Tuesday, 25 March 2014

20/10/2007 The Rezillos @ Islington Academy

SubjectThe Rezillos @ Islington Academy

Another gig clash - three I wanted to go to tonight. I wanted to go and see Honeykill in Hertford, plus The Rezillos, and the infamous Space Chickens in London. I had to pick The Rezillos as: 1. They are fantastic. 2. I have seen or will get plenty more chances to see the other bands over the next year, while it could well be a year or so before I get another chance to see the Rezillos.

I arrive at the venue to find what sounds like a female fronted Cult tribute band playing their last song. This was Darkwater - I was later told by more than one person that they were actually pretty good and the last song was their only cover.

I think it's the sixth time I've seen the Rezillos over the years and they have been great every time. Tonight is no exception - they are terrific!  Apologies for the picture quality - I only had my phone with me and I took them with that...
They have an excellent back-catalogue to draw on ('Can't Stand The Rezillos' was and still is one of the best albums of it's time) and their newer material is sounding good too.
It's good to see the band playing a larger London venue than they have over the last few years - Islington Academy seems close to sold out.
Many (most even) older bands who have either reformed or kept going tend to sound a bit tired and look like they are 'going through the motions' to keep a flagging career going  - or just doing it to raise some cash while they still can. (I look forward to the forthcoming Sex Pistols shows with some trepidation) The Rezillos most definitely don't fall into either of those categories - just watching them you can tell they still mean it. What's more, they are obviously enjoying themselves - Fay Fife in particular. And she still looks great!  This band's energetic stage show put's most much younger bands to shame!
Most of the band's classic first album is in the setlist, along with a few recent songs - plus a cracking cover of 'River Deep, Mountain High'!
A couple of encore songs and the show is over just after 10 - far too early to go home on a Saturday night!

Due to the early curfew at Islington Academy I realise that I now have time to possibly catch some of the Space Chickens set at the Old King's Head in Holloway Road. Fortunately, they start late due to the rugby World Cup final on TV in the pub and the band are only a few songs into their first set when I arrive. I used to see this band regularly at the much missed Duke Of Lancaster in New Barnet - I didn't realise they were still going until I saw they there playing at the Old King's Head. The band play a mix of originals and covers and have a very entertaining frontman who is quite mental. I once saw him take off his shoe and pour a pint of Guinness into it mid-song - then he drank it straight out of his shoe. A roll of aluminium kitchen foil is also an integral part of his stage show - indeed there is even a song about tin foil and plastic bags! Other songs involve sniffing after birds on a trip to the seaside , and bent coppers at the infamous Stoke Newington nick - "You ain't got nothing on me!". The covers include some of the usual standards, but also quite a lot of rock and blues - even some Black Sabbath - and not 'Paranoid' or 'War Pigs' either.  Apart from the eccentric frontman's amusing drunken patter, the band are also excellent musicians and have a great sound. Surprisingly for a cover band, this band have a strong following and the pub is pretty full, although it's not your normal 'rock' crowd and it feels a bit odd to me - probably because I don't see cover bands in pubs regularly these days. All the same, it's an enjoyable and entertaining night out even if I hadn't already seen the Rezillos earlier.
The Old King's Head later became 'The Gaff' - a really cool little venue for the couple of years it was open for.

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