Saturday, 13 July 2013

Thee Spivs Album Launch Party at The Half Moon Putney June 29th with The Fallen Leaves and The Past Tense

Thee Spivs with Ian from Damaged Goods Records by Steve Worrall
Well, despite having to compete with Glastonbury, Hard Rock Calling, Weirdsville and The Tall Boys gigs - not to mention the sun finally making an appearance and the fact that the District Line branch to Putney was closed due to someone under a train...we were all really pleased with the turn-out at The Half Moon. So, a big "Thank You" to all who came along to help celebrate the launch of Thee Spivs brand new, and thoroughly splendid, album "The Crowd and The Sounds". The evening started off with another fine performance from The Past Tense, who debuted a couple of great new songs including "What's Coming Next?" and the forthcoming single "Remember The Days", which in particular promises to be a classic amongst The Past Tense's already impressive collection of prime Garage Rock/Mod nuggets alongside their crowd-pleasers such as "Wolfman" and "My Baby".

The Past Tense (L/R) Andy, Warren and Ken - Photo by Paul Slattery
Tonight, The Fallen Leaves played probably the best gig I have seen from the band and they attacked their songs with a real energy and commitment. The band really seem to have taken to the Half Moon, where the larger stage and excellent sound bring out the best in both their performance and their songs. And what songs they have! Rob Symmons hammering his guitar to wring every last ounce of noise from the instrument, his erratic and staccato style is not only a joy to hear but mesmerising to watch. Rob Green relishes the Half Moon stage too and the front-man puts on a consummate show - foot on the monitor, he leans into the crowd and espouses The Fallen Leaves philosophy, "we play simple songs for complex people", he tells us and the band launch into another one of their perfectly formed tracks. Rob, resplendent in tweed and cravat looks every inch the English gent and his tea ceremony, sipping tea poured from a thermos flask as the band thunder along around him, is one of the best pieces of Rock theatrics I have ever seen. The rhythm section just get better every time too, Bill on drums concentrating away at the back as he powers round his kit and bassist Matthew, in his velvet smoking jacket and that enigmatic smile, not only plays some impressive spidery bass lines but also plays a mean harmonica. The crowd responded to the superb performance and demanded an encore and we were then treated to a scorching version of "Trouble" and that was it, all over unfortunately, but the Leaves left the stage to a resounding ovation.

The Fallen Leaves - Photo by Paul Slattery
We had run a couple of competitions in the build up to the show and I could present the "Spot Thee Spivs Flyer" winner Janine and the "Button Badge Luck Dip" winner - who was from Brazil but I didn't catch her name, sorry - with their prizes of a signed copy of the vinyl version of "The Crowd and The Sounds" and signed CDs from each of The Past Tense and The Fallen Leaves, which seemed to go down very well with the lucky pair. Thee Spivs had just returned from a recent tour of Germany, Holland and Belgium so they were tight and full of energy, well they needed to be to take on the challenge laid down by The Fallen Leaves. They put on a great show - playing a mix of songs from their excellent new album "The Crowd and The Sounds", which has already received some rave reviews in Q and Shindig! magazines and some old favourites from their previous two albums "Black and White Memories" and "Taped Up". One of the set's highlights was when they played "Mickey Pearce Waved Goodbye" from the new album, the moving farewell to previous bassist Dan May. It was even more special as Dan was actually in the crowd too, and he seemed quite touched by the sentiment. Then, Ben instigated another competition asking me to to judge the best dancer. The field was very quickly narrowed down to Ian, the Damaged Goods Records boss, who competed with Rock Photographer Paul Slattery for the coveted title. I had to give it to Paul, as he juggled his camera, taking photos at the same time as throwing some impressive shapes on the dance floor. At one point, Bassist Daniel jumped off the stage and continued playing as he weaved through the crowd, it was a great moment - and those that were nearly flattened by his bass could get their own back, gesticulating along to "Flicking V's"! It was a thoroughly enjoyable set from Thee Spivs, and it was impressive just how great the new songs from "The Crowd and The Sounds" fitted in.

Thee Spivs (L/R) Ben, Steve and Daniel - Photo by Paul Slattery
DJ Jeff Munday and David Ayling kept the mood going as the party moved into the main bar, and it became apparent that the crowd on the night included a pretty cool selection of musicians in their own right. In fact, the crowd at The Half Moon was liberally sprinkled with Alternative stardust as there were members from some great bands present, such as Adam from The Jetsonics, Paul from The SuperMinx '70, Dale from The Electric Eyes, Mauro and Jonny from Jonny Cola and The A-Grades, Chris Thompson from The Screaming Blue Messiahs and the drummer in his current band The Killer B's, David Morgan Mathias, Mark from The Onlookers, who's now in The Transients, and there were also some visitors from Sweden, Hans and Liselott and Wayne Lundqvist-Ford from the Gothenburg based Ice Cream Man Blog. Here are some more of Paul Slattery's excellent Photos...

Andy from The Past Tense - Photo by Paul Slattery
The Fallen Leaves - Photo by Paul Slattery
Rob Green of The Fallen Leaves - by Paul Slattery
Thee Spivs - Photo by Paul Slattery
Thee Spivs - Photo by Paul Slattery
So once again I'd like to thank everyone for coming out and for the great support and feedback on the night and the music, it makes it all worthwhile! Of course I'd also like to thank all the bands, Jeff and David for the DJing, Carrie, Abbie and James at The Half Moon, Adam for the gig flyer and Paul for the photos. For more pics of all the bands and the After Show party, head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and hit "Like" to access the exclusive Photo Album.

The next Retro Man Blog night at The Half Moon will be on Friday October 25th with headliners The Len Price 3 joined by The Fallen Leaves and The Past Tense. The last one we did with this line-up at the Half Moon back in December was very close to a sell-out, so book early to avoid disappointment, as they say! Links to the event page and ticket details will follow very soon...

1 comment: