When did this become a thing then? Yes, I know there’s always one group that emerges 25 years after a perceived ‘scene’ that tries to resurrect it but we already have Steel Panther and their Marmite take on the 1980s Sunset Strip thing so why do we need Beggarz Fixx?
We don’t, if truth be told. There’s a reason that the ’80s was great fun – it’s because it was the ’80s and we were going against the grit and grime of the ’70s. In 2014, dressing up like Axl Rose or Vince Neil just makes you look like a pantomime dame trying to emulate something that was a long time ago, like in the ’80s when us young scamps laughed at hippies in their flares and sandals. And it’s not as though the Brighton-based Beggarz Fixx have the songs to back up their worship of the Sunset Strip. After the odd spoken-ish intro of ‘…And the Devil You Know’ – which is probably the best thing here – the full-on Guns N’ Roses tribute begins with ‘Outta Control’ (I just bet they are!) and it just gets blander from there on in, even down to the obligatory ballad ‘Walking’, which is no ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ despite trying desperately hard to capture that power ballad emotion.
And why does 21st century sleaze rock have to sound so damned slick and overproduced? Part of the charm of those old Aerosmith and Mötley Crüe albums was the raw and reckless production that basically sounded like the band was playing in your house but without the crowd noises. “Rouse the Rabble” is so clean and sanitised that it would have trouble rousing a particularly timid cat, let alone an angry mob of hard-partying glam rockers looking for their next fix of coke and a stripper to snort it off.
Which brings me back to my previous question – why do we need Beggarz Fixx? Or, to put it another way, why would you want to listen to the sterile likes of ‘Gimme Some’ when you could just blast out ‘It’s So Easy’ and have a much better time? There’s no doubt that Beggarz Fixx have total belief in what they’re doing, and that is to be commended, but if they want to step up and mix it with the likes of Steel Panther then they’ll need to approach what they do from a different angle because “Rouse the Rabble” isn’t even as interesting as “Chinese Democracy”, let alone as great as “Appetite For Destruction”.