In the late 1960s the MC5 created an explosive sound that has reverberated around the world. The only band to perform outside the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago before baton-wielding police broke up the huge anti-Vietnam war rally and lied to the world that it was a riot, they were, during their time, at the forefront of a radical scene in their native Detroit, being the figureheads of the White Panther Party. They were subversive, rebellious and totally hip.
As NME said, "When you were putting your ill-fated garage rock band together back in that heady summer of 2002, [The MC5] were probably third on your list of influences beneath The Clash and Iggy and the Stooges." Yeah, NME does sometimes say stuf that's true...
Although he was more or less forced out of the band in 1972, ostensibly due to his heroin use, the surviving band members are all on friendly terms these days and have performed since 2003 as MC5/DKT (Davis-Kramer-Thompson) with a rotating list of stand-in lead singers, from Mark Arm of Mudhoney to Lisa Kekaula of the Bellrays. The return of the surviving band members was met with nothing less than idol worship, as the godfathers of modern garage-punk that they are.
Whether together or with their other bands, the three remaining members of the MC5 are no lame retro wankfest. They're the real deal. They can still kick out the jams. As NME quite rightly said, "There’s no studied cool, no detached aloofness, just boundless enthusiasm and shit-eating grins."
Go Down Records is bringing MC5 bassist Michael Davis back in the UK, accompanied this time by a more youthful backing band, Italian garage-psych outfit, OJM, for a night of heavy-psychedelic noise at London's Dirty Water Club <http://www.dirtywaterclub.com> on Friday 13th February
And, he promises, he will indeed be kicking out the jams once more.