LEEDS: BIER KELLER: 9-8-1983
'Twas a warm Autumn eve when big Smiffy & me took the bus from Ponte Carlo to Leeds, to see Lords of the new church for the very first time.
I had been so looking forward to this, the first album was just out, they sounded awesome & what's more they had Brian James of The Damned on 'wocca wocca' guitar & a long time hero of mine, Stiv Bators on vocal duties.
What more could you possibly want??
Arriving at the venue early, we managed to get seated at the front on one of the huge Bier Keller benches.
What a venue that was! With a capacity of at least 400, the stage area was carpeted all Moulin Rouge red, with ultra gothic fittings hanging from the ceiling. A venue truly worthy of The Lords.
All we had to do was sit through the support band 'Agent Orange', or at least that's what the ticket said!
Whoever changed the support band, I wanna personally thank 'em. For what followed left the whole of this venue, (which was by now rammed to the gunnels) stood still in their tracks with mouths agog for a full 45 minutes.
"We're DOGS D'AMOUR" Quoth tall skinny singer Mr Ned Christie!
'Crunch' With that they were off. What stylish buggers they were! Five speedfreak framed geezers all bedecked in black, with skin tight pants & winkle pickers, looking like extras from a production of 'Oliver'.
They totally tore up the stage & made the evening their own. Lords of the who??
It was like all the cool in the world had manifested itself in one little corner of Leeds, for one evening only.
WHAT STYLISH BUGGERS!
Then there was the fags. Oh yes! These dogs got themselves through more pashas than an entire pack of extremely stressed out lab hounds with a Humphrey Bogart complex, constantly with the cheroot perfectly poised on their lips.
Musically; these cats weren't doing anything new, but then who does? All musical genres have a predecessor. Let's face it, if you looked hard enough, you could probably trace most music back to some troupe of medieval wandering minstrels, serenading some dour faced old trout!
The Dogs however played their own brand of Rock'n'Roll with such swagger, grace & style!
If only someone had had the foresight to film this show. Luckily for me my good mate Mick Wood was on hand with his camera. The resulting shots are what you see on this 'ere blog. "Top work sir".
After this night yours truly was totally hooked. I must have spent a fortune following them through many line up changes. Usually London. The 100 club, the greyhound, the Marquee, the Clarendon to name but a few. Always utterly compelling, sometimes teetering on the border of collapse & just pulling it back from the brink in the nick of time, but above all, totally entertaining!
However no show I've ever been to has opened my minds eye & left such an indelible stamp quite like that night 30 years ago in String'o'beads.
There is a 7 inch recording of this line up, which was I believe limited to 250 copies. It was quite a few years later before yours truly managed to get his grubby mitts on one, at no inconsiderable cost might I add. (Bingo bango bongo)!
It just so happens that these fine fellows have gone & got themselves back together for a bit of a tour with their most settled of formations, (Tyla, Jo, Bam & Steve). Almost 30 years since I first saw 'em, (bloody hell). I just had to get myself a ticket for the Sheffield show.
Now wouldn't it be grand if just for old times sake, they were to treat us to such classics as 'Fool like me', 'Girl in black' or 'Wired & wide awake'?
THE DOGS D'AMOUR!!!
Buggers with style my dears, buggers with style!!