Care for a cocktail Sir?
Thing is 'round here the only cocktails are the fizzbang sort that light up the sky on hot summer nights, so I guess that's why there was a decided lack of long macs, Blue Rondos and Law Lords at this packed and perspiring Fair's fair benefit in a converted railway arch just off Railton Road.
The Venue brought back memories of the heady days of '77 down at the vault at Brighton and events later in the evening were to bring these memories even closer.
Pity, then, that the first two bands on the stage epitomised everything that's weak, wishy washy and generally wrong with the alternative/Socialist/whatever gig scene at the moment.
Roger and the Bannisters? Virgil and the Biros? The names say it all, art school fun, anarchy after office hours and about as threatening as a Haircut One Hundred album.
I'm sure all they wanted to do was have a laugh and play in front of their friends, and it goes without saying that there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The problem is that the kids are not going to get involved in campaigns like Fair's Fair or Right to Work so long as the image they have is of a load of student types having a laugh. And rightly or wrongly that's the way it's coming across at the moment.
Talk about bile-inducing, Virgil And The Biros managed to do a version of the Velvet's 'white light/White heat' that sounded like the Haircuts on glue. Their art student friends loved them.
A scream of feedback from tortured and tortuous PA, and the Newtown Neurotics were on stage crunching into 'Hypocrite.'
The contrast could not have been more total, and as cropped voice merchant Steve spat out his anger the art students cringed.
How dare these nasty Newtown punks spoil their nice Selfridges protest? A couple of minutes the weekend wonders wandered off to pay full fare on the tube back to suburbia, while the other 80 per cent of the audience, black, white, punk and straight, warmed to Harlow's finest.
The three minute classics followed one another bellicose blasts: 'Ohno' 'Fools' 'Mindless Violence' ( a real anti-violence song ) and it's common-sense counter part 'Life in Their Hands' about psychopathic bouncers.
The audience bounced and pogoed and fell over itself. The Neurotics minced the Member's 'Solitary Confinement' into 'Living With Unemployment' and took Tesco to the cleaners, and then, with a scream of feedback, ended with the machine-gun magnificence of 'Kick Out The Tories.' They encored with 'Blitzkrieg Bop' and left to
This lot walk it like they talk and when'Kick Out The Tories' gets released as a single all you sceptics out there will know once and for all that it is possible to combine socialist politics with street music and stick the dialectical Doc Martin in the faces of the people who are trying to crush us.
Check this lot out soon. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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