LONDON BORDERLINE: 22-6-2013
"M'lady get thee hence, thou art in a state of sans-culottes, & there is no place for such hedonistic attire & behaviour in this most christian of households. Now get thee to yonder scullery & rustle me up a varmint. For today we have the longest of days in front of us"
Phew! A lucky escape indeed my dears.
For today was to be the day of all days, a day where yours truly came face to face with his past.
Today in the heart of Soho, those purveyors of the finest Punk Rock'n'roll raunch, 'The Derellas' & 'The Boys' were to play the Borderline club. Reason enough my dears, to get yours truly off his arse & by hook or by crook make the two hundred mile journey from Ponte Carlo to London.
However my fluffy little swamp ducks, as if that wasn't enough to whet ones appetite, the catalyst that got me from my pipe & slippers & if there was any justice in this world, should have gridlocked central London, was the appearance on stage with 'The Boys', for one night only of Mr Andrew Matheson. Former lead vocalist of 'The Hollywood Brats' & one of the founding members of 'The Boys'.
Ladies & gentleman, boys & germs, here is knowledge! To witness this once in a lifetime event, yours truly would have crawled the two hundred miles over broken glass with his flies undone!
Luckily for me & more to the point, 'Jack Nastyface', (he can now breathe a sigh of relief from the relative comfort & safety of his gaberdine bonds) , I happen to possess one of those automobiles & enough tin to purchase a train ticket!
Having overstretched our budget a couple of weeks ago with a trip to London, tonights little soiree had to be done on the cheap. A steady drive to Luton airport parkway, a thirty minute train ride to St Pancras & Bob's your aunties live in lover, Piece of cake!
The Borderline is a great club with only one drawback, 'THERE'S NO BLOODY LIGHTING RIG'!
A minor quibble I know, but It does make for naff, ambience free photographs. The horror of having to use the flash abounds!
It were bloody grand & no mistake to see my old mates 'The Derellas'.
Showcasing some of the material from their forthcoming album, these fine handsome young fellows turned in a blistering set. What you see is what you get with 'The Derellas', total balls out, in yer face 'punk rock'n'roll'. With a front man 'Robbie Tart' who could turn the residents of a graveyard into a captive audience. If ever a man was born to lead from the front & have an audience eating from the palm of his hand, then this is he!
Great work fellas, so looking forward to the new album!
After an insanely quick turnaround, (I hardly had time to get the mrs a pint of Guinness) fortune smiled upon us once more, for the first time (do you see what I did there?) since february 2012, we were presented with those doyens of fine tunesmithery, 'The Boys'!
Playing only songs from their first 2 albums, for they have been given the deluxe, reissue & re-master treatment, they kicked off in fine style with 'TCP'.
A fully packed house throbbed & heaved themselves into a frenzy to the tunes you can trust. Brickfield nights, Tenement kids, Soda pressing. aah bliss. Hell they even played Cop cars for the impetuous young fellow down the front who just wouldn't take no for an answer!
Heroine, made for a nice tempo change, with Matt Dangerfield handling the vocal duties exquisitely. Never has that song sounded so good & how does he stay looking so young? My cherubs, I have to report, this old coat never tires of hearing those old classics. What am I saying? they're only in the region of 35-36 years old, but always played with a swagger & a joie de vivre one would associate with bands a fraction of their age! 'The Boys' won't be playing these shores anytime in the near future, but when they do resurface it does appear that they will be doing so on the back of a new album. Odds bodkins! that'll be the first 'Boys' album proper since 1981, when even your genial host was a mere slip of a lad.
'The Boys' set did appear to be a short lived one, whether that was down to the venues curfew or whether I was totally absorbed in the enjoyment of it all, I know not. However there is one thing I do know; the encore was something I'd waited 33 years to see.
Guest performer for the encore was none other than 'Andrew Matheson', former vocalist of the legendary 'Hollywood Brats' & one of the founding members of 'The Boys'. Since first hearing the 'Brats' album in 1980, I have dreamed of this moment! Y'see not only did we get the vocalist of the Brats, but also 'The Boys' resident ivory tinkler of some distinction, Mr 'Casino Steel'. Who was keyboard player for the Brats & 50% of the Matheson /Steel, 'Hollywood Brats' songwriting partnership. (The very mention of their names leaves people saying, who?) Do you see where I'm going with this my dears? If I was a female of the species, I'd be so moist right now you'd be forgiven for assuming I'd given birth to a trifle!
So it did come to pass, that the chaps performed the Brats songs 'Tumble with me' & 'Sick on you', (Naturally). All slowed down & done in a Brats stylee, as opposed to the 'Boys' breakneck, hold onto your hats versions.
Never before have I seen anyone make an entrance quite like this. Shy & retiring this was not!
Cutting quite a dash in his circus master meets mad hatter topper & tails, this was the Rock'n'Roll equivalent of Blitzkrieg. Oh to have seen him in his pomp with the 'Brats'. What stagecraft! & that voice! Time has not withered that voice in the slightest.
In the words of the man himself; "EAT JACKBOOT BABY"
I know I may have gone over the top with the over abundance of 'Andrew Matheson' shots, but what the hell. With my trusty Leica in hand, I launched myself at the stage & kept shooting, I just couldn't help myself!
What a truly fantastic night & one which shall remain indelibly etched in my mind until the day I die. It would have been grand to have stayed a little while longer to tarry a while, but alas we had a train to catch!
The Derellas & The Boys totally rocked our world. The near as Damn it Hollywood Brats knocked one off my bucket list.
To buy the Boys deluxe re-issues, go to www.theboys.co.uk & click on FIRE REISSUES. Punk rock'n'roll raunch never sounded so good!
Me; I'm going home to dust off my old vinyl copy of 'Monterey shoes'. Oh what the hell! I'm so happy I may even allow Madame Tightpocket her conjugal rights!!!!