You get some funny looks from people when you say you’re going to see a classic punk band at the weekend.
You get a few standard what-would-you-want-to-do-that-for’s, a couple of Gawd-are-they-still-around’s, and even a “Do we really need any more old punk?”.
So by the time I tripped a little warily over to the Guildhall to see the Buzzcocks last Saturday, some of the gloss had been taken from a gig I’d been quite looking forward to at one point. Nobody else seemed to be similarly effected, however, and there were a few Mohicans in evidence outside the hall (from people who really should have know better, it has to be said). There were a good few student types, there but just as many more mature liggers too (In fact, for me the tone was set by meeting no less than three parents of children I teach or have taught recently, local celebrity, me…)
And at this point it would be good to say that Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle rolled back the years, stuck it to the doubting Thomases and put on a great night, but in truth, they were shocking, really.
I won’t waste your time, suffice to say I expect a bit more from a couple of forty-somethings (speaking as one myself). Something’s gotta have changed in the last thirty years, hasn’t it fellers? (Oh, and playing in front of videos of your younger selves wasn’t a particularly intelligent move either, let’s just say it wasn’t flattering…)
But…in true Partly Porpoise fashion, the support band were much better...
Hoden Lane are based in Cheltenham and Evesham and presuming Shelley and Diggle had some input into choosing their support band, it was the best thing they did all night. The Lane (can I say that?) have some bright poppy songs that had an obvious sixties feel to them, sounding at times like the Pretty Things or one of the classic garage punk bands of the time, but as well as that, there was also an eighties guitar band trying to get out too.
On stage they were brisk and business-like to say the least, keeping between-songs banter to an absolute minimum (often just the name of the next song). I don’t mind that, I’m not keen on staged chumminess with the audience and I guess they weren’t expecting a hall full of aging punks to be paying much attention. Actually, they went down pretty well and in the light of the rest of the evening, they undersold themselves a little – I could’ve listened to a whole lot more...
No website, yet but they do have a Myspace page, from which you can snag these two songs and another couple.
Life You Lead
Did You Look Twice
Good work, lads, you saved the evening for me. A damaged eardrum (courtesy of Steve “turn it fookin’ up!" Diggle) seemed a small price to pay…