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Saturday, December 24, 2005

LAS VEGAS ELVIS: Ladies and gentlemen, the Cowboy Killers have left the building

As we hurtled into Christmas Eve, we were met by the Ghost of Punk Rock Past.. in the shape of The Las Vegas Elvis.

Like TSK and Skindred, The Las Vegas Elvis are punks with pedigrees. They started out in life as an alter ego of The Cowboy Killers, possibly the punkest thing ever to come out of Newport. Along with the afore mentioned Rectify and 100,000 Bodybags, The Cowboy killers formed the backbone of the Gwent punk scene for much of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, strutting their stuff while the ‘Cool Cymru’ crew came and went.

Towards the end, the Cowboy Killers started performing the odd Elvis gig, then they continued in the Elvis guise for a while after the demise of the Killers but it was not long before that little party came to a halt as well. They got back together again recently for a few gigs (Beddis’ birthday me thinx, but I might be wrong) and somehow ended up doing this Christmas show.

Las Vegas Elvis are not so much a tribute to Elvis, more a parody. Beddis, by day a mild mannered guy that looks after the legendary Rockaway Records when Simon is away doing his record fairs; by night a crazy 90mph incarnation of the sequined Elvis of the Las Vegas era. Those that worship at the alter of the big fella and are purists about it, need not come along to a gig ‘cos they will hear all those classics tied to a rocket and shot across the stage into oblivion. Imagine the Damned recording Suspicious Minds, sending the demo to John Peel, and him playing it at 45rpm instead of 33rpm, and you will be somewhere near it.

Despite the fact that it was now Christmas eve and I had been drinking all night with some of me best mates and we had already seen two of my favourite bands I still remember being impressed with the hardcore treatment they were giving ‘The King’, but I don’t think I could stretch to giving too much detail. Eventually it all had to come to an end and it was time for home.

I saw some brilliant gigs in 2005, but as the year was coming to a close this night raced its way into the top five nights of the year. Roll on 2006.


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