On Sunday, I had breakfast. A fry up in a cafe. I still hadn’t woken up early enough to have breakfast in my B & B. I met up with Chris, who was also out and about (we had sensibly swapped telephone numbers the night before) and we went down to the Prom.
We went down onto the beach as the tide was out and I took this picture of the Tower and the new sea defences. I rather like the clouds too; they make the photo look reasonable. After snapping each other on the beach, we went back up to the Prom and I suggested we visit the Dr Who exhibition. We went in and had a good look round and I held forth on the various incarnations of the Doctor and the enemies he had had to face. I’m a bit of a Dr Who fan on the quiet, you see.
By the time we had been round the exhibition, it was lunch time and we knew that there would be bands on at the Winter Gardens, so we headed back there. We saw a ska band called The Splitters first. I liked the Splitters; they were an unlikely looking ska band because the lead singer had a colourful mohican and the guitarist/backing singer had a more sombre coloured mohican. They were also very good.
After that, we wandered around a bit and I bought 2 leopard skin, single row studded wristbands; one for myself and another for a colleague at work. I’d promised to buy him a souvenir from Rebellion and I wanted it to be suitably tacky. We also had a look at the punk art collection, which was really, rather good, especially the photos. There was a painting of Jock Strap, which was sold (we later saw him leaving The Winter Gardens with it under his arm).
Then we went to see Riot Squad and after them, the UK Subs. Charlie Harper is an inspiration. He’s 64 (at least, I think he is) and maybe not as sprightly as he was in 1980 but he still manages to leap about on stage and the songs have the same energy they had when I first saw the band. The other musicians are considerably younger than him (I’m sorry, Charlie, if you read this and are offended) and I don’t think they were even born when I first saw the band. I know the drummer, Jamie, wasn’t. They played my favourites, Stranglehold, Warhead and various others. I’ve heard that the original line-up, including Paul Slack who signed my jeans all those years ago (see my previous blog, Tight Jeans, Romance and Sid Vicious), are getting back together in December for a gig supported by my old friends, the Straps. I will definitely have to be there.
I wanted to see Penetration but I missed them because I was otherwise engaged (this was beginning to become a bit of a habit) but I did see the Wall. Various incarnations of the band played during the set so there were a few changes of personnel while we watched. They were very good indeed. Unfortunately, I am unable to remember what they played.
After The Wall, we went to see The Adicts. I didn’t get a decent picture of them because I was too far away from the stage so I nicked the one on the left (I do apologise). What can I say about them? They completely blew me away. I’ve never seen a punk band which has a light show before a gig (or set) and I’ve never seen an audience mesmerised quite as much as we were. Monkey is a charismatic frontman and had the entire contents of the Empress Ballroom (a seething mass of punks and skins) completely under his spell. They played, amongst others, Ode to Joy (of course), Joker in the Pack, Chinese Takeaway, Bad Boy and You’ll Never Walk Alone. It takes a band of amazing calibre to make me sing along to You’ll Never Walk Alone (I may have hinted on occasion that I like Chelsea FC) but The Adicts did it. They provided an amazing finale to a brilliant weekend. I didn’t want them to finish although I was knackered (I’m really not up to this sort of thing at 44) and wanted my bed.
At the end of the set, we all left the Winter Gardens for the last time and I took my last few photographs. Here is one of them. I don’t think it’s great (I keep going on about what a rubbish photographer I am but then, to quote The Duel, “I’m my own worst critic”) but I like it. I took it as my body started to metabolise the adrenaline I’d been producing in such massive quantities but before the massive come down I had on Monday and Tuesday.
Finally, for those of you, like me, who have suffered Adicts withdrawal symptoms, here is the Punky Rennie equivalent of a Nicotine Patch. This was their appearance on Cheggers Plays Pop and is a classic. Please feel free to enjoy.