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Gallon Drunk


As avatars of Camden Town's sleazy mid-1990s scene, Gallon Drunk's booze-soaked combination of blues yelping, dirty Rockabilly and tattered cabaret ambiance epitomized the faded elegance and urban horror of post-Thatcher London. With his matinee idol looks and spit-curl pompadour, singer James Johnston came on like a demented cross between Neil Diamond and Hasil Adkins, crying his heart out over howling, feedback-laced Roots rock. Equally adept at crawling king snake blues numbers and beat-heavy, shout 'n' shimmy tunes, the Drunk married the outsider sounds of America's '50s and '60s with a knowingly careless attitude towards noise and chaos that could only come from deep immersion in Punk and its descendents. Evoking the dark end of London streets, Gallon Drunk's swaggering raunch was a primal riposte to then-nascent Brit Pop.

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