Reviews

Live Review: King Salami & the Cumberland 3

King Salami reigns over the Haggerston Signature Brew crowd alongside support Altermoderns and The Mudd Club.

The Shake Some Acton folks’ banner reads: “Punk-Trash-Garage-Dirty Rock N’ Roll”, and we here at Punktuation are more than partial to all of the above, especially after the huge success of last month’s SSA-promoted Drunk Mums show. So tonight, we find ourselves in Haggerston, ready for another evening of high-octane musical thrills.

They do celebrations well, do Altermoderns. The Brazilian guitar-and-drum duo played a superb set on New Year’s Eve (just down the road at the Night Owl in Finsbury Park), and now they’re kicking off the Friday evening of a long weekend. We’d probably forgive them if they just phoned it in tonight, but they do the exact opposite, turning in a raw, passionate belter of a set. 

AlterModerns, Haggerston Signature Brew, 3/5/24. Pic by Alex Goose.

The likes of ‘She’s Not Yours’ and ‘Out In The Street’ are infused with Stones-esque swagger, a great pop sensibility, a touch of psych and plenty of punk vitriol – and my goodness, those tunes aren’t half addictive. Book them for your wedding, you’ll forever be known as the coolest couple around. Much like Altermoderns themselves, in fact!

A tough act to follow, but from the moment The Mudd Club take the stage, they play like there’s no tomorrow. They’re clearly all super-talented musicians who could probably do a three-hour prog odyssey if they felt like it, but thankfully they keep things short, taut and full of fizzing solos. 

The Mudd Club, Haggerston Signature Brew, 3/5/24. Pic by Alex Goose.

Highlights include the groovesome brace of ‘Gimme A Thrill’ and ‘New Tattoo’, and the full-throttle punk blast of ‘Bottle Blonde’. Make no mistake, this is as great as primal, fuzzed-up garage rock gets, and although The Mudd Club deserve far more than just the handful of folks dancing down the front, you get the feeling that tunes of this calibre must surely outgrow a cult following at some point. Essential. 

King Salami and the Cumberland 3, Haggerston Special Brewery, 3/5/24. Pic by Alex Goose.

King Salami And The Cumberland 3 are tonight’s headliners, and their vocalist – yep, King Salami himself – is one hell of a showman, resplendent in a sort of turban/crown hybrid, brandishing maracas and commanding the (by now packed-out) venue like a true master of ceremonies. 

He and his multi-national band are on a mission to make us all move, and they succeed in fine style, with a succession of down and dirty rock n’ soul boogie bangers (no, really!). They’ve been around a while, but play with the energy of a band half their ages, and sure know how to infuse old sounds with a new vitality, as proved by the gloriously twangy riffs of ‘Bayou Fever’ and the stop-start rhythm of ‘Sting Ray’. 

A gloriously ramshackle cover of ‘Tainted Love’ brings to an end an evening of quality rock and roll, and we exit feeling seriously reenergised. Trust us when we say that you’d be well advised to (a) follow all of tonight’s bands online, and (b) get yourself down to future Shake Some Acton shindigs on the 15th June and 5th July.   

Pics by Alex Goose

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