Typography

The early 1970s suffered from musical apartheid with rock, jazz, reggae and soul all maintaining a purity that would embarrass fascists. The youth were herded by the music industry into clearly defined musical pens while the artists had to create ‘product’ to suit. Something had better change. And it did. Bands like The Stranglers sleazed nicely on the Doors, The Clash rioted on reggae and rockabilly, the Ramones blitzed on the Stooges; a kaleidoscopic plunder of the musical DNA of the time all set to a backdrop of DIY and anti-establishment.

Three-piece Tampere band Mambo show that Finland’s Punk scene is very much alive. Finnish singer Mambo Jones recreates a vocal feel of working class England while strumming the Telecaster. On drums, Willy von Flashback pumps out the beat: flashback to Rick Buckler in ‘77. The bass work by Luigi Kravatto is superb; rattling off riffs on the Fender Jazz Bass while maintaining the pulse.

To gain some idea of the sound, smear Jam on a Bob Marley T-shirt, wash it with London Calling powder, shove it through a Rockabilly wringer and dry it in the Finnish air. Black Mambo isn’t The Clash, The Jam or Ramones, but neither are these 70s pillagers of genres the Black Mambo. This is the product of their own looting of musical museums, served up on punk’s platter of sheer DIY fun.

Sat 5 Dec
Black Mambo, Charred
Hearts (UK) & Rejected
Dog’s Home, Tampere

“Punk isn’t dead, it’s still dying,” says Mambo Jones. No, Punk is not dying. With its star sign of Pyrex in permanent ascendant, this test tube baby of division breaking musical DIY is alive and well in the shape of Black Mambo.

Punk isn’t dead, it’s still mutating. Nice ’n’ sleazy.

Stephen McKay