Ten years since’ I Get Wet’ first assaulted our eardrums. Ten whole years. It seems like only yesterday that Andrew WK first graced our screens and stereos ubiquitously and relentlessly with ‘Party Hard’. To celebrate, he’s going on a worldwide non-stop party, playing the entirety of ‘I Get Wet’, and stopped by the UK for three dates. TwoBeatsOff made the trip down to the HMV Forum in London to finally catch one of our heroes.
Hawk Eyes were the first support of the night. A great young British talent, Hawk Eyes certainly captured the audience right from the start. While they’re not necessarily bringing anything shockingly new to the table, their performance was solid and their own brand of rock and roll is certainly captivating enough. A great start to the evening, we can’t wait to hear a little bit more from Hawk Eyes. The brilliantly named Turbowolf carried on the predator theme with a lot of bad Hawaiian shirt all up on that stage. Their set started off quite well with some light hearted party rock but strayed into slightly doomier, slightly more rubbish territory. We also had no idea what they were singing about and presumed wizards. Indeed, I’m all about more wizard representation in popular music. They did a cracking cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Somebody To Love’ though and set us up nicely for the party god in question.
It really is strange to think that ‘I Get Wet’ was ten years ago when Andrew WK doesn’t seem to have aged at all. Looking just as ready to party as he did in the video for ‘Party Hard’, he barrelled onto the stage to break straight into ‘It’s Time To Party’. From the opening bars, the entire venue went wild, from the front right back to the merch table. It’s safe to say that the band know how to party as well – I’ve never seen a bunch of people so elated to be playing to such a crowd. It wouldn’t be hard to describe the ‘I Get Wet’ half of the set as utterly perfect. Well, possibly excepting Andrew’s weird guitar solo before they did ‘She Is Beautiful’, but his guitar was shaped like a pizza and had his face printed on it several times. He can be forgiven. The energy was high for the whole album set, with multiple stage invasions (crowdsurfing Banana Henry was my favourite) and shenanigans beyond your wildest dreams. Forget New York City, London Town is where the party’s at!
The encore, featuring a lot of songs from his second album, didn’t go down quite as well. It’s not to say that Andrew and his band weren’t still on form, but ‘The Wolf’ went largely under the radar in the UK and a lot of people took to the bar. I was waiting for one of the Japanese covers, but I think that was just me. Nevertheless, Andrew’s totally unexpected piano solo because-he-could was spectacular. Many people forget that he’s actually a pretty talented musician (as was proven by his piano only album, ’55 Cadillac’) and for those still with us, it was awesome. Because not just anyone could get away with that. Nor could just anyone get away with the motivational speeches that Andrew is prone to giving in between songs. From anyone else, it would have sounded like a cheesy attempt to get the audience on side, but for Andrew effing WK to tell you that the party feeling of that night will last for days, and that music is the most uplifting thing of all… You’d be a goddamn fool not to believe him. A new song, ‘Headbang’ was wheeled out for us and got everyone excited again, just before the superb finale that was ‘We Want Fun’. There literally must have been sixty, seventy people up on that stage giving it all they had. And that’s what it’s all about, right? One great night.
Many people have said, and will continue to say, that one cannot write songs about partying alone. The other night in London will prove those people the hell wrong. Because Andrew WK is here to stay, and he is here to party hard.