Why not pop along and see RiVeR at The Hope & Anchor? (including EiTC on guitar duties).
So, a little scene setting…
…An outdoor concert in Hyde Park in the summer with The Stranglers and The Damned on the same bill…
Count me in!
But of course, that’s only half the story…
And talking of halves, my better one and her progeny were in as keen enthusiasts of headline act Green Day. Sweet!
Then a last-minute addition to the bill Stiff Little Fingers. Fab!
As the days drew us closer to the event, information started to trickle down about who would be playing on which stage at what time etc. A little further research revealed that we would not be able to take our own food or drinks, which for me put a little damper on things (being locked in as a captive audience and being at the mercy of the vendors of whatever over-priced (slop) refreshments may or may not be on offer). Then there were the emails from the promoters about upgrading our tickets to various levels of VIP tickets at extortionate amounts. Urgh! The shine began to wear off a little for me. (However, this was only to be temporary!) I began to feel a little less enthused at the prospect of being a captive participant at an event where the entertainment I was really looking forward to seeing were playing short sets, if I could get anywhere near them, while the rest of it had me less than enthused…
Flash forwards in time to the day itself:
After a Saturday morning of catching up with chores for me and removals and deliveries for DiBDaB, we made our way by train and tube to Bond Street and took a slow stroll to Hyde Park on a fine Summers Day. We ate our lunch on the grass then proceeded to enter through the peasant’s entrance.
So far so good, smiley happy people including the gate staff and security. More friendly faces all around as we made our way toward the front of the main stage in time for Stiff Little Fingers, only to be met by an obstruction in the form of a barrier, this far and no farther it seemed. The masses had settled for this while the people at the front in the fenced off area stretched their legs for a decent view. Then a chance conversation with a friendly marshal brought to our attention that anyone could get down to the front if they got there before all the passes were handed out. So, that’s what we did. Which afforded us a good vantage point from which to view SLF and The Damned. The day got a little better.
Stiff Little Fingers took to the main stage kicking off with the mighty Suspect Device and somehow managed to shoe-horn; Just Fade Away, At The Edge, Nobodies Heroes, Roots Radicals and Rockers, Barbed Wire Love, Strummerville, Tin Soldiers and Alternative Ulster – or thereabouts in to a half hour (methinks Jake Burns might know a thing or two about sugar tongs and time travel). So, the long and short of it was that they were bloody superb and warmed up the crowd – young and old alike – very well.
A short break and then Croydon’s finest took to the stage – The Damned in fine fettle; what with the Captain all upright and on his own two feet, the freshly shorn DV all vampiric, dapper and cool, Stu ready to inspect tickets in his BR garb, Pinch the picture of cool with slicked hair and shades and the descriptively defiant Monty brilliantly being Monty! A quick how do and down to business with a stonking set opener in the form of Love Song. A quick mention to the Young Ones and it’s Nasty great energy. Staying with the N’s next for Neat Neat Neat which was nice!
Then a sideways tangent as an extra mic is brought on stage and they’re joined by the trumpet player (Chris Coull?) for Grimly Fiendish, superb. And he stays on for fine rendition of Eloise, which has the crowd pleased.
Into overdrive for performance and crowd participation next as we’re treated to the slice of brilliance that is Ignite – oh whoah oh oh!…
Back on with the trumpet for Alone Again Or – Fab! (Another great choice as far as I’m concerned although that’s two covers in what is a short set but along with GF these songs do of course represent three hit singles, personally when I saw the trumpet was present I was really hoping for Twisted Nerve but that’s just being extra picky etc Etc EiTC)
The stage craft was immaculate as Captain played a blinder and insulted one and all in his usual jovial manner. Dave glided from side to side covering the whole stage while holding the crowd in the palm of his hand. Pinch and Stu were rock solid and cool. While Monty did what Monty does.
On which subject, New Rose next, stonkingly delivered by all concerned with Monty’s mighty moves impressing one and all!
Time for one more – Smash It Up. Smashing indeed!
And then they were gone with the big screens announcing that tickets for the 2018 UK Tour go on sale this Friday 7th July. Catch ‘em if you can folks!
Great to see them in this setting with a good crowd and all the trimmings – big screens etc…
We hung around for The Hives next. While I’d heard the name, they were somewhat of an unknown quantity for me. The stage was meticulously prepared and lines were checked. Then out they came in their impressive asymmetrical black and white outfits. Not really qualified to talk about their music which was very good – in a dual guitar driven rocky punky kind of way – but man what a show! Vocalist Per(?) was straight off the stage and into the crowd on the first number where he spent almost as much time as he did on stage (or so it seemed). The attitude and showmanship of the band was really in your face in a way that you couldn’t ignore, most effective! Crazy, dangerous, exciting and well worth catching live!
Then it was time for lunch and the anticipation of disappointment turned into pleasant surprise as we found there really were plenty of outlets to suit most dietary requirements.
Suitably fed and watered, we went and watched a bit of Rancid on the big screen which was worth a look before making our way to the other stage in time to catch the end of the set given by The Living End – very impressed – great musicians and super performers, shame we didn’t catch a little more.
We hung around this stage a little more and chatted to the like-minded souls gathered for the main event Then…
Waltzinblack signalled the arrival of The Stranglers, as we headed toward the front in time for the opening bars of 5 minutes super dooper!
And they kept the pace going with a perfect Grip before bringing it to steady cruise with Nice and Sleazy, menace O’ clock!
Relentless next and suddenly I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders…
…but then I looked up and saw that it was in fact Billy perched atop them enjoying an elevated view!
The crowd were the liveliest I’d seen all day for any act and this would hold true for the whole event!
But of course, then it was slow down – Golden Brown – flawlessly delivered with the crowd swaying along.
More menace in the shape of Peaches with worse places today being the United States of America.
The superb addition to this year’s set which is Bear Cage, long overdue until now but hopefully a stayer, as the crowd got right behind the chorus!
Then it was back up to speed for the home straight as they belted out a trio of classics and the crowd responded with gusto – Hanging Around, Something Better Change and Duchess.
All too soon it was bass bashing time which signalled the end, in the shape of closing number (a rousing) No More Heroes, one more mad mosh before our heroes exited stage left…
Or is it?
Well not quite!
It’d be rude of me not to say a thing or two about our hosts of the day – Green Day.
I made my way toward the front (and side-ish) and caught their full set and must say they were great!
It’s not a band I’m that familiar with and they weren’t high on my wish list of gigs to see. But credit where credit is due, they put on a cracking performance and had the audience in the palm of their hands. Taking Punk to the mainstream masses, in a kind of teeny bop Bay City Rollers for the modern age sort of way. I’m not intending to be negative or talk them down here, just making observations.
There were people of all ages from all walks of life really enjoying the show. And while that show was indubitably mainstream, it still came with a message, as front man Billie Joe Armstrong gave out plenty of sound bites in his interaction with the crowd – talking up the virtues of equality and freedom while putting down negative attitudes such as racism, sexism and homophobia. Putting down politics and even throwing in “F*ck Donald Trump”. Fair play that man!
Yes, it was poppy punk by numbers but it was catchy and brilliantly executed and the crowd participation was second to none as they brought people up on stage to sing and play guitar.
The bands energies did not waver for one second of the two hours or so of their set. Yes, it was mainstream but there was just a little bit of a feeling that they were rebelling from within, while delivering an energetic captivating set. Dare I say Superb?
Or is it?
So, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of being part of a captive audience at the mercy of mainstream commercialism but thankfully it really turned out fine. All the staff I encountered were friendly and enthusiastic. The food outlets were great and not overly expensive. The entertainment was top notch. The setting was great. The audio-visuals were superb in terms of the sound and video system.
Oh, and the weather was really good too!
Words and images: Matthew Elvis Brown.
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.
Words: Paul in London.
Pics: Missy Lou Antlers and EiTC.
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.
Photos: Missy Lou.
Magical mystery to magic... Under the auspices of the half-moon… …we were recently returned from a magical mysterious excursion through the misty Isle of Avalon. Being as we were, in possession of a newly acquired clarity and contentment never before experienced. And, as luck and or serendipity would have it, another magical adventure was just beginning to conclude its opening chapter… For tonight’s experiment, the time dial was set to the heart of the 1980s for a little light entertainment… just then a mosquito flew in to the delicate machinery of the ST90 and tripped a circuit, triggering a malfunction which caused time and reality to splinter whilst creating a trans-dimensional overlap. These phenomena had the net effect of merging different timelines creating a new reality, which would all too soon appear as just normal - having replaced the old reality and as the memory of these events fade… …what? Precisely…
Suddenly we were in London’s West End in April of the year 2017.
Having not done so for a decade or two I popped in to the Borderline to see what was occurring…
And jolly good it is too! Having been given a preview of this finely crafted jewel, the opportunity and desire presented itself with increasing frequency over the preceding week to hear it more…
We’re probably all familiar with the Human urge to categorise things. A base psychological need to compare what we are experiencing now with what has gone before. In the case of Lover, I’ve recently heard such comparisons as Hazel O’Connor, Toyah, Blondie to name a few and to be fair I can see where they’re coming from. (To add a few to the mix myself, I can hear elements of 80’s synth pop going on in what is essentially a pop/rock band format (a feat in itself). With at times nods to Johnny Marr on Guitar etc Etc EiTC…)
But all of this is just a perception. To be specific, how I perceive what I experience with Lover. But all nods and comparisons aside, what Lover offer is a well presented modern slice of poppy rocky goodness, all art is inspired. And Lover’s art is inspirational and deserving of a listen.
Returning to clarity, it is here – with Vocals guitars and drums all present and polished while the synths and samples add layers of rich textures.
There is more of an edge in the live environment, as one would expect but it is true to the recordings at the same time.
Singer Sarah delivers the vocals with style and serenity. While she explores and experiments with the delivery and performance of the songs adding an extra something not captured in the recorded version. A striking and cool character indeed! Commanding the attention of the audience with her vocal talent, stage presence and innate photogenicity.
Drummer Jamie is on beat giving a head down no nonsense display of drum finery, drawing all the elements of the band to a unified whole. While Bassist Casper provides the low down with style and finesse.
Keyboardist Florence provides the afore-mentioned layers of electronic textures which emanate forth with a depth and range seemingly beyond that of the recorded medium. Guitarist James is another cool customer delivering the chops and more with apparent ease.
It was ear-worms a go go in there last night as the loop in my brain keeps reminding me – Fallen Famous, Somebody Somewhere, White Bears, Weekend Caligula, Self Destruct to name a few.
And judging by the enthusiastic response from a healthy turnout of friendly faces and enthusiasts, people are using their ears.
Pick up a copy of the album released this Friday.
Or catch them live.
Better still do both!
Words and Images: EiTC.
Archaeologists recently working in the eastern wastelands have unearthed a rare artefact around the area of Antler Hill. It is believed that this artefact, a capsule, may contain the key to unlocking the great Cypher Columbidae… After being blown by Doris then forced to go down… …to clarify, it was a bit windy so the trains stopped running, thereby necessitating the need to take the tube instead...
The sugar tongs headed me in the direction of the end of the world, whereupon Guildford Lil was to be found somewhere around the middle east…
Eventually we wound our way to Dublin to witness a siege at the castle… Well it was more of an occupation.
Here we encountered a warm welcome from Mr Bloggs, PiL and assembled occupiers.
We were watching a Reindeer dancing on the table when all of a sudden sight, sound and other sensual stimuli informed us that Occupy had taken the stage.
Dance and revelry was the order of things for the next half hour or so – the castle-dwellers joined together in song – and we were served a solid foundation of rhythmic delights from drummer Steve and bass player Paul who together created the perfect platform for guitarist Seamus to ply his skilful craft – these elements in combination systematically and sympathetically complimenting the apex i.e. that of frontman Steve Cooklin as he led the way through the set. A journey across time with a steady hand at the tiller.
Here, among other things, there was talk of the great pilgrimages to Staines after the notorious Opal Mint decriminalisation act was passed there toward the end of the last century. Before we ourselves took pilgrimage to India where we found sustenance and good company at Namaste and we nattered until way past last tube time…
Words and Images: EiTC.
Video: Oliver Cooklin.
Incoming transmission... You may have heard of Occupy! You may have heard of Sir PiL! You may have heard of Stamford! You may have heard of Rebus Bloggs... Read on...
The Voodoo Lounge, Stamford
Ever been to Stamford?…
Well I have now, and what a great place it is! And The Voodoo Lounge, situated in the cellar of Mama Liz’s bar/restaurant, is a great little venue…
We venture up the A1(Ba**ard)M to go and see Occupy, a Punk/New Wave cover band from North London. I found out about them from their Bass player, none other than Paul Cooklin (or Paul in London to those in the know).
The Journey was eventful but as I have been criticised in the past for giving too much of the revue over to the journey to the venue and the Ednas consumed, I will leave that out.
On arrival we found Paul holding court in the main bar, he was in a very jovial mood and was nursing a glass of his usual Pinot Grigio.
The support for the night was George Linton, a singer songwriter who played some very good guitar and sang a great mix of tunes. I thought he had a bit of an acoustic “Groundhogs” sound, with perhaps a bit more blues and a touch of Neil Young. Catch his web site here www.georgelinton.co.uk
After a very short break, Occupy took to the stage. A four piece, Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vocals. Straight into a powerful version of the 1959 classic by Vince Taylor “Brand New Cadillac”. More Clash was to follow after some very good Jam/Stranglers/Dead Kennedys. Radiohead’s “The Bends” was a highlight for me as was the very fine “Hurt” from the Johnny Cash catalogue, and The Stereophonics song “Dakota”.
Add to the mix some more Radiohead, some Ramones, some more Clash and Pistols and Stranglers and it makes a very fine set indeed. Altogether a worthwhile trip up the A1(Ba**ard)M for us.
The venue it’s self is very good, accessible, and with a great atmosphere. I think I will check this place out again very soon…
Brand New Cadillac – The Clash
Eton Rifles – The Jam
London Calling – The Clash
Hanging Around – The Stranglers
Police Truck – Dead Kennedys
The Bends – Radiohead
Silly Thing – Sex Pistols
Hurt – Johnny Cash
Dakota – Stereophonics
Start – The Jam
Creep – Radiohead
I wanna be sedated – Ramones
Clash City Rockers – The Clash
Submission – Sex Pistols
Babylon’s Burning – The Ruts
Holiday in Cambodia – Dead Kennedys
Words: Rebus Bloggs
Photos: Lou Smith
courtesy of Oliver Cooklin…
Legends, myths, fables, once upon a time etc Etc EiTC… Well… you know how it goes? Just then…
After a hard day’s levitation, I met up with the legendary Pidge, somewhere around Archway…
We set the sugar tongs for 1976 and headed in the general direction of Finchley North London.
Probably due to the day’s precipitation and some moisture penetrating the circuitry of the navigation unit, we somehow managed to end up in Watford 40 years later, which was quite timely as there were a bunch of lads there with a few tales to tell of Finchley in the year 1976…
A couple of years ago The Stranglers celebrated their 40th Anniversary – there aren’t many bands who enjoy such longevity but they’ll be called the survivors, you know why?
Forty plus years of myths of menace, mayhem, meninblack, and other miscellaneous madness and misdemeanours but above all music (alliteration not withstanding). There has been much variety along the way but a good few constants are also weaved among the threads of this dark tapestry. Not least the followers and fans.
Among the earliest and most well-known of these are the legendary Finchley Boys. Immortalised with a name-check in the song Burning Up Time. They stood side by side with the band in the early years and have themselves become part of the story.
Tonight was a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Finchley Boys first fated meeting with The Stranglers at The Torrington in Finchley. The proceedings tonight were not in Finchley itself but The Flag in Watford which is a large pub right next to the train station with a good sized music hall (not unlike The Torrington inside according to Finchley Boy Al Hillier).
The celebrations were arranged as a charity fund-raiser to commemorate those Finchley Boys departed for the great gig in the sky – Daddy, Leigh, Chris and John.
Stranglers Tribute Band Straighten Out were the headline act, supported by Punk covers band The Smash. There was a Q&A session with the remaining Finchley Boys as well as an auction, a raffle and lots of merchandise and memorabilia.
In addition to the Finchley’s and their families, The Flag was brimming with Family/Fans in Black here to take part in the celebrations. Any Fan in Black with a link to the internet or social media will not have missed out on the tireless organisation work of Finchley Boy Steve Hillier. And the hard work and dedication paid off as the £5k fund-raising target was well and truly surpassed with the final sum raised being in excess of £7k!
Rob Owen took Mic for the Auction which saw some of the hard-core collectors digging deep for some ultra rare Stranglers memorabilia.
A mix-up with the raffle tickets saw EiTC’s guitar and jacket allocated to other people, although I wasn’t about to raise a fuss what with it being a charity do and all…
The Smash kicked off musical proceedings nicely with some well-presented punk covers.
Special guest ‘Super-Collector’ Neil Horgan entertained all and sundry with his excellent story-telling, recounting some elements of his own personal ‘Stranglers’ journey.
Due to a technical hitch we were unable to view the video compiled by Les Neil but a link came through the following day, watch it here…
Before long The remaining Finchley Boys: Steve Hillier, Alan Hillier, Dennis Marks, Pete Enter, Graham Heyhoe, Pete Sharp and Alan Warne gathered on the stage for a Q&A session. MC for the evening Neil Sparkes fired questions from far and wide and the audience asked directly.
We all stood agog as they entertained us with the tales of their encounters with The Stranglers.
In no time at all, Straighten Out took the stage and proceeded to rustle up some Mk1 Magic.
The sound was superb and authentic, the crowd hung off every last note. SO get better and better with each listen, soften your focus and it could be the real deal standing right in front of you!
The lively crowd spilled over onto the stage occasionally which although in good spirits could potentially have spelled disaster.
Several of the crowd (not least Sandra and Al) took it on themselves to try to protect the stage. By the end of the set, the Welsh Mafia plus Pidge, Al and Sarah were on the stage providing a human barrier in a scene somewhat reminiscent of the Finchley Boys heyday!
Coming soon – Guest Review – The Finchley Boys 40th Bash according to Pidge…
Words and Images: Matthew Elvis Brown.
Once again dispensing with waffle… (For the most part etc Etc EiTC) And getting down to business… Well that’s why you’re here?...
Then, before I knew it, I found myself in Camden and it was only Six o’clock!
In a hole in the ground I encountered a gathering who, like me, were here to hear the magnificent Ruts DC.
An early start to tonight’s gig due to the 10pm curfew for live music (Great! Cocoa and bed before the pumpkin hour methinks).
After partaking of a drink in the company of Mr and Mrs Rockula, Mrs Bloggs led me down further in to the depths of the underworld where we discovered Mr Bloggs and Straightenout (with his shirt – more on that later…) among numerous others, enjoying the delights of Department S. And what delights they were. A new experience for me seeing this band (and only really being aware of ‘that’ song), I was duly impressed.
A foundation of solid drumming and truly inspirational bass playing, layered with creative and engaging guitar, topped off with ultra-cool vocal stylings and performance. And they played ‘that’ song! And it was superb! And the sound was also superb in here tonight. Reckon I’ll be seeing this lot again.
A short break. Then before we knew it – Ruts DC took the stage and had us eating out of their palms as they delivered a solid set of Rutty, Ruttish afore alluded to magnificence, they may also have been just a little bit more sparkly than normal…
Kicking off with West One, the crowd were pleased and rightly so. Segs informed us that we may not know quite a bit of the set tonight as they kicked into the rocker Vox Teardrop and we just lapped it up.
The awesome Mighty Soldier, SUS, No Time To Kill and It Was Cold warmed the cockles before the next batch of new songs.
The catchy Brian Jones tribute Tears on Fire next. Then guest guitarist Dave joined the band which was a nice surprise and that’s exactly what they played Surprise. Leigh donned the Les Paul Jr for some nice jangliness on Soft City Lights before going back to the Standard for the excellent Peace Bomb. Second Hand Child next and great to hear how established this has become. Then new single Music Must Destroy and the crowd had clearly been doing their homework as they sang and danced along.
Back to the three piece format for the simply brilliant Love in Vain. More brilliance in the shape of Jah War. The suberb Psychic Attack headed up a couple of classics in the shape of Staring at The Rude Boys and Babylon’s Burning.
Then they were gone…
But not for long…
Back on with Dave on Acoustic for the atmospheric Golden Boy. Then electric for (the electric) Kill The Pain.
Three pieces again for a sizzling Something That I Said, before a final four piece rendition of the inimitable In A Rut! Stunning!
The sound was superb tonight with clarity between all elements… You would never have guessed there had been any technical problems, which indeed there had been as the midi backing had fallen over. Not that it really mattered as the human talent was so rich.
Almost tempted to say this was an ‘I was there!’ occasion… Which while true, Ruts gigs always are!
Great sound for a great band with great support in a great venue and other greatness etc Etc EiTC…
And while we’re on the subject of greatness: Check out the new album. It’s brilliant and Punky yet different as The Ruts/Ruts DC ever were. It’s instant and a grower at the same time. INFECTIOUS!!! With elements of dub and pop and general creative/experimental awesomeness: Not being a gambler even I’d wager that you won’t be disappointed.
Words: Matthew Elvis Brown.
Colour Images: Mrs Bloggs/Lou Smith.
Monochrome Images: Andy Miller/Straightenout.
Moving Images: Andy Miller/Straightenout.
That Shirt Images: Courtesy of Andy’s Camera and The Mystery Photographer.
Bonus RuTS DC and that shirt:
Okay I’ll level with you… Not much time to get this done… So will dispense with the normal nonsensical waffle and get straight down to business etc Etc EiTC…
Had you going there for a while though eh!
Another blessed weekend of music and other blissful activities culminating in two festivals in one (Sun) day.
Dibdab and EiTC paid a visit to the charming Pippfest in Dorking. A local festival with lots of live music and other really cool stuff going on – organised as part of a campaign to save Pippbrook house from being sold by the council on the private market and keep this cherished local landmark available for local community use.
Then before you knew it there I was with Guildford Lil at Guildford Station, from whence we made our way to Stoke Park where we met up with Rob, Carol and family and the Legendary Pidge.
(Always) The sun shines – on the righteous…
It’s always a risk giving a festival a title that includes the word sun. This was the experience when I saw Hugh play at the Forever Sun festival in Dorset where it forever rained and was blooming freezing…
So going to a festival called ‘Always The Sun’ made me reach for the wellies and judging by Saturdays weather we may have needed the sou’westers as well!
But, as luck would have it, here we were on a perfect sunny day.
Further luck was that Hugh’s performance was at 5.40 meaning I could catch his set and be tucked up with cocoa before 9.30! Result!
The ATS site had plenty going for it lots of great music, loads of attractions and some excellent grub. Lil and YT shared some vegan brownies, then a falafel and cup of tea later and Hugh was up…
Kicking off with Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit, the sound was spot on ticking all the boxes. Hugh’s material really suits the 3 piece treatment and the choice of Stranglers numbers were spot on too.
An awesome Sleazy gave way to the brilliant Beat of my Heart leading on to a sublime 2nd Coming. Then it was Badge next, Ooops sorry I mean God is a Woman, sounding great too.
Caz looked slightly concerned as Hugh kicked off Hanging Around at a breakneck pace but the concern soon faded as they stormed through with a flawless solo and all, they nailed it! And the crowd showed their appreciation, while Hugh showed his appreciation for my beard… (Really!)
Through Getting Involved, Babylon and Tramp all sounding absolutely spot on! Then special mention for Stuck in Daily Mail Land which was brilliant, Caz’s harmonic bass accompaniment on the main melody once more showcasing her musical gifts and really helping the song shine.
Then Hugh announced it’s time for that song, as the whole place got behind him for a flawless Always The Sun.
I want One of Those next which was nice but what I really wanted was Bad Vibrations…
More creative bass from Caz on Thrown Away which just works in this format. A sublime Under Her Spell before the grand finale of Nuclear Device which again they totally nailed!
What can you say really.
From the brilliant drums of Chris Bell to the superb Bass and BV’s of Caz Campbell, this format is cooking with Gas for the Hugh-meister!
And Hugh was just that! Masterful!
A great performance, great sound at a great festival…
And home in time for cocoa!
Words and Photos: EiTC.