The Uncontrollable Live @ The Purple Turtle, London (UK) - 9th September 2006

San Francisco punk supremos "The Dwarves" are something of an enigma where ever they are in the world. Whether it is starting riots at their gigs (normally with members of the audience), or faking the death of their guitarist, and then getting kicked off their record label as a result, they are the stuff of legends and have many hilarious stories to tell as a result.

However, in the midst all of this Rock N Roll carnage "The Dwarves" are in fact a superb band, they are basically a Hardcore Punk band with very strong pop sensibilities, topped off by vocalist Blag Dahlia with his rapier sharp lyrics, wit and melody.

So, why am I waxing so lyrically about "The Dwarves", when this band is called the Uncontrollable? Well for those unaware, this is actually an acoustic side project/tour for the aforementioned Mr Dahlia and a certain Rex Everything also from The Dwarves. Rex is also more commonly know as Nick Oliveri "Kyuss", "QOTSA" and "Mondo Generator" fame, so as you can probably imagine tonight was always going to be a bit special.

The chance to see such a special show in a venue the size of The Purple Turtle meant a special trip to London was always on the cards (especially when the Cardiff Barfly was cancelled due to scheduling problems that Blag confessed to me later were his doings by getting dates mixed up…DOH)

Once inside the pub sized venue, and a few quick shandies, the night got underway with the first of 3 acoustic sets. Up first we got Nick and a member of "Mondo Generator" playing Mondo and QOTSA tunes, biggest shout being made for "Autopilot" for obvious reasons. After a "blink of an eye quick" 30-minute set it was then time to hand over to Blag, and he ummm strummed through 4 of his less controversial tunes. The crowd openly booed Blag during his hilarious ditty to hot topic of the month "Jihad", but as the great man himself said "Fuck!!! Lighten Up", the song being both very clever and above all very funny.

Sensing he could be losing the crowd, who as far as I could see were largely there to see Nick Oliveri, Blag quickly dragged Rex back out to play nearly 90 minutes worth of classic Dwarves songs. And for me that is when the night fully hit the 10 on the fun-scale. Songs such as "Demonica" and "I Will Deny" in the stripped back format allowed the melodies to really shine through. And within about 6 songs the partisans were cheering as loud as the dude in the Black Flag shirt next to me for songs such as "Back Seat of My Car" "How It's Done" and the seminal "Everybodies Girl".

This was all over too quickly for me, and without an airing of "Dominator" or "Salt Lake City" from the most recent album "The Dwarves Must Die" I was wondering how this night could still have been quite so good? Simple fact is that "The Dwarves" have so many great tunes that they could have played all night and still kept playing classic after classic.

Don't let "The Uncontrollable" or "The Dwarves" escape your attention. They deserve to be the rock legends they already are inside Blag Dahlia's warped, fragile, yet brilliant mind.

by Johnny H.

If anybody has any photos from the Uncontrollable gig @ The Purple Turtle and would like to see them in this column, drop me a line @ EMAIL