Author Topic: July 2002 - or 1977?  (Read 18678 times)

Offline Fred21

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July 2002 - or 1977?
« on: July 28, 2002, 06:22:33 PM »
Yippee!!!  It's the 4th of July! Should I set off a few rockets to thank George double-ya Bush for safeguarding the western world? Nah - let's go to Derby to see The Damned (www.officialdamned.com) instead!

I go with Kim from work - she hasn't seen them since the tour for "Music for Pleasure" their poorly received second album, so she's in for an interesting evening. We arrive at the Assembly Rooms and I find that since my last visit in 1989 they've stuck up some new signs and lots of plastic facings over the walls. At least the 'school assembly' type chairs (metal framed with three welded together) are absent for tonight's event. The last time was a VERY poorly advised trip where I went with some friends to see, you've guessed it, St*v* H*rl*y!

The Damned kick off with 'Street of Dreams' and treat us to a long set where, as the Captain points out, they are playing a couple of tracks off each album and most of the excellent new 'Grave Disorder' album. Dave Vanian is in fine voice and looks younger now than 20 years ago - is he really in league with the Devil?! I muse that it must be funny for Captain Sensible to play the songs from their most successful (in chart terms) period after he left, but he tackles it with his accustomed ease - he REALLY IS A SERIOUSLY UNDERATED GUITARIST! The 'new' members Monty Oxymoron on keyboards, Dave Vanian's wife Patricia Morrison on bass and Pinch (doing a fine job following Chris 'Rat Scabies' Miller) on drums play their hearts out and a fine time is had by all - nice ones guys!

If it's the 20th, it must be Blackpool!

That well-known TUT and general all round nice guy Alan Smith does his best PK impersonation and very generously chauffeurs me to Blackpool (www.holidaysinthesun.net) and back - what a guy, cheers mate! Alan is taking along his 13-year old son Chris (who must be a member of Generation Z Alan and I decide!) to his first gig - what a day he is in for. This theme gets us thinking of the first gigs we went to - my mind flies back to when I was 14 in 1978 and went to the much missed Glasgow Apollo to see... Devo! Alan tells me which well known 'punk' band (as he INSISTS they were then billed as) was his first gig - I'm far too much of a gentleman to spill the beans!!! What were the first gigs you others went to I wonder?

Anyway, get to the venue and check out what's happening and where. Being the lazy listeners we are, we decide we don't really fancy anything until The Vibrators (www.thevibrators.com). We go up the front and give Knox a shout, he responds with a thumbs-up salute. The boys kick off with 'Automatic Lover' and treat us to a virtual 'Best of the Vibrators' set in fine style. Now a tight three piece, they still have founder Eddie on drums and the excellent Robbie Tart performing bass duties in solid style. A nice touch from Knoxie as he sends young Chris his plectrum - aren't people of Scottish decent lovely! Chris also rates the set highly and myself and Alan agree he was lucky to start his gigging in such fine form! A quick trip to the stalls to plug a few holes in our collections and get, amongst others, the aforementioned 'Best of the Vibrators' CD (playing vinyl seems such a chore these days Alan and I agree!).

We move on and meet up with the Mohawk Masters themselves - Jock and Carol (www.mohawks.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk). Jock immediately gives us a TV Smith logo he'd produced for the event. Aren't Scottish people lovely! He tells us TV and Gaye are coming down and right on cue they arrive. We have a chat and Chris meets his first punk legends of the day! About this time Chris starts his collection of badges that leave his pockets bulging and Alan's emptying at an equal rate.

Alan's beloved 999 (www.nineninenine.cjb.net) next - I'm also looking forward to this as I'd never got round to seeing them before. Another tight set with lots of familiar numbers from the early days and some newer material. Arthur from The Lurkers is still on bass for them and is clearly having a great time. Chris, already wearing his HITS T-shirt acquires a 999 one from Nick Cash and meets his third punk legend of the day. A few more badge purchases later and its time to bump into the ubiquitous Charlie Harper (legend number four - you must be getting blasť by now Chris!). Charlie has been his usual self all day - mixing with the fans - and tells us he hopes he can muster the energy for tonight's show! We're sure he can...

And he does! A few numbers from the Subs (www.uksubs.co.uk) and it's next door for TV.  Plug the guitar in, a quick mike check and we're away! Well, that was the plan. TV losses a few minutes of his set (Boo! Hiss!) as they struggle to find a lead that works - I'm pissed off by this, so God knows how Tim must be feeling - how many leads must their be in that building for Christ's sake?! Anyway, now we're away and TV launches into his set with his typical enthusiasm and energy - no problems now I think. However, it soon becomes clear that TV has no main monitor on stage and asks for the guitar to be turned up - no response. Not surprising really - no one is on the sound desk! "It's just as well I know the songs well!" TV quips and off he goes again. The sound out front is fine - but TV doesn't know that!

The set is VERY well received - but no time for the traditional encore thanks to the time lost at the 'start' of the set - Boo! Hiss! This is very ironic as Alan had earlier commented how impressed he was with the smooth running of things - typical TV should have two problems! It was very encouraging to see some younger fans, in very obvious punk gear, calling for some of the newer songs - nice one guys! As has been noted and joked about at length, yes, TV was between The Gonads and The Dickies. G*ry B*sh*ll fronts the right-wing pile of crap known as the Gonads - I hope TV had the stage exorcised before venturing onto it - if not, that could explain the problems outlined above. We were indeed unfortunate enough to catch 30 seconds of The Gonads - "We're the boys in red and white, always ready for a fight" spouted the bearded belly (bigger than mine!) onstage before I turned and ran as fast as my arthritic limbs could carry me - you'll never see a fat crip run as fast as I managed that night! I'm still having nightmares!!!

We've caught a few snippets of other bands, but it's now time for tonight's headliners, at least as far as we're concerned - the wonderfully manic Dickies (www.thedickies.com). A classic Dickies set in classic Dickies style ensues - no surprise there! 2 AM - time for bed said Zebedee! Not quite, the journey to the Midlands now follows with Alan dropping me off after daybreak and  Alan and Chris still having another hour's drive ahead of them. Many, many thanks again guys!

Saturday 27th July - down to Crystal Palace National Sports Stadium. No, I'm not getting my directions for the Commonwealth Games confused - it's the third coming of the Sex Pistols (www.sex-pistols.net). Down on the coach, with Kim again, and meet up with my mate Pete (who came to Southwick with me and his good lady Sue). Before going into the stadium we decide to pay our respect to the Crystal Palace Park 'Monsters' - the legendary 19th Century (and in the case of the Iguanadon, highly inaccurate) reconstructions of Prehistoric life. I am very disappointed to find them fenced off - the whole area is being given a face lift apparently. I'm not convinced as I believe it's the authorities' evil plan to keep the punks out and stop me from seeing them! No, I'm sure it'll be very nice when its finished - for the moment we walk round the perimeter and see what we can.

Time to go in then. Just as we approach the entrance who do I see - none other than Jock and Carol - I thank Jock for emailing the photo he took of Chris, Alan and I with TV and Gaye last week - aren't Scottish people lovely! He tells us they are coming down, but I think we'll never see anyone we know in a crowd that size!

A crowd of what size exactly? The 'crowd' is currently very sparse. We are also immediately horrified by the £18 T-shirts, 'God Save the Queen' mugs and - programmes! Programmes? For the Sex Pistols? This must be 2002 and after all!!!

A quick look round and who do we see in the 'crowd' - TV and Gaye with Jock and Carol, etc. Another chat where we briefly consider the reformation of The Eagles - OOPS!, sorry, Sex Pistols, for this event, amongst other things.

The support acts, all new bands 'being given a chance' largely fail to generate the enthusiasm and atmosphere that Finsbury Park did six years ago. The Rapture (from New York) do about the punkiest thing on view all day when they walk on stage and the guitarist takes his guitar out of its flight case, plugs in and plays - no tuning here! It showed a little as his A-string was flat for all of the gig, but if doesn't care, who are we to! They sound a bit like Television with a little Theatre of Hate saxophone thrown in. The guitarist also sings some numbers and does sound like Tom Verlaine - on Helium!

The Libertines next - one guitarist and the bassist in matching red army tunics - nothing new here. At least I think not - the sound is awful - they COULD be the best band in the world - surely the sound isn't so poor deliberately???

Judging from the number of T-shirts in evidence, The Dropkick Murphies have strong support here today - Irish style 'Pogues' with (occasional) bagpipes - not my cup of tea, but they are well received - despite the atrocious sound.

Last up the wonderfully named "And you will know us by the Trail of Dead." I have high hopes for these boys with such a great name! Oh dear! Strictly "Punk by Numbers" time as they try to wind up and suck-up to the crowd in equal measure and - shock horror - trash the gear at the end! Boring - grow up guys!

I don't think the sound-system guys, Mellobostic, will return after the poor reception they got after opening the show, and a few records reinforces this belief. But they do - they don't care and DO manage to warm-up/wind-up the crowd ready for the Pistols.

The Pistols wander on stage - no big entry like Finsbury Park this time and launch into "Silver Machine". Bloody hell - hell could freeze over before you'd guess that one! I'd have thought Hawkwind represented everything they resented originally - must be irony and/or the need to alter the set from six years ago - they don't have that much material to start with now do they? All the old favourites follow alongside some surprises - 'Belson' and 'My Way' - we certainly DID get the 'few surprises' we were promised - but some of this was really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. All this 'Swindle' stuff was supposed to be MacLaren's idea -  and deeply resented - so why return to it? By the way - their sound was perfect!

Don't get me wrong, the Pistols were definitely worth seeing, and still knock spots (no pun intended!) off the vast majority of other bands around today, but the general consensus of opinion was that this show was weaker than the last reformation shows. Having it in the middle of the summer when a lot of people were already away (Finsbury Park was a month earlier on the 23rd of  June) and the lack of at least some of the older bands to build the atmosphere (and boost the crowd) must have contributed to this feeling. The PA also seemed a lot quieter this time - lots of people shouted for it to be turned up!

Oh well, time to go home and "arrive with the milk" as Alan would put it. On the train back into Victoria, an older Scottish punk led the singing by bursting into "Nelly the Elephant" sporadically and asking if people had enjoyed the Dickies last week - lots of people let him know they had! Aren't Scottish people lovely!

Oh well, so much for July - August next: Penetration and The Lurkers lined up so far - Yippee!
TV SM!TH - for the beer and the company!

Offline Uli

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Thanks
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2002, 05:38:37 PM »
Hey man, thanks for this great write-up about all the old punks!!
I missed Blackpool and the Pistols too, but at least I managed to catch the Damned (supported by ex-guitarist Brian James) at Shepherds Bush... This gig was indeed filmed professionally, so we might get a DVD someday!
Just around the corner and miles away...

Offline Fred21

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Thanks!
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2002, 04:45:55 PM »
Cheers for your kind words Uli - It looks like I've managed to sort out the bug now, so hopefully the above is more easy to follow now!
TV SM!TH - for the beer and the company!

Offline Uli

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better look
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2002, 09:26:27 AM »
Oh yeah, thanks, it looks better now!!
At least the Pistols did some unexpected covers. But they still seem to be no different than other old rock bands reforming like The Eagles indeed...
Would still have enjoyed to see the Pistols at least once. Maybe next time! :wink:
Just around the corner and miles away...

Fred

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Next time???
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2002, 04:04:30 PM »
I'm not sure there will be a next time!

Steve Jones said they did the gig as a one-off to see if they could still pull a crowd. Whilst they did, it WASN'T as well attended as the last time and the lack of volume, atmosphere, etc. probably didn't help either.

They didn't seem to be communicating with each other on stage (and Johnny was the only one who spoke to the crowd) - at one point he asked Jones and Matlock why they weren't singing!

What do the rest of you who were there think

Offline Tj

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Aren't Scottish People Lovely?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2002, 07:00:18 PM »
Top gig reviews Fred?

Nearly missed it in Chat - Glad some force made me look in their!


 8)
"Deep inside you know it's right to lean towards the light"

Tj Sundown
Leaning towards the Starlight

Offline Uli

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Pistols reunion
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2002, 08:37:23 AM »
Fred - if there won't be a next time I won't cry!  :lol:

As far as I know the Pistols will play a gig in USA in September.
But what I heard about Crystal Palace makes me doubt that we will see them around Europe... And probably we won't miss very much by that...  :wink:
Just around the corner and miles away...

Offline Fred21

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Here it is...
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2002, 12:11:35 PM »
Here it is Jock and Alan - I suppose it just seemed appropriate in the chat section as it's more than just a TV gig review...
TV SM!TH - for the beer and the company!

Offline Alan

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Got it!
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2002, 06:17:18 PM »
A great read thanks Fred!

This should also be cut and pasted into the reviews section - Klaus!

Cheers

Alan

Fred

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Cheers Alan!
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2002, 08:43:45 PM »
Many thanks for your kind words - but I'm NOT changing my opinion on Th* M*mb*rs!

Those guys should be the new St*v* H*rl*y and automatically blocked from the forum!

Offline Klaus

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July 2002 - or 1977?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2002, 06:08:25 PM »
Hi Alan,

you're right. I'll take care of this and copy it into the archives.

Fred,

a new St*v* H*rl*y ? Will this never end...? 8O  :cry:

Klaus
"And if our castle should come tumbling down - We'll fix it up again somehow
We can do anything - That' the wonderful thing...

Carrying On"

Offline Fred21

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This review
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2002, 01:28:54 PM »
Greetings Klaus,

Stick in the archives if you wish - just put it here as it wasn't just TV.

Cheers, Fred.
TV SM!TH - for the beer and the company!

Offline Klaus

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July 2002 - or 1977?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2002, 01:40:32 PM »
Thanks Fred :D
"And if our castle should come tumbling down - We'll fix it up again somehow
We can do anything - That' the wonderful thing...

Carrying On"

Offline Fred21

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That was quick...
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2002, 01:44:51 PM »
That was a quick reply Klaus!

I'd have replied sooner but this computer at work keeps restarting for some reason - you couldn't pop over and sort it out for me could you!!!

Only serious!!!

Fred.
TV SM!TH - for the beer and the company!

Offline Fred21

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Penetration and The Lurkers
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2002, 01:49:07 PM »
Last Friday night saw me heading for Derby again - Penetration and The Lurkers this time. The venue was The Victoria Inn which I hadn't visited for 13 years - when I went to see... The Lurkers!

At that time, it was the famous/always on Top of the Pops line up (Esso, Pete Stride, Nigel Moore) with Peter Arthur 'Arturo Bassick' Billingsly  back as lead vocalist. They were excellent then...

...and they were again last Friday. Arthur was on top form as they ripped through a great set from Shadow to newer stuff. Arthur is the only original member now, but who cares if they still turn out good time, top quality heads down no-nonsense punk! Kim from work was VERY impressed and thought you were a top showman and lovely bloke Arthur! They are now a very powerful three piece and well worth catching - highly recommended. Nice one guys!

Message for Alan - he says, apart from Germany at the end of the year, 999 aren't doing anything until 2003.

The place was packed, as following a quick equipment change, Penetration took the stage. The two new guitarists blended perfectly with the old rhythm section and Pauline Murray's vocals were as strong as ever. A great show with brilliant versions of the old favourites - Life's a Gamble, Don't Dictate (THE showstopper!) - and many others.

It really made me think I'd underappreciated them first time around - don't make that mistake now folks - catch them if and when you can!

P.S. Thought I saw a 'Useless' shirt in the crowd...
TV SM!TH - for the beer and the company!