|The Members by Paul Slattery|
Firstly, I'd like to say a big "thank you" to all those that came along to my latest Retro Man Blog night at The Half Moon in Putney last week. This continued my series of "Punk Rock Legends" gigs which kicked off the week before with our superb show for TV Smith of The Adverts at The Railway in Southend-on-Sea. Headliners, The Members take the stage and bang straight into the classic "Soho A Go Go". I'm really enjoying this three piece line-up, with original "members" JC Carroll and Chris Payne augmented by the legendary Damned drummer, Rat Scabies. It's great to see Rat play up close, maybe his character has sometimes overshadowed the fact that he really is a superb drummer. I don't think the music press has ever accorded him enough credit. It's not all crash, bang wallop and setting fire to the drum-kit, he takes on The Members more subtle and intricate songs, especially those with the reggae influences, superbly well.
|Rat Scabies by Paul Slattery|
Of course there's no doubting his muscular style is still there, showcased in the way he powers round the kit in the Keith Moon style drum breaks of "Chelsea Nightclub". Guitarist JC Carroll shares the vocal duties with bassist Chris Payne, and they complement each other perfectly, with the hyperactive JC zooming about the stage, and Chris looking on with a quiet grin. The slightly limited time means we get a lean set-list packed full of classic tunes, "Solitary Confinement", "Working Girl" and a selection from the excellent new album "InGrrLand" including "Bleak" and "New English Blues". Of course we do get a rousing "Sound of The Suburbs" which has the crowd singing along and encores of a crazed "Ain' Gon' Be Yo' Bitch No Mo'" and a cover of Larry Wallis's "Police Car". So, The Members really do deserve to be re-evaluated and certainly I'd recommend you trying to see them live, as this current line-up kicks that proverbial ass!
|Monica & The Explosion by Paul Slattery|
Kicking off proceedings were Monica & The Explosion who comprise Swedish singer-songwriter Monica Welander and Paul Slack, the original U.K. Subs bassist and composer of that classic bass riff to "Warhead". They play a selection of tracks from their excellent "Shut Up!" album and new material from their forthcoming album. Playing their acoustic juke-box Punk, driven by Paul's inventive bass which makes up for the lack of percussion, the songs come across really well live. Monica bashes away on her acoustic guitar and is an energetic and charismatic singer, her and Paul exchange smiles on stage and together they transmit some good vibes to the appreciative audience. They are currently recording songs for their new album so watch this space for news on it's release. Next up is The Jetsonics, a band that have a West London Ruts and Clash style reggae-tinged influence, apparent on their crowd favourite "Somewhere Else". They mix this with their take on a late '70's Power Pop/New Wave sound of the suburbs with boisterous, shout-along numbers such as "Never Meet Your Heroes" and the catchy "Amazing".
|The Jetsonics by Paul Slattery|
They are improving with every gig and building more of an on-stage chemistry between live-wire vocalist/guitarist Sam Day and laconic bassist Adam Donovan. Their third E.P. is currently being mixed and should be a cracker as the new songs played tonight such as the bass driven "She Wolf" and "Debbie Harry" are sounding really great. Things draw to a close with "Chelsea Drugstore" which, although yet to be released, is fast becoming their signature track and then "New Romance", for which the band have recorded a great video that is well worth checking out. Thanks again to all those who came along, to all the bands and Carrie and staff at The Half Moon. Here are some more exclusive Paul Slattery photos of the gig:
|Rat Scabies of The Members - Photo by Paul Slattery|
|Chris Payne of The Members - Photo by Paul Slattery|
|JC Carroll of The Members - Photo by Paul Slattery|
|Your host for the evening! - Photo by Paul Slattery|
|Monica Welander of M&TE - Photo by Paul Slattery|
|Paul Slack of Monica & The Explosion by Paul Slattery|
|Sam Day & Adam Donovan of The Jetsonics - Photo by Paul Slattery|
|Dave Lombardi, Sam Day & Adam Donovan of The Jetsonics by Paul Slattery|
With many thanks to Paul Slattery for the excellent photographs!