LIVE – The Bermondsey Joyriders/Long Tall Shorty (The 100 Club, 3/9/10)
Going into this gig, I had some very limited knowledge of Long Tall Shorty in that I’d heard one of their songs called “1970’s Boy” on some cheapo punk compilation a few years back and knew that they were an early ’80s mod-punk band whose frontman Tony Perfect later went on to join one of my favourite punk groups the Angelic Upstarts. The group have recently emerged from their 20-year-plus hibernation and appear to have gained an extra dose of punk attitude along the way as tonight they play an impressively tight set which reminds me a lot of the Jam’s spikier moments and ends with a competent cover of “I Fought The Law”. Not bad at all.
While LTS appear to have moved closer to their punk roots during their time away, the opposite is true of the Bermondsey Joyriders and their charismatic frontman Garrie Lammin. Lammin’s probably best known for his role as guitarist in the original line-up of oi! punks Cock Sparrer and it’s something he’s spent most of the years since trying to distance himself from. With the Joyriders he’s come up with a pretty damn good rock ‘n’ roll band (now featuring ex-Damned drummer Rat Scabies behind the kit) which fuses the energy of his former outfit with a love of ’60s rock ‘n’ roll (the fact that the set contains a lyrical tribute to Johnny Thunders in “Part Of My Problem” plus a new number tipping its hat to Brian Jones is telling) and the result makes for enjoyable listening. Sure, Lammin’s still a master of geeing the crowd up into the terrace chants of “Who Are Ya?” and “Football” plus a souped-up version of Sparrer’s “Runnin’ Riot” but the slide guitar that’s prevalent on both of the former suggests that he’s thinking outside the box a lot more than most of his one-time contemporaries who are still offering up the same old three-chord rehashes in this day and age. Behind him, Scabies and bassist Martin Stacey are a good powerful rhythm section which gives the Joyriders the necessary oomph to power them along.
“They’re a blues punk band then?” asks one of the two American tourists who somehow ended up following myself and fellow “Pure Rawk” scribe Sexy Dave into the venue (don’t ask), “So sort of like New Orleans meets the Clash?” Weeellll, not quite but I’m pretty sure they both still had a good Friday night in the company of the Joyriders. As I’m sure would you if you were to go and check them out. Recommended.