Wednesday, 27 August 2014

10/2/2012 Healthy Junkies & Bermondsey Joyriders - 2 gigs in one night.

SubjectHealthy Junkies & Bermondsey Joyriders - 2 gigs in one night.
DateCreated2/12/2012 5:22:00 PM
PostedDate2/14/2012 4:27:00 AM

Gigs can be like buses - none for ages and then...

It's nearly two weeks since I've been to a 'proper' gig (I don't count cover bands in local pubs) and now here I am going to two gigs in one night. Well that's the plan anyway. I want to see four bands split between two different venues, but I already know I'm not going to see all the bands I want even if everybody gets on stage when they're supposed to.
At least public transport doesn't screw things up (until I'm on my way home) so my evening starts off to plan and I arrive at The Unicorn in Camden in time to see Healthy Junkies. Their stage time is supposed to be 10.00, but just before then a fairly dreadful metal band with a 'singer' in a suit takes to the stage - already my plan is coming off the rails as I meant to be out of here around 10.30.
It's nearly 10.30 before Healthy Junkies start their set.

This band have some good songs and turn in a decent set of punk tinged pop/rock. It's not a bad little venue considering - all shows at The Unicorn are FREE and there are usually several bands on, and they are selling Newcastle Brown at £2.95 a bottle so it's cracking value for money as long as you like at least one of the bands on the bill.

The sound mix is quite reasonable considering the small size of this pub venue. The place isn't packed, but it's not a bad crowd for one of Camden's lesser known and more off the beaten track venues. There doesn't seem to be much promotion for this place apart from posters in the pub itself - otherwise you'd expect four bands playing a FREE show in Camden on a Friday night would fill the place.

The band play well and manage to look and sound convincing - they seem to get better every time I see them.

The drawback to free gigs in an area like this is that all the weirdos, drunks, druggies, and other undesirables that would otherwise be deterred by a door charge and security get in as well as the people who are genuinely here for the music. This can lead to trouble, but it can also make for some extra entertainment from some of the local oddballs.
Last time I was at this venue a pissed-up local provided much entertainment when he tried to 'assist' Tori from Patchwork Grace who he thought had collapsed on stage when it was actually part of her act. Tonight we have a local who doesn't look the sort to like rock music at all and is carrying a bag of shopping, but he goes crazy to the band - dancing in the most ridiculous manner, doing press-ups in front of the stage, etc. He's having a great time! He's doing no harm to anyone, but security think he's having too much fun and try to persuade him to leave - he's having none of it! By the time Healthy Junkies announce they have one song left it's around 11.00 so as I'm about half an hour behind I have to leave them to it...

I arrive at The Garage in Islington for the Gypsy Hotel club at 11.30ish - doors were at 10.30 so I assume I've missed at least one of tonight's bands. Fortunately The Bermondsey Joyriders appear to have only just started their set.

The band are taking well to the larger stages they are now deservedly starting to find themselves on. It's also good to see them purveying their unique brand of punk fuelled rock 'n' roll and blues to much larger crowds at bigger venues - the 500 or so capacity Garage being well attended for tonight's club. This place used to be one of my favourite venues, but for the second time here recently I avoid the bar - I'm not paying well over £4 for a bottle of Newcastle Brown when the venue I was in earlier tonight was selling it for £2.95!

The Joyriders turn in an excellent set - a bit different than most over the past year. Apart from the recent '1st album' gig at the Sunset Strip Club the band have only been playing songs from their second album 'Noise & Revolution' for some time now - and I've missed some of the older songs, although I can understand why they want to promote their latest album. However, tonight's set is split into two halves: The first consists of songs from their self titled first album, and the second half is newer songs from the current album. This is great as far as I'm concerned!

Most of the gigs the band have played in the last year to support their current album have featured former White Panther and MC5 manager John Sinclair reciting his specially written poetry between songs to introduce them, but tonight for a change we have well known rock journalist Charles Shaar Murray instead. The band are on good form tonight and playing to a crowd who appreciate proper rock 'n' roll. And Bermondsey Joyriders don't just sound like a good rock 'n' roll band - they look like one too. And it helps that they also have some memorable songs.

The bill tonight is much to my liking with more real rock 'n' roll than usual at Gypsy Hotel, and also a much more suitable venue for the larger crowds the club is attracting these days. Apart from the bar selection and prices.

The only snag tonight is that rather than more normal hours for a gig, this is a late one. It's Friday night so most people aren't working tomorrow - this is fine if you live nearby or can get home easily on a night bus from Highbury Corner after the trains have finished. Unfortunately this venue isn't so great for me after the last train has left as getting home involves long walks and/or waits for multiple night buses. This isn't so bad in the summer, but tonight it's -7 degrees C outside and I am most definitely NOT walking far or freezing my arse off waiting for night buses.
I would have really liked to see the Urban Voodoo Machine as I haven't seen them for ages, and also the excellent King Salami & The Cumberlad 3 (ditto) but tonight it's just not going to happen. £13 is quite a lot just to see Bermondsey Joyriders good as they are.
The Voodoo boys (and girl) were supposed to be onstage around midnight, but they still haven't started at 12.35 so I'm out of there to catch the last tube and get home in reasonable comfort and speed. Well maybe not speed - my train is delayed by 25 minutes due to a signalling problem up the line. Still, it's better to wait underground in comparative warmth and comfort than freeze at a bus stop and then spend an hour on the bus so....

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