The Matadors: Say You Love Satan Tour – Live at Funky Winkerbeans – September 4th, 2014 – Vancouver, BC

Due to some ridiculous transit issues (I took a bus I’d never taken before, walked the wrong way, and ended up across Gastown), I missed local bands Daddy Issues and The Skellys who opened the show. I caught the full Blood Moon set, though, and it was great – it really got the crowd pumped up. Blood Moon were over from Victoria and really impressed me. Also, their drummer moves like Animal, complete with hair flying up and down.

The Matadors the headliners of the show, are in a league of their own. The self-proclaimed founders of the horrorbilly genre have, throughout their long career, become known for pushing boundaries and pushing buttons, musically and otherwise. Their brutal live show has been “destroying stages and the minds of youths since the mid-90s.” In addition, their gimmick, somewhat distasteful at times, remains offensive enough to keep the crowds talking.

More often than not, bands with strong gimmicks act out in such a way that distracts from the music. In seeing The Matadors live, two questions must be asked — First, politically incorrect statements aside, is their music good enough to stand apart from the boundary pushing? And second, can their show be enjoyed even if there are differences of opinion held by band members and concert-goers?

To answer the first question, yes, The Matadors are great live musicians. Technically speaking, the band was great. The bassist in particular really impressed me. As a whole, they put much effort and energy into their live performance, so much so that I could see them sweating their asses off.

The band was stoked about the great crowd that had gathered to see them on a Thursday night. Hooch, founder and frontman of the band, said,

 “The last time we played Vancouver, we played the Rickshaw to, like, six fucking people.” He also encouraged the audience members to have a good time and enjoy the moment by stating, “Right now, tonight, this moment, is as good-looking as any of you are motherfuckers are ever going to get in your lives. This is it. This is as good as it fucking gets right now. Are you with me? So take care of somebody, love somebody, fuck somebody, do something crazy Vancouver, this is it. There’s no fucking part two, motherfuckers. Get your shit done. Have sex with a stranger, do some fucked up shit. Set a human being on fire. Do what you gotta do.”

Of course, no horrorbilly show would be complete without a cameo by Satan himself, this time dressed in a costume seemingly purchased at Halloween store. While he did need some assistance in adjusting his mask, Satan did a good job of wiping Hooch’s brow and handing him a beer. It’s so hard to get good demonic help these days.

As for question number two, the answer is completely subjective. While I did enjoy the music and the performance, I could have done without Hooch’s commentary between songs. Quotes like, “This one’s about your mom sucking my dick on public transit.”  in my opinion, don’t do any favours for the band. It seems it is best to ignore the attention-seeking shock statements and concentrate on the music instead.

Robert Johnson may have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his music, but these guys seem to have sold their soul to a sleazier and much less well-connected devil. The sort of devil that would stand on a stage in a cheap-ass costume and hand their servant beers.



Written by Leilah Thiel

About Leilah Thiel 17 Articles
Leilah Thiel is a transplanted music geek from the corn groves of Indiana to the verdant BC shores. She grew up surrounded by the musicians from her parents’ bands - Street Music, Hormones a Go Go, Menage a Trois, and most recently Spontaneous Hopeful Monster. Her tastes started out in folk and blues, and picked up rock, punk, hip hop and metal along the way. Her favourite genres are the ones that cross boundaries - folk metal, doom grind, surf punk... She loves all kinds of music, and will happily geek out for hours over slightly different variations of folk instruments. Any time off from the music scene is spent either in a good video game, or off in the hills, looking at rocks.


  1. Definitely a band to avoid. Good job of putting it out front, although I imagine you’ll get all kinds of hate mail over it. There are certain flaws you can accept (even expect) from musicians, but lines need to be drawn, too; a band that makes its money by stirring up hatred and denigrating people doesn’t deserve an audience, although there is always a sufficient number of assholes to give them one. A lot of people say, when I tell them why I’m not interested in hearing certain bands or musicians on my do not play list, that you have to judge a musician by the music, not their personal lives. Well, I do judge a musician by their music. But I can find lots of good bands, singers and guitarists without listening to jerks for whom money/fame/ego is more important than other people. Why would I spend time/money on racists, sexists or homophobes? Leave them to their audiences of other assholes, and pray that the club doesn’t catch fire and wipe them out, bless their hearts.

  2. You have never met them. You have no idea if any of the things you are saying about what they think are true or not. Nice try. You might want to consider NOT going into journalism as a profession.

  3. The Matadors are Rockabilly??!! Are you SURE you should be a MUSIC journalist? I’m thinking you should quit and find something YOU are good at. This aint it. It looks here like you just wanted to chime in on something you have no idea about.

  4. I have never met The Matadors, but their message is so potent I would allow them to have sexy time with my cat and/or dog. For real, would even let them take pictures. In black face too. Musically I feel they are too powerful for you, you cant handle their power and that why perhaps you feel the need to get all shitty, its like those magic eye things, you remember them, well maybe The Matadors are your magic eye and you have to get all nasty because you dont appreciate their awesomeness. Probably vegan too. am I right? I’m right.

    • Sorry, dude. Bacon all the way, although I have been known to add kale to it if that makes you feel better about yourself.

      Maybe you can clear up that whole magic eye thing for me – what potent message were you hearing in that show?

  5. You went and saw a band you know sings songs about sluts and hand jobs but expected to see Sting? For real? How retarded are you?? The Matadors are THE MATADORS!! They’ve only BEEN The Matadors for 20 years, doing exactly what they do.

  6. It is obvious that your PC agenda does not fit with The Matadors. It’s a show for Christ’s sake! I suggest you find another career altogether or at least learn something about what you are writing about before you write it.
    And really when did you develop the ability to see others’ thoughts? You could make good money on that instead of writing.

  7. WOW, i could barely read past the “drummer who moves like animal” part. Music Journalism is definitely not your forte. I think you need to be writing an i hate men column, in a Feminism magazine. Very poorly written, and worded. Also the fact of the many disclosures about the bands way of life and personal choices, instead of it being solely about their music, is out right shameful. Your not a journalist. Your a feminist with a pen who went with the intentions of writing a horrible peice about the band cause they have penises. Go fly a kite into a vagina.

  8. So uh….where’s the review?
    All I see here is a bunch of whiny bullshit reminiscent of that of a
    scorned 14 year old girl.
    There’s no journalism, no professionalism, and quite frankly very little musical knowledge.
    Rockabilly? Really now sweetheart, you might want to at least research the band a little bit before
    writing a whine piece on it.

    Bottom line is, they’re excellent musicians that put on a hell of a show, sorry that you got your panties in a wad over their “oh-so hurtful” words.

  9. Great review. Matadors used to be OK. It was comedic rockabilly and it sounded decent.

    The latest record sounds like a pile of shit. Last time i saw them live he was so deaf he killed the sound of everything because two amps still werent loud enough to hear his guitar, and caused terrible feedback in the mics. A pro band with a pro sound crew in a rock venue shouldn’t take a 45 min sound check. And then i heard from my friends in the other band that they were stiffed by the Matadors too, even after lending them a ton of gear for the show.

    Hooch has become so egotistical and full of shit that, as the article says, its painful to hear him talk.

    Old, washed up, and should have quit years ago. And Butch Haller? That one joke was funny once. Then he said it every song.

    • and yet they still fill the bar and kill it live. Joe you seem like you might be an idiot. Do you know him? have you spoken with him? how do you know he is egotistical? from watching “the show” really? you cant figure out whats going on up there? come now… you HAVE to be smarter than that.

  10. Lets set this record straight once and for all. Black face was a bigoted form of humor in the early 1900’s (complete with a black shoe polish face and huge red lips) If you can not tell the difference between dressing up in costume as a character you respect and revere (Jimi Hendrix) and telling bigoted jokes at the expense of a particular race of people while adorned in black shoe polish, then you my dear have much much deeper seeded racial issues than The not so Late but defiantly Great, Mr. Hooch Parkins.

  11. this writer has no business with her knowledge (seriously name dropping Robert Johnson?) , and prejudiced bent, reviewing shows of this type. There’s no room in the rock’n’roll scene for political correctness, don’t like it, don’t go.

    Also she is a terrible writer, you need better editors/ quality control.

  12. I think that this is a case of not being able to seperate ‘the stage act’ from the music. You claim to be able to do this, but everything you said showed you didn’t. Hooch Parkins is a brilliant musician. Period. His stage persona is just that a persona. It’s what draws the crowd in and when they get there expecting shit they get a musical education of the highest calibre. I know very few musicians that practice and hone their craft like Hooch does. Yes some of the things that come out of his mouth are off color, but shock value has always been part of art. I’d hate to see what you would make of a GWAR show or what you would have thought of after Dayglos show back in the day. All bands do things that shock their audience at some stage in their career. Expecting the unexpected is part and parcel of being a fan at live shows. The Matadors have been shocking fans for years and providing amazing music in the process. I hope they continue to do so for years to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.