Monday, 27 May 2019

Duncan Reid & The Big Heads, Cyanide Pills & The WitchDoktors - Photos & Videos from The 100 Club London Friday May 24th

Duncan Reid & The Big Heads at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Here are some photos and videos of a thoroughly enjoyable night of Punk Rock at London's iconic 100 Club featuring a top-notch three band line-up. Headliner Duncan Reid & The Big Heads were unfortunately missing regular guitarist Sophie due to illness so Mauro Venegas from The Speedways stepped in at the last minute to cover admirably. Mauro had an immediate chemistry with Duncan and his bandmates, the excellent drummer Karen Jones and impressive lead guitarist Nick Hughes. As promising as they sounded, Duncan didn't make Mauro's job any easier by including a couple of new songs in the set. And what a set it was...packed full of timeless Punk Pop, or Power Pop or whatever you want to call it - that took in the best of his debut solo album and those with The Big Heads including songs such as "Bombs Away", "Let's Skip To The Good Bit" and "Montevideo". Duncan is a non-stop blur of purple clad energy and he barely gives himself time to finish singing a line before he's off jumping around the stage again. Of course there's a pick of classics by The Boys including "First Time", "Brickfield Nights", "TCP" and "Sick On You" which got everyone singing along. Duncan mentions how lucky he was to be in The Boys with such talented songwriters and cheekily comments that's why his new songs are so good! He's not wrong though, as songs such as "Don't Stop" and "C'mon Josephine" certainly match the melodic genius of his previous employers.

Duncan Reid & The Big Heads at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog


Leeds band Cyanide Pills put on an all-action show with a set crammed full of their fast and naggingly memorable Punk tunes. Although some of the humourous songs such as "Suicide Bomber", "Mail Order Bride" and "Can't Get It Up" might at first put them firmly in The Toy Dolls and The Dickies camp, the quality of their superb songwriting, particularly on excellent tracks like "Government", "Sit Tight" and "Shallow" for example, prove there is much more depth to the band. A personal highlight of the night was the classic "Johnny Thunders Lived In Leeds" which boasts one of the greatest lines ever - 'I'm a Yorkshireman not a New York junkie'. The merchandise table was bulging with their already impressive back catalogue of multicoloured vinyl singles and if you didn't snap up the lot on the night then you can order them from Damaged Goods Records here

Cyanide Pills at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Cyanide Pills at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Cyanide Pills at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
Cyanide Pills at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog


It's been a while since we last saw The WitchDoktors play and it was refreshing to catch them again after so long and enjoy their whiskey soaked Rock 'n' Roll. The crunching Garage Punk of songs like "I'm Sick" and "No Pain No Gain" are balanced by tuneful favourites such as "Told You To Go", which I always felt was The WitchDoktors very own "Train In Vain". Talking of The Clash, the band don't shy away from their primary influence especially as "Black Bag" segues into a cover of "Guns of Brixton" and there's a sneaky drum attack tribute to "Tommy Gun" along the way too. The band are steeped in the outsider Rock 'n' Roll tradition of bowling shirts and brothel ceepers - Johnny Cash, Ramones, old school Rockabilly and it's all wrapped up in a swampy Voodoo sound perfectly captured in two of the night's highlights, "Neck Tattoo" and "Common Prayer For A Working Man". Great band and great guys. I hope it won't be too long before we see them again.

The WitchDoktors at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
The WitchDoktors at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
The WitchDoktors at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog
The WitchDoktors at The 100 Club - photo Retro Man Blog


For more photos of the gig please check out the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here and you can find lots more original videos of all three bands at our YouTube channel here. Please click on the highlighted links to take you to the band's official web-sites for news and more info on upcoming tour dates and how to buy their records. Mauro is also involved with Some Weird Sin promotions who will be putting on the Pump It Up Power Pop weekender at The Lexington on July 27th and 28th which features Duncan Reid & The Big Heads and The Priscillas among others.

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