Tuesday, 27 December 2011

TV SMITH & the Valentines play the Adverts.

Manchester: Night & Day: 17-12-11

Having missed this guys show at Leeds due to major economic deprivation, it was with great joy & rejoicing when we discovered he was playing in Manchester a few days later. A mere 60 miles across the Pennines & the old girl & me were ordering very cheap drinks at the bar of the Night & Day club & taking in the last few songs of the first band, the Adjustors. I can't really say too much about 'em, as we only saw the latter part of their set, but suffice it to say, they did appear mildly reminiscent of a certain 'Slaughter & the Dogs', even down to their Wayne Barrett haircuts.
Next up was Leeds very own 'Cyanide Pills'. My dears, it does appear, that major apologies are in order here; for I was more than a little unkind to these fine fellows in a previous post. 
 Having given Cyanide pills a good fair listen on this chilly eve, I do have to report; that we were more than impressed with their well crafted pop punk tunes. Stand out tune for me, (& it's worth a Brit award for the title alone) was 'Johnny Thunders lived in Leeds'. My cherubs, I found myself having to stifle a bit of a titter, for the title is quite true & what's more I know with whom Herr Thunders stayed. great work fellas.
 Without further ado & in another quick turnaround 'twas time for the eve's main attraction....... Mr TV Smith & the Valentines.

The last time I saw this fella was with his band 'Cheap' at the Duchess of York in Leeds many, many moons ago. However, the biggest reality check of all this, is the last time I saw him playing these songs was at Wakefield Unity Hall more years ago than I really want to count, for it really doth make me feel aged.
 Not so Mr Smith. His hair has taken on a rather silver hue, but he looks in great shape. What's more, & this really is rather heartwarming, he's still the dapper dresser that he was years ago still bearing that D.I.Y attitude. Bloody marvellous!

Within a matter of moments, yours truly was knee deep in punk rock classics from his past.
 Bored teenagers, bombsite boy, the great British mistake & pretty much everything from 'Crossing the red sea' along with a smattering of songs from 'Cast of thousands' were  performed in all their glory. Thus leaving your genial host with the largest of shit eating grins.
Only one little niggle that I had was Mr Smiths between song commentary, seeming to play the whole 'we're all being oppressed' card a little too heavily. Tim; you're one of the greatest song writers of our time & your songs speak for themselves without the need for the inter song political broadcast. Just a minor quibble & merely 'my own personal', you understand.

Such wonderful songs that have truly stood the test of time, ageing not a slither.
The evenings entertainment was rounded off by a few songs from Mr Smiths more recent work. Namely the title track of his latest album, 'Coming in to land' & 'The good times are back' from Misinformation overload'.
Showing that our hero has lost none of his songwriting touch.
 All I can conclude matters with my dears, is a massive thank you to the man who came to town & played the songs which formed the soundtrack to my very early life.

                       TV Smith & the Valentines.............'SALUTE!'
Chin chin.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Walter Lure in the U.K..

2nd of a trilogy
Camden Purple Turtle: 4-11-11

I could certainly get used to this. Traversing the length of the country on trains, (first class!, thanks to my brother Adam, gawd bless 'im), checking into hotels & dining out at some of the worlds finest restaurants. OK, maybe I am being a little economical with the truth; it was the Chop Chop noodle house in Kings Cross. Tasty fare none the less. (Bloody cheap too). Alas, the Chop Chop Noodle house only has one drawback as far as your genial host is concerned. It manages to work its way through my system faster than mercury.
 As the breadknife & me walked to the Purple Turtle from Kings Cross, (for it is indeed that close) I found myself  bursting for the can & walking like a partially crippled penguin.
 So it was with great joy & rejoicing that we made it to to the boozer over the road from the venue & the ever inviting cool white porcelain of the gents. Aaaaaaah touchdown!!!!
 At last, we could get down to the serious business of downing a few beers with the Derellas prior to the gig.

After a few steady beers, 'twas time to venture over the road to the hard shelled lilac one & I do have to report that it's a grand venue. Special homage should be paid to the privy doors which, in no uncertain terms, leave you in no doubt as to which is the ladies & which is the gents. Great artwork!

 Looking around us, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were at some kind of music industry, flesh pressing soiree. it seemed like anyone & everyone who's ever been in a band was in attendance. You couldn't even nip out for a crafty pasha without being herded into the small smoking space along with some former punk rock star. Even more curious, I was trying to fathom out the identity of the small skinny guy with the limp & the leather cap. I knew his face but could I bloody hell put a name to his face. How frustrating! 
 After another fine set from the Derellas, (see previous post right here on this blog) you could feel the anticipation building; for it was nearly Waldo time once again.

 The house lights went down, the stage lights went up & Madame Tightpocket & me found ourselves under no illusion that THIS, made all the travelling & all the expense worthwhile. We've seen Uncle Walter do this show quite a few times now & we always leave having been thoroughly entertained.  He thrills, he excites!
 Of course,some of the responsibility for these rock'n'roll extravaganzas should surely rest on the shoulders of Walters band. Jez Miller on guitar & some of the lead vocals, oozes prescence & gives some of those old Heartbreakers songs a real shot in the arm. Pun totally intended! 
 On bass, Ray Birch is solid & dependable. Nay, nay & thrice nay!! the words, mean, moody & magnificent spring immediately to mind. He's also quite a snappy dresser too.
 Last & by no means least is the enigmatic drummer Ossie. He slams the hide like none other, for he is positively rampant. He has a real feral style, putting body & soul into every single beat & is worthy of the ticket price alone.
 Collectively, these cats ARE the English Waldos.

 Just as we thought we were heading for the standard encore, a special guest star did arrive. None other than bass playing legend & former Heartbreaker Mr Billy Rath. Now that's the guy we'd tried to put a name to earlier. Jesus how he's changed. No more the handsome hunk of yesteryear! After taking on board this shock, it was good to see both surviving Heartbreakers on stage together belting out Chinese Rocks.
 The only drawback of the evening was that all bands were off stage by 10.30. 
What the hell do we do now?  
 Well, the solution was obvious. A steady stroll back to the hotel followed by the imbibing of hard liquor & strong beer at the hotel bar. 
What a marvellous end to a simply wonderful day!

If; dear reader, you fancy any of these dodgy snaps, please feel free to download, nick, nab & snaffle any that may take your Sid & Nancy.
 I leave you with the touching moment when 2 old partners in crime embraced each other on stage.
Chin chin.