|The Members - by Steve Worrall|
I got a bit lost on the way to the venue, it actually turned out to be the social club of Wealdstone FC, overlooking the pitch and was a pretty impressive set-up. It reminded me of a good old-school working man's club but with a really decent stage, P.A. and lighting set up, good lay-out and well organised staff. The turn-out was impressive too, considering it was a Bank Holiday Sunday evening and there was apparently some big Event or other on in London earlier that day. Thanks to a local convenience store letting me check their A-Z, I made it just as The Jetsonics were powering through "Amazing" and the audience reaction was very positive. I think the band are a good match for The Members, with their West London sing-a-long New Wave numbers such as "White Capri" nestling alongside the Reggae influences on the excellent "Somewhere Else". The band are currently finishing off their third E.P. in the studio so keep an eye on the Blog or the band's web-site for news on the release date. New number "She Wolf" is based around a cool bass riff from Adam Donovan, and adds a different dimension to their sound. Another new one, "Chelsea Drugstore", which will feature on the new E.P. is fast becoming a favourite and tonight they end on the punch the air classic "New Romance", which has just been made into a superb "Minder-esque" video filmed in their local. It's well worth checking out. There was quite a queue of eager customers hoping to purchase the band's previous two E.P.s so things are certainly looking up for The Jetsonics.
|The Jetsonics - Photo by Steve Worrall|
The Members are now playing as a three piece with original "Members", guitarist JC Carroll and bassist Chris Payne joined by The Damned's legendary drummer Rat Scabies. This stripped down line-up serves the songs really well and adds a rawness to proceedings and the band look like they are having a lot of fun. The crowd are certainly having fun too as they are treated to a perfect set-list of hits, new album tracks and cover versions. "Soho-A-Go-Go" is superb, one of the highlights of the night, and the thrashing chords of "Chelsea Nightclub" brings to mind The Who's "My Generation", especially with the sudden instrumental break where Rat powers round his drum-kit, proving that he really is Punk Rock's very own Keith Moon. "New English Blues" from the excellent new album ”InGrrLand” has a huge chorus, it's a real "all join arms and raise your pints in the air" moment. It's a folk song for the modern age, and I could almost image it replacing Sinatra's "New York, New York" or "Auld Lang Syne" as the song to sing as a party draws to an end!
|Rat Scabies - by Steve Worrall|
"Offshore Banking Business" and a storming version of "Solitary Confinement" sandwich their inventive reggae version of Kraftwerk's "The Model" from the "Uprhythm Downbeat" album, which spotlights Chris Payne's great bass playing. Another cover version, this time a raw run through of Bolan's "20th Century Boy" gets people moving. However, as much as I enjoy the rousing renditions of the classic Members tracks, it's actually new song "Bleak" that is the stand-out of the evening for me, a fantastic song with JC's cool little sixties style guitar riff. Of course "Sound Of The Suburbs" gets the biggest cheer of the evening, it's probably their defining song and the charismatic JC prefaces most of the songs with little anecdotes of life just outside London. These included working in a bank in the City and going home to an empty bed-sit to the joys of living near the Airfix model factory, wondering what life would be like to be part of the glittering scene in the capital. "Working Girl" keeps everyone singing along and they are called back for a well deserved encore, their powerful version of "Larry Wallis' "Police Car" and then it's all over. A thoroughly enjoyable evening, with band and audience all enjoying themselves and I'm now looking forward to the gig at The Half Moon on June 30th even more! Make sure you book your tickets in advance as I can see this one being a big hit and I would not want you to miss out on the fun!
You can get more info on the Half Moon gig on June 30th and book reduced rate advance tickets here. The line-up will be completed by The Jetsonics and Monica & The Explosion who feature original UK Subs bassist Paul Slack. For more information on The Members new album "InGrrLand" check out the earlier Retro Man Blog feature here. Check The Members web-site for news on future tour dates and merchandise. JC has also just released a brand new album ”21st Century Blues”.
This is out under the name Jay-Cee Carroll and available from Anglo-Centric Recordings, featuring a cast of Legendary Guitarists from all over the world via Internet collaborations.This is Jay-Cee's follow up to the critically acclaimed "New English Blues Volume 1". JC takes the English Blues Genre and extends it into the 21st Century adding Fat Synth Basses, Drum Loops, zithers, mandolins, Rap versions of Folk Songs, Punk Blues updates on Spoonfull, culminating in the Blues Prog oddyssy the 17 and a half minute "Voodoo Childe Surrey Boy Keytar man". As it says on the Cover this is not an album for Blues Purists, but it is another bold experiment from the Surrey Maverick.
All Photos Copyright Steve Worrall 2012