Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The X-Men.......Re-union gig at Pompey Rumble.

Snazzy wide angle HD.....didn't have that back in the day !
Crikey !  A surprise of the most pleasant kind !.........following an early start (6am) from Cork airport, going to the wrong train station in London then getting off at another, equally wrong train station in Pompey to get picked up, not to mention being fed a line about the Guinness being sub-standard at the venue, I was mentally prepared for disappointment.......Upon arriving at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea I was presented with the spectacle of all manner of weird and wonderful looking creatures....most of whom wouldn't have looked out of place in a Todd Browning movie !  We hadn't missed any bands and not only that but the Guinness was more than agreeable !.....Things were looking up !

Someone please explain the pink boa to me !
I'd been rather eager to catch 'All Cramped Up' live since hearing about them earlier on in the year as well as being somewhat curious as to how a band that plays Cramps covers....(which is kind of funny as The Cramps were basically a cover band....But oh' so much more) would go down having a female doing Lux's job ?  Rather well actually, is the simple answer to that one....gargling, groaning and totally at ease in the role, Caz belted them out with gusto, backed by twin Gretsch's. I particularly liked their take on Teenage Werewolf as it came across as a girlfriends scarey lament about her boyfriend more than anything else which was pretty cool and their killer version of Psychotic Reaction had me after about 15 seconds.....now, if there ever was a 7" single begging to be released that would be a fantastic pairing ! 

Next up on my list of to not only see, but pay attention to, were Chris, Clive & Bob, collectively known as The Hillmans....however it wasn't to be due to the combination of a malfunctioning pyrotecnics device and a bad case of the squits. The last minute stand-ins  'The Dukes of Bordello' doing a Sterling job (They actually took the opening slot).

And the joint was a rockin'
After a brief interlude and closure of the venue to conform with some antiquitated English licensing law. Saw, what was for me, the main event of the evening, it had been an awful long time coming but one of my all time favourite groups had reformed and I always feel a little trepidation about this happening.....sometimes it works and sometimes it's better to just have fond memories....bearing in mind it had been some 26 years since the last time they had played together.....we could easily have been presented with the spectacle of The XXXL-Men (and ladies) but no way....they came onto the stage looking half their age, the only real difference being the height of Mr Star's quiff....a mere 10 inches or so as opposed to the 2ft monster of bygone times.
I probably should mention at this stage, that for the occasion, a ltd edition cd had been made and by ltd I mean very limited...like just fifty hand numbered copies (both singles, the mini LP and the John Peel sessions all gathered together) and the last remaining copies were launched into the audience midway through their set ! The gig was also filmed by a certain Mr Alan Gange (who has filmed the previous Pompey Rumbles too) but I don't have any contact details so you'll have to do the detective bit yourselves. Although if you trawl youtube I'm sure you'll find plenty of clips.

The rather unfortunate 'Gonk' photo, it's just the light.
The venue appeared to be almost full when they took to the stage and they received a more than rousing reception when they broke into the first song. All classic X-Men...Talk, Do The Ghost....Leave My House particularly for me was a stormer. Mark really getting into the occasion, loosing the jacket and rockin' out, rather agile & nimble for a guy of fifty (Yes Mark, you've still got it !). Taking on the role of Voodoo Vicar, he was liberally distributing libation in the form of Jim Beam to those fortunate enough to be close enough ! The sound coming out of the Vox Continental was pretty amazing as was the job done by fellow Wampus Cat on guitar. I can't recall for certain as I was mesmerised but I'm fair convinced they played their entire recorded output with a superbe encore of The Revillo's 'Yeah Yeah'...a fine duet to be sure ! The set was finished of with a crazed rendition of 'Who Do You Love' and then the feckers turned the lights on !   Well worth the trip over and the best news of all is that they'll be playing again !! With a date lined up in May 2015, in the meantime you'll just have to check their facebook page for updates.....and who knows we may even get to see some new material on vinyl ? 

Just a note, Debbie will be in Paris on the 16th Dec bashing the skins for Dutronc ! Allez les gars (Merci Mr Noone).

Cheers to Glyn & Grogsy for the photos. 


  1. Thanx for this review Mr Darren....
    would like to be there...

  2. Glad you had a blast mate, would have loved to have been there, hopefully I'll catch them again next year.