The Stranglers – Portsmouth Guildhall – 23rd March 2024

So, after leaving Elvis Towers, I swung by Sunny Stanwell and collected my Bro and Nephew for a day down by the south coast in Pompey…

After checking into our billeted quarters, a quick mosey around the centre of town found the area around the Guildhall all but deserted apart from the familiar red/black uniformed faithful. Not only deserted (guess most of the students had gone home for Easter) but also devoid of any nearby eateries. After walking around for the best part of an hour our search for sustenance proved fruitless (literally - a banana would have been good at this point)! 

Aware as we were of the time, we decided to head back toward the venue. Only to realise that we were in fact only a minute away from it! Ever decreasing circles and wheels within starving wheels!

Setting up camp with other FiB at the local ‘Spoons’ opposite the venue, Bro and Nep took a punt on the delights of Sainsburys Local (more on that later). Wired on the ‘Spoons’ endless coffee, suit was followed by yours truly in the shape of a meal deal for the princely sum of £3.25. Blimey!

Fast forward an hour or so after meeting/greeting FiB after FiB, we made our way to the venue and before long the lights dimmed. To my surprise and delight the PA rang out not with the familiar strains of Waltzinblack but the awesomely addictive synth sequence signalling the intro of Just Like Nothing on Earth and (almost) before you could say ‘A Woman in Wellington wet her whistle with a Wildman from way back when’ We were treated to both the opener and subsequently the closer from Gospel According to The Meninblack – a brilliant and bold start to the show!

Very soon I was amidst a jolly and joyful bunch of dancing loons, gleefully sharing in this Stranglers obsession…

I won’t go too much into the details of the set but suffice to say, Hanging Around brought me back to my earlier experience with Sainsburys Local. In that, travelling through Fulham recently, it was noted the site of The Coleherne (the famous leather bar referred to in the lyric of HA), is now a Sainsburys Local. So, I pondered, as I’m prone to, how this might affect the song, if the lyrics were updated to reflect the current occupiers of that site – I’m moving in Sainsburys local, with the leather all around me (not something we experienced in Pompey SL that’s for sure)…

But, as ever, I ramble on…

The gig was an absolute corker!
The sound was powerful, clear and magnificent. The venue was top notch and the crowd were intent on boogying and woogying to both sets as brilliantly delivered by the Stranglers.

Baz, had an extra edge in his delivery for this show. His guitar gurning was ramped up to the extreme. As it was, it made the show even more enjoyable but I fear he may have pushed himself a bit far this Saturday night as we’ve just received news from MiB HQ, that he has lost his voice and The Bristol show has now unfortunately had to be cancelled.

An excellent show from the MiB, sending healing vibes to Mr Warne!


Words: Matthew Elvis Brown

B&W Photos: John Dewhirst

Colour Photos: Phill Dann

Sainsburys Local/Coleherne – Google Street View


Gig Review – Ruts DC – Chris Pope – The Duel – The Garage Islington 101223

In a cave on a desolate planet beyond the furthest reaches of the known universe something stirs…

Suddenly… beep! FFFSSSHHH!!! Fizz! Pop… Buzzzzz Whirr! 
Holographic AI EiTC (HAIE) materializes into view and begins mumbling to itself…

“S’pose I better wake ‘im up then!” He cranks a lever on the cryogenic capsule which lights up and emits a low humming sound before the glass doors slide open with a smooth low hiss… 
Out steps In Real Life EiTC (IRLE) and the following conversation ensues…
IRLE “What the bleedin’ ‘ells goin’ on?”
HAIE “You told me to wake you up in December for the Ruts DC!”
IRLE “Blimey is that the time already? Put the kettle on then…”
HAIE “Yeah alright!”

The following transcripts may or may not be based on actual events…

Hello EiTC here. So, it’s been a while since I last dusted off the Quill but Ruts DC are in town and that’s always a good enough reason…

In this modern age of technology running wild and self-serving soulless fakers running the show, it’s good to have some link to hope, humanity and humour. Ruts DC provide!

Having made my way back to Earth landing somewhere in the vicinity of Clapham South, the trajectory went downwards, undergroundwards and didn’t come upwards again until the vicinity had changed to Highbury and Islington. From whence minimal footfall ended the journey and entrance was granted…

Up first, The Duel…

The Duel are in a process of continual evolution and the current stage is working very well. There is a good contrast of material from light and dark poppy textures, through to more uptempo punky rockers. With a strong sense of melody infused throughout.

On the subject of textures; there was a tangible textural change when Tara donned her Stratocaster creating a nice contrast to Paul’s Humbuckers.

Their convincing stage presence captured the attention of and continually engaged the rapidly growing crowd


Next up Chris Pope…

Chris Pope donned his acoustic guitar and stepped out in front of the crowd like a greatly less disheveled Bob Dylan.

His delivery was strong and well received, the crowd were engaged and enjoying Chris’s set.

Not having any better reference point, at times I was put in mind of both Paul Weller and Billy Bragg.

Good stuff!

On to the show…


Nicely warmed up, there was electricity in the air, as the crowd anticipated the main event.

Enter stage left: Ruffy, Segs and Leigh – Boom!

Here we go…

Segs and Leigh were highly animated up front where the whole stage was covered by this pair with their gesticulating, strutting, gurning, rocking brilliance.

Underpinning them at the back, still waters ran deep, as Mr. Ruffy gave a master class in cool precision with even more brilliance.

The set twisted and turned with the contrasts we expect of Ruts DC/Ruts material. A great mix of both old and new with a good number of songs from the most recent album – Counterculture.

The crowd lapped up each last morsel. And seemed to enjoy every moment. It almost felt as though sum of the band and crowd doing their respective thing together was greater than the sum of their constituent parts. And whilst we’re on the subject of the crowd – there was a real sense of camaraderie as they danced and leapt around gleefully in celebration of the band and one another.

At one point, I turned to my left and there was Jona Lewie standing next to me totally absorbed and loving the band – we had a quick chat and were in agreement about the brilliance of Ruts DC

As awesome as ever it should be, Jah War tonight included a dedication to Benjamin Zephaniah.

After a brilliantly psychedelic mid section In A Rut broke down to Dirty Old Town as a mark of respect for the recently departed Shane MacGowan. Blinding!

All too soon it was all Babylon’s Burning and bye…

Eventually returning for an encore, Segs paid tribute to Sinead O’Conner and Geordie from Killing joke. And gave some inspirational words about the state of society and the need for us to look out for each other – People Unite!


Ruts DC get my vote every time…

The gettings always good but get ‘em anyway! Right now on tour accross the nation – be quick!



Words and Images Matthew Elvis Brown


Ruts DC Club 85 Hitchin 20th May 2023

Blimey! It’s been a while…
Ok, let’s get this gig review stuff out of the way:
A charming band paid tribute to a charming man in the middle section of a charming song at a charming gig in a charming town…
Done and done!
Rebel Music Punk Rock Taxi

It’s very easy to lose your way in this life.

It’s very easy to lose faith in this life.

To give in to the cynicism 

To feel oppressed by an uncaring society based on greed and selfishness…

But all is not lost

You are not alone

There are others out there who give a shit

Good people who embrace positivity

And restore your faith in humanity…

You may well think WTF, isn’t this a gig review?

Well, yes and no!

Ruts DC embody the spirit of the aforementioned good people.

Ruts DC give a shit!

They create an atmosphere of positivity, inclusivity, fun and downright decency.

All while being fully in control and keeping it real.

But what of the songs?

Well, let’s talk about the whole, rather than its constituent parts!

There is not a beat out of place with their exquisitely delivered and perfectly executed performance of their homegrown brand of Punk/Rock/Reggae/Pop/No Nonsense/Rebel Music.

A perfect night out.

Miss them at your peril!



Words: Matthew Elvis Brown.

Pictures: Gill Baglady (DoOM).


Josh Smith – Borderline London – 26th March 2019

A plan was made…
A rendezvous…
Meet up with Karlos in India before moving on to the next adventure in time and space…
Taking refuge at Govinda’s we devised a plan to follow the thread of timelines pertaining to the electric guitar. We set off on our journey. After loading the parameters into the time machine and pressing go, the machine whirred and fired as expected. Then upon landing we ventured outside to find that, apparently, we were in exactly the same spot in exactly the same timeline… We called the ATMA recovery people and decided to go the Borderline to see Josh Smith instead…
Wherein we discovered the answer…
Disclamer: read no further if you are not a fan of guitar
music and/or get upset by the idea of extended instrumental passages…

The guitar and gear gods had smiled on us this evening as we entered The Borderline to see the stage bedecked with an array of first-class audio equipment. Further still, it would be in the hands of those who could well use it to help satisfy our enquiring minds.

Being somewhat of a guitar enthusiast (geek), occasionally enjoying some of the many guitar related videos available on the internet, (which activity) has brought to my attention a number of talented individuals, one of whom is the super capable player Josh Smith.

A recent video with Josh on Andertons TV, once again highlighted his skills and he also happened to mention he was currently on tour in the UK, which got me thinking… After a quick check of the calendar and a call to Karlos, tickets were purchased for the London show of the tour. Which brings us back here…

We ventured towards the stage to secure our viewing positions. Where, along with many others we cast a keen eye across Josh’s set up; three beautiful guitars, a brace of amplifiers and Josh’s marvellous new Schmidt Array pedalboard built by pedalboard Supremo Dan Steinhardt of the Gig Rig and That Pedal Show renown.

Support act Rory Evans, bravely sat in front of a packed borderline with a lone acoustic guitar and proceeded to capture the hearts of the crowd with his guitar virtuosity, showmanship and banter. A good warm up.

On to the main attraction…

Tonight’s sell-out show in London’s West-end, saw wall to wall guitar enthusiasts (geeks – present company included) packed into this fairly intimate venue.

As Josh and his band took the stage all recent fluctuations of time and space began to cohere. Josh appears down to earth and at ease, no mean feat given the soaring, searing guitar lines he pumps out. A very fluid style sees him going out on creative limbs, coming back down to earth and weaving in many licks and riffs which nod to his influences (from across the whole of electric guitar history with a heavy helping of Blues, Rock, Soul and Jazz). At one point there was a bit of a nod to Charlie Christian, which struck me as so cool, how it had been added into the context of one of the extended instrumental sections with great subtlety. (I spoke briefly to Josh afterwards saying to him “7 Come 11” to which he excitedly replied “Yeah man! That was in there…” )

The numbers of the main set tonight were all Josh Smith originals available from his catalogue of Album releases. Post show, I purchased the most recent two and they are both great. However, live is where it really seems to happen. The numbers, stripped of the studio finery, are brought to life in front of your eyes and ears, in this marvellous 3-piece format. Talking of which, bassist Jonathan Noyce and drummer Darren Mooney, perfectly complemented Josh’s songs and playing as they subtly underpinned the song frameworks and created a perfect platform for Josh to explore. They were also allowed plenty of room to shine in their own right, with extended solos and passages.

2 hours or so were over in a flash and all too soon they exited stage right and (we) the crowd were howling and whooping for more…

To which the answer came, in the form of an encore comprising just one song. However, within that song a journey was undertaken, exploring sonic frontiers far and wide before returning to the earthly confines of the song structure. And that song was tonight’s only cover, a beautifully mind-blowing rendition Jimi Hendrix – Angel. Sublime!

Offstage post-performance Josh appears calm, centred and down to earth with a winning, infectious smile (I’m guessing this comes as a result of him having heavily worked his mojo up on stage for the last couple of hours). He takes the time to stop and talk with everyone who says hello and happily obliges those who ask for a photo (including Karlos).

If you are an electric guitar geek, or simply a music lover who likes their Blues/Rock with a healthy dose of Soul and a smattering of Jazzy leanings, I really can’t recommend a Josh Smith live show highly enough. Check it out!

We ventured back out into the mild London evening and found that the ATMA agent had discovered the source of the issue with our Time Machine… A crack in the ST housing unit had caused a temporal malfunction and while we hadn’t appeared to have travelled anywhere, this malfunction had caused a singularity along the lines of our intention and drawn creative energy along timelines spanning 90 years both future and past with the present as the source. Ah well that explains it then! Oh, and we got a parking ticket from the year 1967!


Words: Matthew Elvis Brown

Photos: Karlos Antrobus


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.


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…



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


The Stranglers Hampton Pool 6th July 2018

The Stranglers Hampton Pool 6th July 2018

In more recent reviews, we’ve dispensed with the waffling pre-amble in an attempt to get down and get on with it and this is the case with this review also. However, in the interest of completeness and adhering to the bind of duty. At least a marginal attempt to piss off the grammar checking tool in this fangled word processor thingamajig (would you believe the spell checker corrected that? No not that! Thingamajig!), needs to be made in order to preserve the abstract soft focus first glance appearance of this here site etc Etc EiTC…

Besides, it wouldn’t be right to just go straight in without any hello or how do you do? Would it?


Down to business…

Family business!

There’s a lot been written about The Stranglers (even done a bit of that me-self – EiTC). And, whilst trying not to cover too much old ground, there are certain things worth repeating. Not the least of which is; the relationship of this band with themselves and their fans and the relationship of the fans with themselves and the band. And it’s been said before but clichés exist for a reason, usually because they hold more than a modicum of reality about them and not least in this case vis a vis the Family in Black. Just like every family has its ups and downs there is almost always some way of finding a middle ground or acceptance. It is generally the perception of YT that, on the whole, in the words of The Ramones, ‘we’re a happy family’. And isn’t that something worth striving for?

And just as with kith and kin, there are comings and goings. In which light a recent going has had a profound effect on the FiB i.e. the shock bereavement of Uber-fan Rob Owen. The King of collectors, Rob was known to many and the band themselves. Having been fortunate enough to make acquaintance with Rob on a number of occasions, I was struck with an impression. That was, behind all of the outer layers, such as his unerring dedication to the band, his passion for collecting Stranglers records and memorabilia, Peroni lager, strong wit and dry sense of humour, his undying love for and loyalty to his family. Behind all of this, at his very foundation if you will, was a generous, genuine, good natured soul, that touched people’s lives. A sad loss for the whole family!

What better send off for some of those who knew him (a little or a lot), than to commemorate him at a Stranglers gig?

A Beautiful July day gave way to a balmy evening and a capacity crowd gathered into the grounds of Hampton Pool for The Stranglers.

Waltzinblack of course heralded their imminent arrival and they kicked off firing on all four with an opening salvo of 5 minutes with Grip bringing up the rear.

A great festival style set list tonight full of classics, hits and crowd pleasers. The crowd lapped up every last morsel. The mighty Bear Cage still holding its own and proving its worth. 12” mix of Peaches with extended opening bass line.
And the following highlights:

1 JJ offered up his pick to the young pre-teen lad hanging off the barrier in front of him, he and his brother also received Jim’s sticks.
2 Baz paid heartfelt tribute to Rob Owen as he dedicated Walk on By to his memory, Poignant!

Fly Straight Sir!


Gig Review – The Stranglers Glive Guildford – 260318

Dispensing with the normal preamble on matters temporal, lest it become an almost perfunctory obligation… Besides, last I remember Mr Bloogs was in possession of the sugar tongs and using them to great effect. Both current and previous ramblings about time and other matters aside, let us begin at that place, which after all else is considered, we shall call the beginning or possibly the start, the outset, the get go, on your marks etc Etc EiTC…

The Stranglers/Therapy Glive Guildford 26th March 2018

Now much as I like to get out on tour, probably as much as the next Stranglers obsessive… Sometimes events conspire to reduce the possibility of such aspirations. Such has been the case with the Definitive Tour and yours truly. All of which makes the one date that I (did) do even more crucial.

In fact, it is my experience that this focus or one pointed awareness if you will, served to sharpen the senses and make this event appear greater than the sum of it’s whole (not bad for a Monday night in Guildford as they and in fact almost everybody else seems to say, so it must be true).

You can please some of the people…

With The Stranglers having such a vast back catalogue to draw from, it must make for a difficult job to narrow down the song selection to a 90-minute (or thereabouts) set. Personally, I think they do a great job of mixing it up. Also, with this being the only show for me this tour, (my) perceived experience of some of the material usually taken for granted was somehow more tangible and heightened. For example, on Peaches the quality of the musical structure and timelessness of this song really hit home. And the instrumental section of Walk on By was perfection in itself.

But what about the review?…

Having landed in the charmed hamlet of Guildford along with Bruv and Neph#2 we rendezvoused in India with Guildford Lil at a very busy but equally efficient Moloncho. Suitable sustenance consumed we went on to Glive where we encountered once more the drunken staircase and a full house of eager punters ready for the entertainment in black.

We caught the last couple of numbers of support act Therapy and they came across and went down well.

Suddenly the venue was crammed to the gunnels as the lights dimmed, Waltzinblack ensued and Bosh! Cufew! Fantastic opener, they nailed it. Ooh cool video and light show…

Both band and crowd appeared in good form and made for a most enjoyable evening. Highlights, the whole lot of course but to Narrow it down somewhat: Curfew, Harry, WoB, Bear Cage (clearly a live classic and hopefully a new mainstay for the set – anthemic crowd pleaser on the chorus front), Relentless, JLNOE and more…


New song Water stood up well, having already seen/heard a few of the social media clips, it was even better live. Interesting rhythmically (is this 6/8?) and melodically, it’ll be great to see how it evolves. There were some interesting guitar licks toward the end of the intro, it would be nice to hear these explored further or perhaps developed in to a mid-section encompassing or nodding at the outro… but once again further rambling, in short fab! Please let’s have more new stuff played live.

Time playing its tricks again we were at the point of bone-liquefying bass which could only mean NMH and subsequent home time!

Tip top…


Words and Images: EiTC.


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…