Pete the Pick hasn't half seen some shite in his time....

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
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Postby Pete the Pick » 17 Apr 2005, 09:34

April 17th:

1977
The Jam
Cherry Vanilla
The Stranglers
The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm

1981
Small Print
The Papers
The 101 Club, Clapham

Another good show at The Roundhouse. First up, The Jam, in probably their biggest gig up to that point. Cherry Vanilla was more notable for the fact that her backing band on this occasion was The Police. Lofty, editor of our fanzine Situation 3 provided this review:

The predominantly male crowd surged forward, dribbling, trying to get a butchers at those lovely thighs and things hidden only by an attempt at hotpants - God, I was surprised people weren't flogging Kleenex! She leaps into her set of songs about lorry drivers filling her night with titles like "And it wasHARD", whilst doing a sort of perverted charade for anyone who didn't hear too good, Actually I thought she was good at first, I mean the band was musically adept, or whatever they say, but when she came back for a second set, I got tired of conjuring up images of her sitting on my face in the back of me Mini, and things. I got pretty tired of the music as well, but she did seem a nice open person, and looked genuinely upset when accosted by periodic calls of "SLAG" and "FUCK OFF". Anyway, she sold out The Nashville before I got there, so she can't be that bad. Oh yeah, she wears T-shirts with LICK ME on them. Police? her band with another lead guitarist thrashing their pants off, doing mostly non-vocal tracks - pretty boring - but I reckon they got a lot of potential: the bassist can play better than I can.

This review was accompanied by a graphic featuring a phallus, both flaccid and erect, which led to the issue being seized by police in Edinburgh, and Lofty bottled it, and we never produced another issue, on account of his paranoia! Happy days!

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Hugh Cornwell wore this controversial T-shirt tonight....
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Postby Pete the Pick » 19 Apr 2005, 07:29

So, it appears the plug is to be pulled before my little project reaches completion on May 8th. Still, it hasn't entirely been a waste, as I've thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, and it has been a labour of love for me.

April 19th:

1975
American Gypsy
Dr. Feelgood
Kingston Poly

1977
The Jam
he Nashville, West Kensington

1981
Dummies Don't Talk
The Star, Croydon

Kingston Poly this night played host to one of my seminal gigs. Forget American Gypsy, I have. Dr. Feelgood took the scales from my eyes, as the magic of 2 minute music manifested itself. You really have to understand the context in which I saw this lot: Pub Rock was OK, but not particularly exciting, but it was at least a million miles away from the posturing stadium-filling superstars that had taken a grip on the rock industry. But seeing Dr. Feelgood really was the antidote: they looked different, employing suits and skinny ties, Lee Brilleaux was a no-nonsense front man, ably supported by The Big Figure and John B. Sparks as rhythm section, but Wilko Johnson? I'd never seen anything like him in my life! Manically, miraculously (it seemed to me), combining lead and rhythm guitar, shooting across stage as if on wheels, I couldn't believe either eyes or ears. I was standing on a chair right at the back of the hall, just revelling in it all. Fantastic!

Wilko in full flight....
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As a postscript, I never believed them to be the same after Wilko left, however able Gypie Mayo was, and curiously, at The Eel Pie this week, Art Wood (brother of Ronnie) is playing, with lots of guests, one of whom is "Gypie Mayo, ex-Yardbird!" I rather thought he would be more famous being listed as an ex-Feelgood, but still, there you go....and of course, Dr. Feelgood still appear without there being a single original member in the band, which I find sad, and more than a little presumptuous. I consider myself privileged to have witnessed them at their peak.
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Postby Earthling » 19 Apr 2005, 07:45

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Good old Hugh! That's the shirt he tried to argue only displayed lettering for the word 'Truck'.
Anyway !!!! Applause!!!! for Pete Watt's indefatigable perseverance to this historical chronicle of Gigs. It may well be the only artefact saved from the wreckage of SS BCB on Friday. Let's hope so.

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Postby Pete the Pick » 21 Apr 2005, 08:30

Signor Moyno wrote:Anyway !!!! Applause!!!! for Pete Watt's indefatigable perseverance to this historical chronicle of Gigs.


It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.....cheers Signor!

April 21st:

1973
West, Bruce & Laing
The Rainbow, Finsbury Park

Out of the rubble of Mountain, and some soured Cream came West, Bruce & Laing, a fearsome power trio, if ever there was one! I've always felt this was the closest I got to seeing Cream, and naturally, there were a few songs from their canon included. But, power trio notwithstanding, they are resonsible for the very wonderful "Out In The Fields", a fine sweeping pastoral epic, rather in the mould of "Theme For An Imaginary Western". Tonight was really memorable for the bizarre sight of a girlie jumping onto the stage and overenthusiatically mobbing Jack Bruce, a la superstar mode! And of course, they played Bruce's "Powerhouse Sod", which, as I've mentioned before, is a single constant in every gig I've seen Jack Bruce play, whatever the line-up!

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Postby Pete the Pick » 22 Apr 2005, 19:11

April 22nd:

1977
The Lurkers
Slaughter & The Dogs
The Roxy, Covent Garden

1980
Joe Public
Upstairs at Ronnie Scott's

1992
Blessed State
Blank Generation
The Grey Horse, Kingston

This was The Lurkers debut gig, as far as I know. At least it was the first one with Arturo Bassick on bass, as he'd excitedly told me about joining them a month or two before, and he phoned to tell me about this, his first gig. Mancunian punks Slaughter & The Dogs were top of the bill, though. Good fun.

That Free Admission single cover shot, outside The Red Cow
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Postby Pete the Pick » 23 Apr 2005, 15:18

April 23rd:

1975
Upp
Arthur Brown
BBC Paris Studio, Lower Regent's Street

Funny how things happen more by chance than anything else. At this stage, I was far from being a regular down The Paris, but somehow one of us, probably Mick, got wind of the fact that Arthur Brown was being recorded for the Concert Programme, so we duly turned up. To be honest, this appearance was around the time of his "Dance" album, which, coming after the musical excesses of Kingdom Come, floated few boats as far as I was concerned. This was a gig for completists, in a sense. However, being there meant we caught the first band on, namely Upp. Now these were interesting, not least for the fact that they were basically three white guys playing Funk! The bassist was introduced as Steven Amazing, and that he was. To this point, I was used to bass virtuosos, but in the Rock idiom, rather than anything else, and it was stunning to see someone so in command of his instrument in this genre! It was only much later that I learned of the Jeff Beck connection, as he'd produced, and played on their debut "Upp", which would have been released at about the time I saw them. That's when I went running back to the second hand record shop in Twickenham, remembering that I'd seen it in there a week or two previously, but, alas, now gone. Happily, both "Upp" and their second album "This Way Upp" were released last year as a twofer, and I reckon it's my favourite re-issue of 2004. The sleeve notes describe them as "a bunch of unknown musical polymaths who combined a full-on, synth-based jazz rock/funk approach with exquisite white soul ballads....", also described by a critic at the time as sounding like "Emerson Lake & Palmer meets Isaac Hayes"!! Unfortunately, Upp seem to have fallen through the cracks, not least precipitated by the onset of Punk. Anyway, I recommend giving Upp a listen if you can.

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Postby Pete the Pick » 25 Apr 2005, 07:01

April 25th:

1974
Casablanca
Stray
BBC Paris Studio, Lower Regent's Street

1976
Inner City
The White Bear, Hounslow

1981
The Flatbackers
The 101 Club, Clapham

Casablanca were one of those bands that I never heard of again, after seeing them. I remember they had two lovely ladies on vocals, and little else. More formulaic riffing from Stray.

All-girl trio The Flatbackers were worth seeing.
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Postby Pete the Pick » 26 Apr 2005, 07:21

April 26th:

2003
Wire
The Barbican Centre

If I could find it, I'd post Nikki's review of this one. Wire played "Pink Flag" in its entirety, with a backdrop of fitness enthusiasts doing "step" and such, which was amusing for 5 minutes, but got fairly tedious; I bumped into old mate Glyn from 3:00 AM during the break, and then Wire did "Send" material, individually sealed in boxes (them, not the material). Bizarre, but brilliant.
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Postby x » 26 Apr 2005, 13:04

Pete the Pick wrote:April 23rd:

1975
Upp
Arthur Brown
BBC Paris Studio, Lower Regent's Street

Funny how things happen more by chance than anything else. At this stage, I was far from being a regular down The Paris, but somehow one of us, probably Mick, got wind of the fact that Arthur Brown was being recorded for the Concert Programme, so we duly turned up. To be honest, this appearance was around the time of his "Dance" album, which, coming after the musical excesses of Kingdom Come, floated few boats as far as I was concerned. This was a gig for completists, in a sense.


An ex-hippy writes...

If I remember correctly Arthur had got influenced by Whirling Dervishes or more likely a Gurdjieff School. Bit of pocketbook paraphrasing here -They (the Gurdjieffians) have a theory about obtaining a higher plane of enlightenment by the tutoring of the mind and body and in particular the parallel development of the mental, emotional and physical centres. The level of attainment can be demonstrated by dance movements - there was a brief film of a demonstration of a Guedjieffian school performing a dance/ballet in the film 'Meetings with Remarkable Men'. It was this Whirling Dervish type of dance movements that influenced Arthur away from his more theatrical stagework.

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Postby Pete the Pick » 27 Apr 2005, 19:18

April 27th:

1972
Jam
Master's Apprentice
Genesis
Isleworth Poly

I have no idea who, or what, Jam were. They certainly were no schoolkids from Woking! Genesis, however, were a bunch of schoolkids from Charterhouse.....
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Postby Pete the Pick » 28 Apr 2005, 08:31

April 28th:

1989
The Wild Bunch
The Last Watering Hole, Amsterdam

We popped over to Amsterdam for a long weekend, and were staying in the Red Light district, as you do, at a hotel bizarrely named The Torenzicht, on Noorburgwal, I think. Bizarrely, as the name translates into "Mountain View", I believe, and, well, there are not a lot of mountains in Holland! OK, yes, Maastricht, and the South, but you get my point. Anyway, we checked out a bar near the next canal (Oude Zijds Achterburgwal?) called The Last Watering Hole, and they had this great little Dutch band on, The Wild Bunch. I was really impressed with this 4-piece, who came on with good, punchy songs, and more than a little skill in playing. I drunkenly chatted to them afterwards, and exhorted them to get their arses over to England, where I was convinced they'd be huge! Good gig!
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Postby Pete the Pick » 29 Apr 2005, 13:48

April 29th:

1978
The Ekoes
The Pleasers
Warwick University

1989
To The Point
Cul-de-Sac, Amsterdam

1992
Blank Generation
Blessed State
The Granby Tavern, Reading

The Warwick Uni gig was great fun. We actually felt like rock stars! We had a huge changing room, and they even provided crates of beer: it was like I'd always imagined the real thing to be like. After playing a reasonable set, and going down reasonably well in front of a sizeable crowd, and after polishing off the beer, we got as far as Newport Pagnell services before Rod, our guitarist, and driver at this point, felt he was unable to continue, so we kipped in the van. Phew, Rock'n'Roll!

In a tiny side street round the corner from The Torenzicht (see yesterday) was a bar called the Cul-de-Sac, whose clientele normally tended to be performers from the many sex shows thereabouts, taking a break, but on this night hosted a band called To The Point. The bar was so small, that you had to take evasive action from the bassist's fretboard to get into the toilet!
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Postby Pete the Pick » 30 Apr 2005, 13:30

April 30th:

1978
Pere Ubu
Graham Parker & The Rumour
The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm

1980
The Form
KHz
The Trafalgar, Shepherd's Bush

1989
The Wild Bunch
The Last Watering Hole, Amsterdam

At The Roundhouse, there's this enduring image of David Thomas of Pere Ubu wandering menacingly around the stage, banging a hammer and spike together! Great stuff. Graham Parker was an inspiration to me, and it was just splendid to see him and The Rumour doing their stuff.

David Thomas sans hammer & spike...
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Parker
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Still in Amsterdam, we went and caught The Wild Bunch again. About 4 years later, we went back to Amsterdam, and saw The Wild Bunch billed at the same place, but it was a completely different bunch, who were awful heavy metal artists. So bad, I didn't even enter them in my calendar, but it was April 29th, yestrday! The attraction of Amsterdam, indeed Holland, at this time of year, is Queen's Day. Think Notting Hill Carnival in orange, and you're nearly there! Always fun, bands everywhere, and more beer flowing than you can shake a stick at! Thoroughly recommended, although the last couple of times we've been over, we've been in Den Haag, which is less manic!

A Dutchman enjoying Queen's Day....
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Postby Pete the Pick » 01 May 2005, 10:50

Vividly, I remember some graffiti seen in 1976, on a building site's fencing in Twickenham, in letters a foot high: HOORAY HOORAY THE FIRST OF MAY. OUTDOOR FUCKING STARTS TODAY. An attempt had been made to obliterate the FUC, but to no real effect!

May 1st:

1976
Polecat
The White Bear, Hounslow

1983
Roman Holiday
The Belle Stars
Hammersmith Palais

1992
Broken Dream
Blank Generation
The Granby Tavern, Reading

The weird thing about the Palais gig, was Roman Holiday, who I'd barely heard of, coming on all Gene Kelly-American in Paris- jazz stuff. Quite good, for what it was, but two weeks later, I was in New York, watching my first ever MTV, and bugger me, there they were on video! They didn't make a great dent in the national conscience, and then underwent a massive re-vamp, which saw them, image-wise, revert to "Rock Band" style, and music which in comparison was dull as dishwater.

I had to wade through 19 pages of stills of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn to finally find this shot......
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Postby Pete the Pick » 02 May 2005, 08:32

May 2nd:

1977
The Lurkers
The Stranglers
The Nashville, West Kensington

1988
Lonnie Donegan
Lampton Park, Hounslow

There was a fair on on Hounslow, being the May Day Bank Holiday. Someone found out that Lonnie Donegan was playing, so a bunch of us piled over there after the pub lunchtime session and sought out the inspiration. When we found him, the air was punctuated with cries of "Lonnie, Lonnie, Lonnie, Oi, Oi, Oi", which he seemed to appreciate!

A Great British institution....
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Postby Quaco » 03 May 2005, 00:54

Pete, have you been saving all of these posts this past year?

Only one more week to go!
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Postby Pete the Pick » 03 May 2005, 18:36

Quaco wrote:Pete, have you been saving all of these posts this past year?

Only one more week to go!


I thought I might have to this time last week!

May 3rd:

1974
Slowbone
Rory Gallagher
The Marquee Club, Wardour Street
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Postby Pete the Pick » 04 May 2005, 08:10

May 4th:

1972
Brinsley Schwarz
Country Joe McDonald
BBC Paris Studio, Lower Regent's Street

Country Joe as a solo artist in the refined atmosphere of a BBC studio somehow lacked the gravitas displayed on "Woodstock"!
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Postby Pete the Pick » 06 May 2005, 07:25

May 6th:

1972
JSD Band
David Bowie
Kingston Poly

1977
Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds
Royal College of Art, Kensington

The Kingston gig may just be one of my all time favourites. JSD Band were always good value, and I've mentioned them before, though this was actually the first time I saw them. In retrospect, it was quite a disparate bill, given that this was supporting David Bowie as he was just embarking on the original Spiders From Mars tour. And that's the point. From a darkened stage, suddenly the place was lit up incandescently, as the band launched straight into "Suffragette City", which sort of grabbed you by the throat, and never let go. It was honestly one of the most powerful performances I ever saw. He was light years away from the tentative performer I had seen back at the BBC the previous year, and of course the Ziggy persona was simply mind-blowing. You really need to understand how absolutely different he was from everything else going on at that time. And given my own musical proclivities at that time, my night was made perfect when he did "I Feel Free", which, given activities currently on show at The Albert Hall this week, is a nice touch!

This was the poster dished out on the night....
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Postby Geoff » 07 May 2005, 00:07

I'm dyin' here, Pete. It's the 9th, time to complete the circle. Where's May 7 & 8?
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