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Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Thu 6 September

For a quarter of a century, Whitehouse have existed in a flabby imaginary hinterland where late cock-er-knee geezer Mike Reid duets with shamed gang-master Gary Glitter. Or at least that’s how it seems as the double act of William Bennett on old-school techno clatter and Philip Best on incomprehensible potty-mouthed harangues play their first ever Edinburgh show, a treat made ever more possible since Bennett took up residence here.

Named after deceased anti-porn campaigner Mary Whitehouse, the duo’s shtick is simple. Two middle-aged geezers in market-trader shades offload a bucket load of venom before whipping their shirts off to show off their pasty flesh, throw X-Factor shapes and indulge in a spot of casual frottage. This is hardcore, then, on every level. Except, not really, because for all the sturm-und-drang relentlessness, their camp, cheeky-chappy charm comes on more Grumbleweeds than guerrilla warfare, resembling a pissed-up Gilbert and George having a right old lark as they rub each other’s noses in whatever bodily fluid that’s going.

Oddly exhilarating, like a fascist rally in CC Bloom’s, Whitehouse are the anti-Erasure. Be there and bow down.

The List, issue 586, September 20 2007



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