In my opinion, the greatest moment in TV was at the end of ATDI preforming ‘One Armed Scissor’ on Jules Holland.
As the camera pans to the fattest tap dancer of them all, and seconds before he has to perform, Robbie Williams. Looks. Petrified.
How exactly do you follow At the Drive In?
Credit to Robbie he’s quick witted enough to make light of the situation, but it’s clear that even the ‘greatest showman of the naughtiees’ realises his day of reckoning has come. He’s not the greatest. He’s not even a poor mans Freddie Mercury.
Radical champions of the hardcore punk movement, with more than a nod to the Stooges, ATDI strip back the sound of punk to an absolute minimum; leaving only surreal lyrics (“prepare transmission for the one armed scissor”; “jigsaw patterns left a trail”), an explosive sound, and an intense (guitar-driven) rhythm section.
ATDI fight a war not through clever Cohen or Dylan lyrics, but through physicality; blood, sweat and tears. Theirs is will over skill.
Their live show is performance art, blending an aversion to our surroundings through a belief in escapism- a love of our community but a distrust in our rulers.
Close partners of Nirvana in spirit, ATDI were perhaps never meant to reach the mainstream- never meant to be number one in the pop charts- and never meant to be loved by the masses. This was music for the angry by the angry.
Watching Anth The Drive In remind me of why a band like ATDI mean more to me than political speeches, mass rallies and large protests; talk, too often, can be cheap.
Deliberate action, purpose and intensity is, most often, the best solution.
The fat dancers face has been removed from YouTube, but one of ATDI’s performances remains.