Thursday night at the Fat Fox in Portsmouth is Hong Kong Gardeners Club, a recession busting evening where for just a few pounds punters can catch up and coming underground indie bands as well as one or two local acts over a couple of pub priced pints. Tonight is the turn of London trio Let's Wrestle, out on tour to support their album In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s
Let’s Wrestle are a menagerie of mohican beatkids, floppy hair and leopard skin guitar straps that look like they have just drunkenly stumbled in from a student party that has gone on too long. Asking the audience to step closer to the stage the band themselves are distinctly several steps to the left, being very much on the periphery with slightly out of tune singing that seems to be following a different song to the guitars. Let’s Wrestle seem intent on producing a scrappy, scuzzy, ramshackle and generally unmemorable sound reminiscent of late 80’s indie anorak college guitar bands. If this was 1987 they would probably be a support act for the Wedding Present or Half Man Half Biscuit. There are moments when the three piece break from the shambolic lo-fi ghetto with the odd catchy “Ba ba ba” indie beach boy chorus that almost hooks you in, but for the most part their songs lead to a state of muddled utter perplexity, despite the energy of the Buzzcocks gone wrong sound they make.
The most memorable moment of the set is their last number. Amid a flurry of angry instrumentation they yell “Let’s wrestle, let’s fuckin’ wrestle,” before name checking world of sport fighting legends Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. Dickie Davis would be proud of them. It all ends with a chaotic and noisy barrage of guitar where occasionally a riff of note peeps out above the parapet, before it ducks back down and is forgotten. If Let’s Wrestle were a sexual experience they would be an awkward, fumbling, giggling and slightly grubby up against the wall moment with an ugly spotty inexperienced teenager at the end of a student party. It would probably end suddenly in a burst of premature ejaculation, and in the morning you wouldn’t even remember it.
The Let’s Wrestle style of dumb leftfield indie amateurishness is finding a small fan base, but it doesn’t make us want to don our leotard, jump up into the ring, and perform body presses on fellow fighters. It may have been the band were having an off day, but we suspect that its part of their style. It was a struggle with Let’s Wrestle.