-for-it, must-see, born-to-be-wild rock star. And for all his sideshow gimmicks and charming banter it’s all about the music where Tuk and his band are concerned.

Long after the dust had settled on this deliciously disheveled show, Biters’ main man was still posing for pics, signing anything and everything, chatting to people he’d never met before and trying to flog the odd T-shirt and CD.

There may be plenty of posing, posturing and well-practiced punk rock moves but there’s nothing pretentious about Tuk and his sleazy buddies. They really, really mean it as they rifle through a set paying homage to everything that was excessive and explosive about the 70s rock scene.

This was a greatest hits blast of songs most of us hadn’t even heard 12 months ago. It was like the MC5 reincarnated with Iggy, Steven Tyler, Alice Cooper, Paul Stanley and Michael Monroe sharing vocal duties. Yep, it was that good.

It’s easy to understand why Biters have been accused of shamelessly riding the current wave of retro-mania but Monroe and co. won’t last forever. And when the songs are so catchy and so cool who really cares if they’re rooted in another era?

Dreams Don’t Die according to Biters and right now the Atlanta crew are living theirs. Why so few fans turned out to experience one of the shows of 2015 baffled the 60-odd punters pushed up towards the front of the Think Tank? stage but the intimacy added to a gig that went from slow burner to incendiary in the space of 20 minutes.

Irresistible anthem 1975 is likely to define Tuk and co. for years to come – only time will tell whether it will become their popular calling card rather than the albatross around their necks. For now it’s a guaranteed floor filler and crowd pleaser all rolled into one.

Biters still have it all to do based on a sparse Toon crowd. But they can do it. And better than most. It Tuk a while – but Biters are the taste of things to come.

  • Exclusive image courtesy of Gordon Armstrong