The Gorillas

Jesse Hector’s fabulous pub/mod/punks reviewed live in Record Mirror, 15 January, 1977.

The Gorillas

Strange how the word gets round, isn’t it? Seems like all of a sudden everybody is talking about the Gorillas.
A bottom of the bill appearance at the Roundhouse and suddenly the Nashville is filled to the rafters with all manner of people.
No closet Mbass ods, but lots of punks, some Hot Rods and a Damned or two.
There’s quite a grunt about the Gorillas.
If the Gorillas can pack them in like this on their first London pub appearance, they’ll certainly be coining it in a month or two. After all, when it comes to volume alone, the Gorillas blow every other New Wave band clean off the stage.
If only because their music is more accessible. Old R ‘n’ B and rock ‘n’ roll favourites, cut with George Harrison day-tripping guitar figures and the kind of booming melodic bass riffs that Noel Redding ripped off Small Facer Plonk Lane. The music is loud, insistent but it’s clean too, with big holes in it to rest your ears and deep, rolling tom toms that urge the listener to tap both feet at once.
But what will really make you fall over and spill your beer is the antics of the band themselves. Not only do they look like Gorillas with those outrageous Mod haircuts, they move like them too.
They jump and jerk, kick their heels, lead singer and guitarist Jess Hector and Al Butler on the bass sweeping the stage bubbling and exuberant.
And Hector has a voice to beat them all. It was flat – like his guitar – and a rudimentary PA failed to do it true justice. But the power in those vocal chords will pick up every Noddy Holder fan in the country, burning versions of old faves like ‘All Or Nothing’ ‘Keep On Chooglin” and ‘Wild Thing’ will search out all sorts and their single ‘The Gatecrasher’ ought to sell in thousands.
But if anything really impressed it was the sheer power of Jess Hector’s personality. He is one of those rare performers who commands the attention of all eyes when he is on a stage. The boy has real charisma. Stamped with star quality.

Chas De Walley


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