Guest Review – The Stranglers – Dr Feelgood o2 Academy Bournemouth 25th March 2019

The Great Kudu, was in need of a Loo, 
so partook of a hedge.
Encountering a few, still in search of Hugh,

near pushed him over the edge.
Having done what they do, Feelgood in his view,

won his praise, a privilege.
And of course too, The Stranglers of who,

are a band worthy of their Sege*.

Part 1-The Journey-

Left Salisbury at 18.00 but forgot about the everlasting road works on way to Bournemouth, hit road works and then became desperate for a call of nature, huge mug of coffee before I left was a bad idea but as driving, I knew I couldn’t have a beer at the gig. So clenching my thighs (too much info) I was faced with a wall of traffic, 30 minutes just to do one mile… I finally hit Bournemouth, by now I was at bursting point, so parked car where I could and jumped over someone’s large wall and fertilized their bush (no sexual references intended). If you are the owner of the property, I apologize but sometimes desperate situations call for desperate measures! After that I drove around looking for parking after ending up on the seafront, eventually I found the large open car park that I have used before, mission accomplished.

Part 2- Passive Listeners-

After parking the car I got talking to two blokes, now they were really clued up; firstly they had no idea Dr Feelgood had no original members and secondly they asked if Hugh Cornwell was still in the band? Now that’s why I have titled Part 2 Passive Listeners, it’s just laziness all you have to do is go on the internet and you can find current line-up formations on most bands, I always do a bit of research if I am seeing a band that I don’t know much about.

There are two types of listeners when it comes to music:

1-Passive Listeners – music is just a distraction and means nothing

2-Active Listeners – actually listen to music and get something from it, i.e. appreciating the art behind it.

A lot of people who attend gigs just seem to be there to piss in the toilets. Oh well it’s free country? sort of?

Part 3- The gig-

Now this was my third and last date of the tour, next gig will be Lille in November, so I hoped to end on a high? (not with Drugs?) More about that in a while.

So first up Dr Feelgood without any original members, taking that aside, I have to say they have actually grown on me the three times I have seen them this tour, they are fine musicians and are keeping the music alive, really enjoyed their set, the best I have seen them on this tour and they are a worthy support act for The Stranglers. (A bit of context, apparently 3 of the current line-up played on more albums with original frontman Lee Brilleaux than the legendary original guitar toting Wilko Johnson etc Etc EiTC)

Moving on to 21.00 we all know the intro tune but it just makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up with anticipation. My last outing in Reading was a bit flat due to lacklustre audience, so was hoping Bournemouth would make up for it. Well the answer was a big fat yes from the first song Tank, I knew this was going to be a f**king cracking gig (apologies for F Word).

Next song I’ve Been Wild another stonking version, this is a song I was never a great fan of but it just sounds so good on this tour. I am not going to mention all the set list as most of you know it by Now? But tonight we had 3 changes from Reading; TTD, The Raven and first encore song Walk on By. It was Baz Warne’s birthday on the day, so he made some very funny comments about how he wanted to be in Bournemouth rather than at home in Leeds or with family in Sunderland.

Now for a few of my favs of the night; Last Man on the moon – I have grown to love this song, I actually prefer it to the cover version (This Song) that they are playing. Water – a classic in the making – just love this song, even the crowd seemed to react to it… they certainly didn’t to Ice Queen, again one of my tour Highlights (to be honest there wasn’t a song I didn’t like but Peaches really does need a break).

if I could pick any I had to walk out in disgust at; the sexist subject matter and the disgusting lyrics of Nubiles and GB with it’s glorification of Heroin, disgusting vile filth (Joking of course).

The venue was rammed full and holds 1800 a really good size, the sound was very good too, much louder than Reading. The band were really firing on all cylinders, with such great spirit on the stage, it really does add to the dynamic.

Baz’s voice sounded good and the new songs suit his voice well. He was in fine form too and had some great banter when someone was shouting moronic remarks, he put them down with good humour.

The whole band played as a tight as a well oiled machine. Dave has been playing better on this tour IMHO but he still seems to drink quite a bit, I don’t know how many times I saw a crew member replace his Stella but doesn’t seem to effect his playing.

Jim Mac just so part of the band now, adding backing vocals on new songs (and some of the back catalogue EiTC), and f**k he hits those skins hard, but also has a soft touch when needed, he certainly has given them more energy. And he respects Jet’s patterns but adds his own touch too, without detracting from the original pattern of the beat.

And last but not least 7th Dan Shidokan bass meister JJ, he is just so cool and his bass sound and playing are just a joy to behold, that bass intro on Bordello possibly one of his greatest moments? and a highlight, possibly the greatest Stranglers song apart from Sewer, Raven and Genetix but too many to mention…

Moving on, great lights and production too without detracting from the music. Last song of set before encore the mighty Down in the Sewer – really good version, JJ played the Rats Rally bass part with more vigour than my last gig.

Final song of course Heroes with JJ trying to punch a hole in his bass, the way he hits it he may succeed one day – big smile on his face of course. And that was that, band all came out to front of stage and Baz says “It’s been an absolute pleasure, you know they are happy when Baz says that.

Part 4-Epilogue.

Personally, I think the set on the current tour has been the most inventive for years, they have changed the set every night and played new songs and songs not played for 20 years. I commend the band, it proves they are still creative and are not going through the motions. It is the last spring tour apparently? I think they will tour later next year? who knows? But this band really are something special, I just don’t know how they keep up the standard? I hope we have a few more years of excellent gigs and a new album in the not too distant future, I love this band and have done since 1979 (the music of course) .

Lt Kudu over and out.

Words: Great Kudu.

Originally posted on the Burning Up Times forum. Extracted and edited with the authors permission…

Photos: Maria Meli.

  • * Sege (obs): Seat of distinction, Throne.

Bonus:

The Stranglers – Dr Feelgood – Glive Guildford 190319

Then…

Before you knew it, there we were standing in Guildford… so while that was indeed where we were, we thought, why not take a stroll down to The Star and visit the plaque where it all started? Which we duly did…
Suddenly, we found ourselves in a quiet pub on a Guildford backstreet where we chanced upon a Rut and two Dept S’s there were also a Strangler, some roadcrew and a smattering of FiB in attendance…
Even more suddenly, we were transported via the drunken staircase into the bowels of G-Live, to where we now stood in front of Dr Feelgood.

Having made it just in time to catch the last couple of numbers, they sounded blisteringly good. Giving it their all with a high energy in your face performance of a special patented blend of hard-hitting R&B. Closing number Route 66 was stonking, shame we didn’t get to catch more of their set. Check them out…

Less suddenly, or maybe even further along than that… The lights dimmed… The crowd buzzed… Waltzinblack struck up… Enter stage Right and Left The Stranglers…

Kicking off with Tank, The Men in Black were firing on all cylinders. An excellent set list comprising a little something for everyone, with hits, fan favourites, new numbers and some material rarely played live (if ever).

A symbiosis occurred between Artist and audience as the more they gave the more we lapped it up. And for Guildford on a damp Tuesday evening that was no mean feat.

The stage setup and lighting for this show was magnificent with it’s down in the sewer vibe…

Highlights for me were; seeing the Stranglers in Guildford of a damp Tuesday evening, i.e. the whole thing! To narrow down a selection; Walk on By, Nubiles, Princess of the Streets and much more.

Of the new stuff: Last Man on The Moon – Good Stranglery fare. Payday – standout for me atm – four-part harmonies and nice twists and turns. This Song – good vibe and instant – and the crowd seem to pick up on it. All the new material was well received. Fair play to them for putting them in.

There was a good rapport with the crowd tonight as Baz was teasing us soft southerners. Talking of Baz he was on good form and his interpretations of Uptown and Ice Queen sounded spot on to these ears. Although he sings in a different register from HC, he does the material justice. Uptown coming across as surprisingly strong with this lineup. Ice Queen also sounded great particularly the extended slide guitar section. Keep it up Baz.

Jim is a hard hitter. He pounds the drums like his life depends on it, yet at the same time always pays respect to the subtleties and flourishes of the songs. He has a fine voice too.

Dave is Dave is Dave – the heart and soul, sublime! And the keys were shining through loud and clear.

JJ – the undisputed heavyweight of the 4 string! In fine form – instrumentally, vocally and menacingly (albeit in a good-natured way). At one point he made his way to the very front of the stage, got in the audiences face and yelled ‘Right!’ Before launching into the opening bars of Peaches, much to the crowd’s delight.

All too soon the bass was registering a steady 5.8 on the Richter scale and it was all No More Heroes and over…

Bonus:

Bonus Bonus: Videos courtesy of Andy Miller.

Ruts DC – Shepherds Bush Empire 280219

Now that summer’s almost over as is February, thought it’d be a good idea to head on down to Shepherds Bush to catch up with Ruts DC as they celebrate 40 years since the release of their debut album The Crack (I don’t need to hark on too much about just how brilliant The Crack is. Just to say it is timeless and as relevant today as it was 40 years ago).

The journey wasn’t without complication having taken 1 step backward and 2 step forwards but choosing to live in a positive way.

The ever-decreasing circles being driven around eventually gave way to a parking spot right behind the venue from whence we alighted and made our way inside…

A very healthy (near capacity) crowd thronged in the Shepherds Bush Empire tonight and a lot of like minds and friendly familiars had made their way down all the way from 1979 and earlier and beyond. A beautiful banner showing a recreation of the classic album cover adorned the stage.

The challenges of the short flight from SW to W London all but put paid to the chances of catching the set by The Professionals. However, we did manage to get down to hear the last couple of numbers and they sounded very tight and well delivered as the crowd at the front made the most. And it was of course a delight to see Mr Cook driving things from centre stage…

The dimming lights and a heartfelt poetry recital signalled that the time had come…

…as Segs, Ruffy and Leigh took up their spots and kicked off into The Crack.

The sound and delivery were spot on. The band played a blinder. I’ve alluded in previous ramblings as to their skill and professionalism but blimey! They proceeded to deliver a thrilling and captivating show from start to finish.

As if it wasn’t enough to recreate The Crack they continued through most of the singles and b-sides from that Era and added a smattering of selections from the excellent Music Must Destroy.

1981’s Animal Now wasn’t represented we can only live in hope that they are saving that up for a 40th anniversary show too (please)…

More on the performance. Not only does Dave Ruffy never drop a beat he seems to effortlessly lay down the rhythm and deliver the BV’s without breaking sweat. Master.

Leigh continues to go from strength to strength as was abundantly clear in his superb delivery tonight. Completely faithful to the legacy of Paul Fox while being in, above and at times way beyond the zone. Expert.

What of Segs? I hear you ask… Now Segs had it all sewn up tonight and we were eating out of his hands. The bass was biting and crunchy where it needed to be and subsonic smooth and dub-wise, also at the appropriate moments. The vocals were superbly sublime. And his whole demeanour was flawless, dynamic and polished. Star.

I hope they recorded this in some way shape or form as it will be a belter to add to their canon.

Get ‘em while they’re ‘ot…

Over…

EiTC.

Bonus:

The Damned – Shepherds Bush Empire 23rd Nov 2018

Black Fridays and Full Moons…

…Suddenly, I was standing on Shepherds Bush Green on a murky Friday evening. Time being what it was and what it is and inevitably will (and did and still will) become, a decision was arrived at for the most of it to be made. And it was! Here’s how…

A sea of faithful, young and less so, new and not so, gathered for a performance by none other than your old compadres The Damned...

Quite by chance I bumped into the ever charming and talented Leigh Heggarty from the Mighty Ruts DC and we briefly discussed the blueprints for an automated dual-action de-mystifier that works simultaneously and with equivalent efficacy on both mind and spectacles. Then he introduced me to the drummer from Johnny Moped and went for a pint… …from whence, I crossed the road to rendezvous with Kate and Dave (and we were joined by Owen and Jac and a little later Nini and Lucio) at an establishment where you could part with your hard earned to the tune of £6 for 1/3 pint of crazily strong beer… After not too long, we found ourselves inside the Shepherds Bush Empire.

We spotted a pidge and a few other familiars and took up our positions to witness the show. Johnny Moped were already well into their set by the time we arrived, delivering an audial experience that wasn’t an ordeal. Convincing both visually and sonically they warmed up the crowd a treat on a late autumn evening.

Before we knew what was going on, it was all Peer Gynt courtesy of Sounds Incorporated, banners fell from the above and raised from below and we beheld the spectacle of The Damned at the following points along the fissures of time…

2018: Kicking off with the super-duper We’re So Nice (rightly) showing confidence in the new songs we were treated to a set of first class tunes spanning The Damned’s 5 decade and counting career. And the crowd went bananas and lapped up every last morsel, loving it too!

1977: They set the controls from 2018 to 1977 and engaged us with Born to Kill.

2001: Before coming back in to the current Millennium with the ever more relevant Democracy where they stunned us into submission with Pinch’s sonic double pedal kick assault!

1980: Three from 1980’s Black Album next and the crowd showed no let-up for; Wait for the Blackout, Lively Arts and Silly Kids Games. Much to the Captains amusement as he commented something on his amazement at people moshing to the latter of the three (or it may have been DJAMH or HoTWPO etc Etc EiTC).

2018: Back to 2018, the delightful Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow.

1980: Before zagging back to 1980 for the ever awesome Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

1982: Stranger on The Town – perfection.

2018: 2018 again and a song Pinch declared not to be about Donald Trump – Devil in Disguise.

1980: Back to 80 for sonic brilliance in the form or History of The World Part One.

2018: The epic I Don’t Care.

1986: Their awesome rendition of Love’s Alone Again Or replete with the sublime trumpet work of Chris Coull. Who also added flair and flavour to a handful of other tunes throughout the night.

1979: Love song, brilliant, crowd nuts.

1977: 1 of the 2, mighty, all fists of fury.

1976: New Rose – the invoice for the new ceiling of the SBE is in the post!

1977: Neat neat neat – perfection in sound.

Tada.

Encore 1.

1980: Curtain Call – Masterpiece!

1982: Ignite – sheer burning brilliance!

Tada 2.

Encore 2.

1980: There Ain’t no Sanity Clause – festive fun…

1979: Smash it Up – they smashed it!

Tada 3.

(Surprise) Encore 3.
1979: Anti-pope – thought we were going to get Disco Man for a second but a mighty bonus none the less.

Tada 4.

And Over…

Or is it…

Just a few more words… (a: if I may, b: if you’re still awake and c: because):

The Damned are on fine form and easily rank as one of the best live acts I’ve seen, with consistent great performances from an amazing back catalogue. You get your money’s worth for sure. Dave Vanian is the coolest front man ever in his dapper vampiric way crooning with excellence while effortlessly covering the whole stage and beyond. During the first encore I noticed a kerfuffle to my left and turned to find Dave Vanian there making his way through the crowd to apparently watch the band up at the front, then gallantly escorting a young lady to the side before somehow vampirically managing to be simultaneously back on stage and singing the next line of the song, spooky genius!

Talking of genius and not wanting to wear out the term but Captain Sensible is greater than the sum of his constituent parts with his faultless ever-inspiring guitar mastery/voice and stage presence.

Paul Gray providing point-blank bass brilliance and balance to the band. You can hear the nuance in his delivery and his presence has led to a more balanced sound overall (IMESHO)…

Pinch, Punch, Precision, Perfection…

Monty, Mighty, Madness, Maestro…

Over…

EiTC

Pics: ‘A Study in Dave’ by Lewis Utley.

 

Hugh Cornwell – o2 Islington – 7th November 2018

Inspiration, perspiration, blah blah blah!

What you going to do on a dull November evening? All the fireworks were yesterday and everywhere being eerily quiet…

Then…

…a rendezvous in Islington with good friends for a quick drink at The Alma pub followed by a bite at the charming Delhi Grill before heading out to a seemingly deserted o2 (going by external appearances) …

…inside was a different story as it seemed a healthy gathering of like-minds and interesting souls had amassed to bear witness to the sonic outpourings of none other than Mr Hugh Cornwell!

Hugh graced the stage accompanied by Windsor on drums and Pat on bass as they ran the first few numbers concurrently nary drawing a breath between and without so much as a Hi or Howdy Doody! And it set the mood accordingly…

The format tonight was two sets from Hugh, with the first being material from his solo output, while the second was material from his time with The Stranglers.

Kicking off with Pure Evel, here comes the inspiration, with the bass being lifted directly from LA Woman, Hugh has done his best to take it and make it his own, largely succeeding with a super catchy ear-worm of a chorus that won’t let you go once it takes hold.

Hugh seemed a little on edge but this edginess translated into the performance providing an edge of its own. The performers were all focussed and tight.

After the first few numbers Hugh began to engage with the audience a little more. The first set contained material ranging from 1979 to 2018. The audience were receptive and warm to the solo set. Highlights from a great set were for me; Stuck in Daily Mail Land, Monster, Getting Involved, Mothra and the sublime Duce Coochie Man.

The new material really shows Hugh’s maturity as a tunesmith (I feel). He’s always been able to knock out a ditty or two with his subtle (or not so) quirks. However, the new material builds on this skill exponentially. Take the main guitar hook for monster for example, deceptively simple, it wouldn’t be out of place on some obscure 60s hit produced by Joe Meek or indeed nestled somewhere in the album of covers that he and John Cooper Clarke released a little while back. But then contrast that with the complex twists and turns of Mothra and his Stranglers output and it’s clear that the skill has always been on tap. Back to the present day and the aforementioned Duce Coochie Man, to me a masterpiece!

In summary the solo set was fab and well received.

Onwards to perspiration, or Death by Strangulation as Hugh called it.

The crowd filled out considerably more for The Stranglers portion of the show and Hugh did not disappoint. The interpretations in this format were very inspired and evocative of the spirit of the originals. It is of course a great thing to hear Hugh play and sing these numbers which he and the band delivered with due diligence.

At times Hugh was a little out of his comfort zone, the solo on Golden Brown for example but he more than made up for this with a near perfect NMH solo and the beautiful chiming of his Tele and Vox on Strange Little Girl.
The rhythm section of Windsor and Pat did a standout job providing all the requisite drive and energy in abundance while also adding subtlety and creativity where needed. Pat’s interpretation of JJ’s bass lines was nothing short of excellence while his seemingly note perfect representation of Dave’s keyboard runs (on the bass guitar) was superb.

Highlights for me being; Strange Little Girl, Sweden, Grip and a stonking 5 minutes.

All too soon it was all hugs and see you in March…

Over…

EiTC.

Images courtesy of Karlos Antrobus.

The Damned Manchester Academy 31st January 2018

Guest Review – The Damned Manchester Academy 31st Jan 2018

Due to Indian excursions and other committments, EiTC is yet to catch up with the Damned on their Evil Spirits Tour, hopefully this will change next week when they roll into the big smoke...

In the meantime sit back and enjoy a review from the Manchester gig from our guest: Greatkudu.

Well Well Well... Captain Kudu reporting from Sunny Madchester 
(or was, as back in suburbs now). Down to brass tack's...

I haven’t seen The Damned since 2007, just been concentrating on “The Stranglers” to my musical loss, More about that in a bit. Support was the brilliant “Slim Jim Phantom” from The Straycats (just in case you didn’t know) his three piece band took us through a very enjoyable Rockabilly master class from 20.00-20.30, lots of “Straycat” songs with other classics thrown in like “Cmon Everybody” etc, a really enjoyable set from the slim one, rock on!


Moving on at 21.14 the intro tune started on the PA in preparation for “The Damned” and it was “Mars” which is part of “Holst” planets suite, this was also used by “The Stranglers” as their intro on the 1987 tour how strange.”The Damned” came on with a very atmospheric start with dry ice, really setting the scene, Dave Vanian’s mic stand lit up in fluorescent green, really cool. They came on stage to a big cheer, Dave Vanian came on last.


They kicked off with one of my fav songs of theirs “Wait For The Blackout” (from “The Black Album) a great start to a great gig and that’s being understated, as it was possibly one of the best gigs I have ever been to? From the first song it was just pure class from a band who are better than ever as a live band, they then played 3 more from “The Black Album” including one of my all time favs “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” a song giving full rein to Dave Vanian’s goth image and persona.


Before I go on, great to see Paul Gray back on bass and a great Madchester welcome he received on the first song with a pint of beer launched his way by some lovely person, luckily he seemed to dodge most of it but personally I would have smashed the bass over the beer throwers head (Waste of a good bass – eitc), it’s 2018 not 1976, yes years ago “The Damned” encouraged stuff like this, maybe the offender was stuck in a time warp? But Mr Gray being the professional that he is, just played on regardless.


The rest of the set was made up of songs from “Machine Gun Etiquette”,”Damned Damned Damned” and “Strawberries” including “Gun Fury” which isn’t played that much? I don’t think (I think 2010 was the last time I heard it live, eitc). There were also a few from “Phantasmagoria”, “Street of Dreams” and “shadow of love”. Also, 3 songs were played from the upcoming album “Evil Spirit’s” including the rather good new single (Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow – EiTC) plus “Evil Spirits” and “Devil in Disguise” (not a cover of The Elvis song) these other two were a bit faster than the single and sounded really high quality, for these two other songs the crew brought on a “Tablet” with the lyrics on, he didn’t need that for the new single “Standing on The Edge of Tomorrow” really love this song, it’s a grower and live the bass was far more meaty and while we’re talking Bass, a mention must go out to “Paul Gray” a fantastic Bass player, you could tell that the band were very happy to have him back, he was interacting a lot with the good Captain, not slagging “Stu West” the previous Bass Player but “Paul Gray” is one of the finest Bass players around, a great trebly sound but with light and shade too, he seemed to be enjoying being back (even though his hearing is shot to pieces,he uses a lot of protection to keep what he has left).


Moving on they played their biggest hit “Eloise” a song where again “Dave Vanian” can show of his fantastic baritone voice.


The last song was of course “Smash it up” and they wen’t off about 22.45 and people started to leave… there was a quite a long wait but The band came back on and finished with “Jet Boy Jet Girl” with the Captain on lead vocals, great when you think it’s over and it’s not!


Now to sum up the only negatives were; of course my personal favs the beer throwers, About 3 or 4 pint’s seemed to be thrown, I just got a few drops,why waste good beer? or maybe the beer tasted of piss, still at least the audience mostly seemed ok, quite a few Mohicans at the front.


And now for the positives; possibly one of the best gigs I have ever seen, just fantastic,the whole band were firing on all cylinders. The Star of the show is “Dave Vanian” a totally unique character with one of the best voices in music ever in IMHO, the man is just so cool in his black frock coat and shades, a really theatrical performer, he stalks the stage like victorian spectre, then to compliment him you have the Captain a tacky dresser who is an amazing guitarist and has great banter with the crowd and is actually funny, great to hear him sing a couple of songs, on drums the power house drumming of “Pinch” but he also has the light touch, did some sublime tom and cymbal work, I’ve already mentioned “Paul Gray” and last but not least the barking “Monty Oxymoron” as mad as a hatter but a fine musician and lovely bloke. Sound was excellent too and also the stage set and lights, they create such a unique atmosphere, so in all a great night and, now I am going to get shot down here but I actually think “The Damned” are better live than “The Stranglers” these day’s, maybe it’s because I haven’t seen “The Damned” for a few years? But the set was more interesting, they didn’t play the obvious songs and they have the original singer, they also interact with the audience so well, it seems they actually appreciate the crowd, I know it’s a different style of music but i have to be honest I think they are better live at the present time. I know its sacrilege to say that on here (Tsk tsk! etc Etc EiTC), I will see “The Damned” again next week in shitty (Shoorlie knott eitc) “Southampton”.

I recommend “the Damned” just brilliant!

Capt Kudu back on ops in the suburbs,

Over and out.


Words: Greatkudu.

Images: Britta Hoppe.

Proof Reading: Rockula.

 

Gig Review Ruts DC Xmas Gig 100 Club 23 Dec 2017

It’s been a while.
And while it has been a while.
It’s been a good while.
Which leads us here…

We headed for India in the form of Govindas on Soho Street for tiffin.

Refreshed and rehydrated we stretched our legs across Oxford Street taking refuge at number 100. Inside we found the familiar interior, unchanged and untouched by time, a permanent, impervious encapsulated monument to live music, like a woolly mammoth preserved in amber…

Just then, the London Sewage Company took the stage and warmed up the crowd with gusto.

Shortly thereafter, it was the turn of Department S who took up the gauntlet and masterfully performed their art to all and sundry.

Meanwhile, while we’d been whiling away etc Etc EiTC…

Before we knew where we were, or probably after to be more accurate… It was Rutting time!

Ruts DC proceeded to entertain the gathered mass with skill and craft by the bucket load. A mixture of songs from the bands various incarnations all gratefully received with the same enthusiasm.

Kicking off with Vox Teardrop. The band were in good spirits (as ever) and delivered a tight set of finely crafted gems in their inimitable manner.

They made it seem like a stroll in the park, with a good mixture of light and dark.

The classic Ruts material sounded fab as both Segs and Leigh respectively did justice in honouring the legacy of Malcolm Owen and Paul Fox. And Ruffy did what Ruffy does with aplomb!

The Animal Now period got a look in tonight with the Superb Dangerous Minds, as relevant today as ever and we also had that period’s b-side in the form of Formula Eyes.

Mighty Soldier was mighty!

Peace Bomb was the Bomb!

And honourable mention to:
It was Cold, In A Rut, Babylon’s Burning, Backbiter, Sus, West One, Love in Vain, Jah War, Music Must Destroy, Psychic Attack etc Etc EiTC…

Before we knew it, we were back out in the West End night preparing for our next Indian adventure prior to descending to the depths and avoiding the chunky puddles on the night tube…

Over…
EiTC.

Stranglers and Bad Manners – Bands In The Sands, Perranporth, Cornwall, 21st July 2017

Sand!

 Miles and miles of sand!
 In every direction sand, sand, sand, sand, sand and more sand!
 The weary travellers settled in this barren desert…
 Hope was on the horizon, was that the sea or just a mirage?

 But wait!
 This just in…
 A superb round-up of events from last Friday in Cornwall… 

Over to our crew on the spot –
 Elliot, Martin & Lindsay…


Going to Cornwall to see the Stranglers was a fair way to drive for us from Scotland but given the chance for dad to see his band and re visit childhood holidays he was up for it. We travelled through torrential rain wondering if indeed there would be a gig at all. No worries though, we arrived and the weather changed to glorious sunshine. A few pre-gig drinks with dad and Lindsay and it was off to the beach. After standing the queue for quite some time we finally managed to grab more drinks and take place on the steel barrier at the front. We were joined by Audrey and Sandra then Matt, Karlos, Philip and Mark Taylor. Dad met up with Mark Davies who had travelled from Australia with his family.


The first support act was Sarah Marie with her guitar followed by Chris Haddon who I secretly enjoyed the most out of the two so far…


Up next was buster blood vessel and Bad Manners did all their well-known tunes like lip up fatty, my girl lollipop, walking on the sunshine etc. which seemed to go down well with the crowd, everyone was pushing and shoving each other while tipping the other person’s beer out of their hands. There seemed to be a couple of issues at the front but no matter as the security were good and soon after it started to rain and drizzle for a bit.


The classic Waltzinblack soon struck the stage again and the crowd seemed to be in full voice tonight with great enthusiasm suddenly the meninblack graced the stage and I noticed instantly how tall JJ is, standing in such a little venue!

JJ showed us just how cold it was up there on stage as he gave off a shivering pose… Toiler was the opener of the night and what a cracking opener it is, with its instrumental start which got a great reception from the fans.

Next up a brilliant Grip, off their first album Rattus marking its 40th birthday, followed by an equally brilliant Nice ‘N’ Sleazy. Relentless off Suite XVI then the ever threatening Five Minutes before slowing down for the core fan hits ‘Golden Brown and Always the Sun (which had totally gone by now).

Norfolk Coast had the crowd raring to go and start jumping again before a perfect Peaches on the beach to top off…

The new song of the amazing and brillant March – ‘Classic Collection’ tour – Bear Cage was included and good as ever with the crowd chanting along to GMBH, hit every note perfectly while JJ stared across towards us during it in full concentration mode (new to the set – old song etc Etc EiTC).

Walk On By next and the crowd loved it with the sheer and utterly brilliant musical instrumental part. Next up was Skin Deep great hit by the band from 1984, then another new song not played live before the tour back in March – 15 Steps! from Giants. A song they played very well considering there was a few times the timing was out but still sheer class brilliant underdog tune (Didn’t notice timing issues but agreed this song is really sounding great live now they’ve settled into it a bit, EiTC).

Then back to the old hits next, we have Duchess off The Raven, and the awesome Hanging Around, followed by a great JJ vocal, sung in full voice – Something Better Change the smash punk hit from ‘77 off No More Heroes, which is also marking its 40th this year also.

Then things got even more sped up as we were treated to the fabulous Tank, or Tank!! (As Hugh says) which I think is a brilliant song and very glad they put that in the set. It went down with the fans as well as it started to get a bit rowdier at the front but never the less all good fun on the beach but I hardly even knew as I was totally focused on JJ’s bass (which was just in front of me!).

Then the mind-blowing bass solo into the finale No More Heroes as the last song of the night to end in a bang which everyone loved as per. The crowd walked (or staggered) away with smiles and enjoyment which certainly proved the meninblack made them a very happy bunch. The lads played excellent and Baz even handed a little lad, Nick his plectrum!! Awesome eh, it was his first concert also and won’t be his last I’m sure!

We all walked away feeling rather cold as I only had my t-shirt and shorts on, now wishing I had come more prepared but I guess there’s always another time! Glad to have seen them and hopefully see the Meninblack and Familyinblack soon to do it all over again!!!

Best Wishes Everyone!!!

Over…

Words: Elliot, Martin and Lindsay.

Pictures: Audrey Grant and Karlos Antrobus.

Bonus Audrey:


Bonus Karlos:


Bonus EiTC:

Guest Review – John Rossalls Glitter Band plus The Priscillas – Dublin Castle Camden 290417

John Rossall’s Glitter Band

Live at The Dublin Castle, Camden Town, London

 

Saturday 29 April 2017

 

A Report by PaulinLondon

 

18.45 GMT / 15.45 Zorg Time : I am escorted to the Transporter Module by the charming yet ageing, Tobias. Tobias is one of the last operative T-1000 androids who are soon to be replaced by the new T-2000 A Class. The technicians at Zorg have been unsuccessful, despite many attempts, to improve the battery life and power circuitry for the long serving T-1000 Class. Tobias is fully aware of this even though he knows his fate and those of the remaining T-1000 Class is sealed... 

 

As I lie down in the Transport Module, Tobias bows his head from behind the heavy Zorg glass door; his way of saying, “Bon Voyage”.

 

Seconds later, I am walking up Parkway in Camden towards the venue for tonight’s show; the wonderful Dublin Castle. Sporting my red Raven tshirt underneath my black leather jacket, I look down and nod approvingly at my still relatively new Dr Martens. This for them will be their second concert in a matter of a few weeks. 

 

The Dublin Castle is already busy with what promises to be a large and excited crowd for tonight’s Glitter Band performance. In no time at all, I am joined by Turkey Troter, Lou, Guildford Lil, Elvis in the Clouds, Nigel (Drum Major) and Streatham Mick. With glasses charged, we head outside to the front of the pub and take in the pleasant London evening. Whilst Nigel engages in a deep conversation with Spizz of Spizzenergi (good to see him again), I check out the fantastic number of people who are turning up tonight. There are punks, young and old, Glitter fans young and old, all mixing together and sipping away in great anticipation. One very tall chap arrives and he looks as though he is a retired City trader. He has a fairly long mane of hair and is wearing a fabulous knee length Glitter coat. As he steps into the pub, he turns to his wife/partner and says, in a most refined accent, “I wonder if they sell port of sherry here”. “I am sure they do”, she replies.  

 

There is a quite a delay before the door staff let the punters into the rear hall for the music to begin. We are at the head of the queue and take our places at the front of the stage; excellent vantage positions !

First up are the superb all female band, The Priscillas. Their sound is first class and we are taken on a sonic journey of power-pop, glam and indie-punk (perhaps a touch of The Cramps and B52s influence in there somewhere too etc Etc EiTC).  

These Holloway ladies put on a powerful and impressive show and receive much deserved applause from The Dublin Castle attendees.

 

I head stage left to the heaving bar and finally manage to return to position, Pinot Grigio supplies dutifully restored. It is time for the main act. To roars of adoration and approval, John Rossall and his Glitter Band take to the stage. The mighty “Rock ’n Roll Part I” opens proceedings and the crowd are loving it.

Everyone is dancing and smiling. I last saw The Glitter Band in the early 1980’s at The Venue in Victoria. That was a crazy evening but this is even better. We lap up every song and are taken along The Glitter Band memory lane with classics including “Angel Face”, “Goodbye My Love”, “Let’s Get Together Again, “Rock ’n Roll Part II” and “Just for You”. The energy of the band is fantastic, as is their engagement and banter with the crowd. Even John (Dave apparently – see comment from Jill below… EiTC) on bass smiles down and compliments me on my dancing to “Angel Face”. 

 

This is arguably one of the most nostalgic gigs I think I have ever been to. Hit after hit after hit and sadly, matters come to a conclusion with a barnstorming, almost punk/heavy metal version of, “Leader of the Gang”. Well worth the entry fee Gentlemen. Thank you from all of us. 

 

At 23.15 GMT / 20.15 Zorg Time, the heat sensor activates on my wrist chronograph; the signal that it is time to report back to the Mother Ship. I bid farewell to members of The FamilyinBlack and make my way back onto Parkway. Taking position as instructed by The Earl of Camden pub, I look up into the London night sky and see the faint green glimmer of the approaching Transporter Module. I will look forward to sharing with Tobias what an excellent evening I have just had on Planet Earth. 

 

Thank you to John Rossall’s Glitter Band and thank you to The Priscillas. “Magnifique”, as they say in the French General Elections. 

 

PiL, 1.5.17.


Over…
Words: Paul in London.
Pics: Missy Lou Antlers and EiTC.
Bonus:

Guest Review – The Monochrome Set – The Lexington – 080417

Stardate 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286...

 ...Today we beamed an away team down to a hostile planet in the Sol system.

 Headed up by Admiral PiL, for the most part they fitted right in!

 The following is a first hand account of the mission...

The Monochrome Set
Live at The Lexington, London, N1.

Saturday 8th April 2017

A report by PaulinLondon

I alight from Angel tube station at 18.45 GMT and into the fantastic sunshine enveloping Islington’s uber trendy, Upper Street. It is a beautiful Saturday evening; London at its best.

After a short stroll, I spot Elvis in the Clouds, Turkey Troter and Lou, each armed with a charged glass, standing outside The Angel pub. “Stranglers !” I cry from across the road and at the top of my voice as I go over to join these three members of the clan known as, The FamilyinBlack. It is very good to catch up again and we are soon joined by my old friend Nigel; a fine drummer who I have had the pleasure to be in a band with over many years and who is a hardened fan of The Monochrome Set.

In no time at all, the moment has come to partake of the five minute walk to tonight’s venue, The Lexington. We are now joined by Guildford Lil who makes up the final cog in the Stranglers presence at tonight’s concert (a little later we are joined by Streatham Mick but no sign of Hammer EiTC). On entering this fantastic old and vast pub, we have our hands stamped at the ticket desk and enjoy some more drinks and merriment outside in the wonderful warm London air. Support act, “The Bitter Springs” are already on stage and we miss their performance on this occasion.

The venue upstairs above the pub seems huge; reminiscent of the The Forum in Kentish Town but on a smaller scale. The Monochrome Set have a great crowd tonight including none other than Spizz from Spizzenergi. At 21.30 GMT, The Monochrome Set take to the stage to almighty applause. They launch into “Super Plastic City” which is then followed by my all time favourite, “Jet Set Junta”. Bid on guitar and lead vocals never seems to age. He is a cool frontman and seems genuinely touched by the great attendance at this evening’s show. To his left, the unflappable Andy Warren on bass who is dressed in black and whose nonchalant expression reminds me of one Jean-Jacques Burnel. His rolling bass lines are complimented by the excellent, almost Swiss clockwork, efficiency of Mike Urban on drums. Adding a layer of synths and organ, is the fantastic and bizarrely dressed keyboard player, Mr John Paul Moran. He is dressed in either a light grey jumpsuit or some form of late Victorian pyjamas; I can’t work out which.

There barely seems time to draw breath as the band play through a fine set of “post punk” material which includes great numbers of theirs such as “Ruling Class”, “Eine Symphonie”, “Cosmonaut” and “Waiting for Alberto”. As I have said already, it is great to see such a fine turnout for this band. I last saw The Monochrome Set two years ago at another venue close by called The Islington. Yet again, their loyal fans have come out in great and adoring number.

As with all good concerts, the finale arrives all too soon. You just want to hear more and more but alas, it is 23.00 GMT and that means, curfew time. We make our way downstairs and after a short Committee meeting, one of the shortest I can remember, my proposal to go next door for a curry and a debrief is agreed unanimously and with no dissenting votes.

The Monochrome Set look like they are here to stay. Formed in 1976, they have an energy and unique addictive sound.

Catch them if you can.

PiL, 10.4.17.

Over…

Photos: Missy Lou.

MIA: Hammer.

Bonus: