Live: Fake Sound Of Progress. Andrew W.K., HMV Forum.

For an LP to merit the sort of celebratory show (or in some cases world bloody tour) during which it is reproduced in its entirety, however many years down the line, it's going to have to be something fairly seminal, right? Devo's Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo may be considered as such and indeed was played out in full almost three years ago at this very venue. Rival Schools' United By Fate would arguably be another pertinent example. Andrew W.K.'s beloved Doolittle, which sold out four Brixton Academy nights nigh on its own understated merit is too, quite patently, such a record. Thus whilst these albums may be quintessential exemplars to prove conclusive point, the buck tonight stops with I Get Wet, Mr. W.K.'s 2001 debut.

To class I Get Wet alongside the aforesaid is unthinkable, illogical and utterly unreasonable, yes. Although at the turn of the Millennium – arguably a time of musical turmoil; of a turgid lack of definitive identity – who's to contest that it wasn't perhaps symptomatic of this problematic epoch? Its rebellion against conformity, instead promoting fanciful and ultimately irresponsible "partying" was at least refreshing and, to paraphrase the great parody before us, it brought an inordinate amount of "joy" to many children, if substantially fewer progenitors (ownership of I Get Wet was verboten in our household due to its infamous artwork, bastardised above). That it tonight still sounds relatively contemporary suggests it was and maybe still is an effort that too many disregarded all too swiftly as blasé gimmickry and overly unruly disruption.

That said, this evening is indubitably an exercise in nostalgia; in reliving years that weren't necessarily filled with the glory this 10th Anniversary world tour intimates nor the gore that his extensive range of merch splattered in cardinal spurts may suggest but years that evoked a carefree abandonment or form of escape from the overriding mundanity of everything. W.K. hasn't aged a day and nor, seemingly, have his adherents whose chants of "Party!" echo around the Forum, clenched meathooks raised skywards. Although it'd appear that few belonging to more youthful generations have been picked up along the way the mood is still one of intense jostle, if not bloody-nosed aggro. A faceless voice then booms: "Do you want to party?" The place almost combusts amid stentorian fission that's probably audible over at the Electric Ballroom where this show was initially scheduled to take place and the mindless crunch of It's Time To Party resounds through the mist of dry ice and diaphoresis.

Primordial grunts aside, W.K.'s pianoforte major chord plodding sounds as though stripped from dodgy '90s game show presented by some equally dubiously pigmented TV mercenary or ABBA D-side although that it sounds precisely as it did aeons ago imbues the event with fidelity and endears all to him. Similarly, the setlist of the main show remains foreseeably faithful to the original tracklisting of I Get Wet meaning Party Hard is tossed off almost immediately. And it's as inspirational as any of his motivational orations. Fuck the so-called 'Classics' that constitute tonight's double encore, for anything external to the LP feels like superfluousness aimed at fleshing out the full-blooded carnage we're here for and carnage comes thick, fast and hunky. "It's a privilege to party with you" he yelps from the indelible grin slapped across his chops, the extravagant histrionics and workout routine of Girls Own Love and The Black Parade undertones of Take It Off inducing rabid frenzy. It's worth recalling that My Chemical Romance were yet to even form when W.K. was imploring the removal of clothing and preaching of unending accordance on the latter and as all bellow as one: "Forever and Ever", the notion of a 20th Anniversary jaunt suddenly seems wholly credible.

If his off-white attire and irrepressible exuberance have been retained almost immortally however, his vocals leave a little to be desired. Whether he's mellowed or merely worn down that inimitably guttural grunt, he first relinquishes said duties to a petrifying co-vocalist who snorts like an adolescent W.K. and occasionally shrieks like Lizzi Bougatsos whilst swaying sweat-greased hair in synchronicity with both man and band. That she looks like a Steel Panther in a circulation-restricting leotard adds this aforementioned terror. The krass 'n' Kraut-y throb of I Love NYC sees the stage promptly invaded and his mic then handed over to overexcited scamps who proceed to bark incoherently into the thing, its lyrics transposed a little gruesomely to "I love London Town!" As well he may, as he later confirms: "We've never partied with this many people before!" Thus whilst this may well be a Fun Night, the nostalgia trip periodically turns bad and a little saddening, as if he himself were in dire need of his acclaimed self-help performances.

Indubitably at points he certainly doesn't help himself out: finding yourself stood witnessing Andrew W.K. thwack a bloke in a banana suit over the bonce to the thunderous thud of the kick drum with an inflatable piece of fruit straight out of that previously alluded to game show feels, quite ashamedly, like lowest common denominator stuff. Likewise what with this being an archetypal Yankee partay, he enquires: "You guys like pizza?" prior to a rip-roaring, rib-splintering She Is Beautiful, before strapping on an unsightly guitar in the shape of a slice to deliver an irksome, seemingly endless solo. Fumbling through anything (and what feels like everything) from La Marseillaise to O Come All Ye Faithful, let's just say he's far from proficient.

The pastiche anthemia of Got To Do It ropes intrigue back in, the sound as messy as the mangle of bods sprawled across the floor whilst I Get Wet comes across as a shower of blissful abrasion although you can't help but feel as though this may be the mildly anticlimactic last hurrah of a charming man who, perhaps through being perennially enshrouded in kitsch, never quite made it. For having made one memorable long-player and subsequently gone on to "pound that fuckin' nail", it's been a tale of a fake sound of progress ever since. Whether this is R.I.P. W.K. remains to be seen although there'll incontestably be a throng baying if ever he elects to bathe us again in I Get Wet however many years down the timeline...