Gig Review – Polyfest 4th/5th October 2014.

Polyfest 4th/5th October 2014. Half Moon Putney.

Charity Concerts for Teenage Cancer Trust – Honouring the memory of Poly Styrene.

Investigation into Reports of Paranormal Activity in Putney: CLASSIFIED.

Part 1 – Sat 4th Oct. After reports of recent Paranormal Activity in Putney, operatives were deployed in the region of Upper Richmond Road. The epicentre was quickly identified to be a local hostelry known as The Half Moon.

Agent EiTC Reports that:

“Although I arrived in good time it would appear that it may have been later than imagined. Amongst other phenomena, time itself was proving to be fluid and unpredictable. Upon arrival at precisely a smidge after 8pm a combo known as The Shakespearos were already well into their set producing a selection of musical archaeological artefacts from the early to mid Punkaceous period. (The Shakespearos would appear again numerous times tonight culminating in a stellar rendition of Turning Japanese!)

Enquiries with a young lady in the area of the bar yielded the information that proceedings had begun early and this was the 17th such act! To which was quickly added that she was just kidding and that not much had been missed although it had in fact all begun around 7.15…

It was difficult to remain grounded in the here and now. Those who were here were not and those who weren’t here were… Indeed this was a trend that would continue through the weekend!

Adam Masterson then made an appearance in the format of one man and his guitar. Which included some X-ray Spex covers interspersed with some original material and a Clash cover…”

Levitation was then witnessed and appeared to emanate from the vicinity of the stage whilst occupied by Judy Tzuke. Who, along with her guitar accompanist delivered a trio of songs culminating in the beautiful Stay With Me ‘Til Dawn. Indeed a mixture of sweet vocal harmony and dextrous complimentary guitar picking raised the roof by several feet where it hovered for some time thereafter.

Bizarrely the appearance of none other than Anita Harris on stage with Sham 69 was startling evidence of these phenomena. However, the very trans-dimensional nature of this aside, it was a spectacle to behold and indeed one of (if not the) highlight(s) of the whole weekend! Anita’s performance of the Poly song I Live Off You was most aurally soothing and probably represented the most sensitive and effective tribute to Poly to be witnessed. Which feels as surreal for me to type as it is for you to hear/read!

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Saffron Sprackling then took to the stage with The Shakespearos much to the delight of the gathered mass delivering more Poly-penned joy.

Rounding out of the evening’s proceedings and bringing Space Vessel Poly into dock was the responsibility of Doctor & The Medics who handled this task admirably while the crowd lapped up their set including a cover of You Spin Me Round. Apologies were made for lack of preparation/rehearsal prior to the execution of Germ Free Adolescents (although they were necessary! It did not deter the enjoyment…) Before the final number a poet friend of Poly (whose name unfortunately escapes me) gave a recital of a wonderful poem about Poly, which ended and now she is with The Spirit In The Sky, seguing neatly into the concluding number for the evening. Once more Anita Harris graced the stage with her presence (and particularly impressive necklace twirling dance moves)…

…then as quickly as we were there we were not!”

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Part 2 – Sun 5th Oct. Following yesterday’s initial investigation, EiTC recruited SiB to assist in another fact finding mission…

“Once more disruption to space, time and gravity (possibly not helped by trying to fit an infinite amount of Sunday dinner into a finite space!), seemingly caused confusion as to when was now and how was then… Thusly missing the first hour or so, we settled down to make sense of what remained.

Coventry’s Pretty Rascals made a well-crafted pop sound that belied their seemingly tender years (including a tribute to Poly).

The Homosexuals delivered a set of high quality punky quirkiness with frontman Bruno being suitably attired with a Day-Glo top while celebrating Poly Styrene.

JC Carroll of The Members gave an acoustic rendition of some punk songs including Sound of The Suburbs and was joined onstage by his Daughter Irma for Germ Free Adolescents.

Then Jerico put in an impressive unannounced performance which included singer Mark Shaw auctioning off his shirt for the charity.

There was a fine vocal rendition of The Day The World Turned Day-Glo (from Sarah Dee?) which the backing track didn’t quite live up to.

The Duel deftly delivered a short set of their trademark brand of Punk/Pop which also included a medley of X-ray Spex favourites.

John Ottway treated the audience to his hit Cor Baby That’s Really Free plus two more. Most entertaining!

Neville Staple lifted the roof a couple of inches further with a rousing Monkey Man (backed up by The Carnabys).

Angie Brown who turned up too late for her scheduled spot the previous night was (thankfully) sandwiched in to tonight’s bill where she mesmerized all present with a stunning display of vocal prowess. When it was discovered that her backing track was not functioning Angie shrugged it off like a true professional and delivered a staggering A Capella performance.

Headline act Ruts DC took the stage and the place erupted… Kicking off with the more recent Mighty Soldier they proceeded to deliver a short sweet set which included Staring at The Rude Boys, No Time to Kill and Sus. Ruffy announced that they wouldn’t bother with all that encore malarkey and would just stay onstage and play out the songs… A reggaefied jam led into the intro to New Rose which was a setup for a blistering Babylon’s Burning. This was backed up with a superb rendition of In A Rut with the middle section neatly interspersed with a Rock ‘n’ Roll medley including Shakin’ All Over and nods to others before coming back to a rousing ending. Ruts DC once more proving what a tight unit they are. A magnificent finale!

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Then it was all over, with thousands raised for charity. The roof eventually rejoined the main building and the surveyors could find no evidence of any lasting effects.

A Misty Moon and Shooting Stars were later seen overhead which may have been evidence of spaceship Poly heading back out into the Cosmos.”

In summary a great weekends entertainment with a friendly vibe at a fantastic venue. Apologies for errors and omissions.

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Click here for Polyfest  review

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