According to one national newspaper the Dwarves are “notorious US shock-rockers”. On stage at the Astoria their front man Blag has a simpler title for his band. “Rock legends, bitch, stand up,” he screams. How accurate both these descriptions are is a moot point. What is more certain is that Dwarves' shows are a lot of fun. They probably shouldn’t be. But they are.

From a neutral standpoint the prospect of a large man who is probably out of his mind on drugs shouting about how much he likes to have sex while a semi-naked guitarist in a gimp mask jumps up and down is quite an unpleasant one. Some part of most people probably feels that they should have grown out of this sort of thing by now.

A catchy tune and a deliberate aim to offend come together wonderfully in the Dwarves though. Songs like ‘FEFU’ – refrain “I wanna fuck, I wanna fuck, I wanna fuck” – and the school boy ode to lesbians ‘Better Be Women’ rip though the Astoria, setting it alight with enthusiasm. The short 45 minute set sees a rapid selection of songs dispatched with simple, neat bursts of cartoon petulance. This is apparently a long set by Dwarves standards.

Blag is not the most charismatic front-man and he frequently hands over singing duties to crowd members, with no discernible decrease in quality. As a unit the Dwarves, however, carry it all off, blasting through their rock posturing in a hugely entertaining way. And it’s all over before you even realise that you were meant to be shocked.

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Commenting On: Astoria, London, 19/3/2005 - Dwarves

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