I was really looking forward to this one, ever since the tickets were released. The Albert (located below Brighton Station) was rather busy when we arrived.
The first band on were Brighton’s very own The Spiders From Marz. Familiar faces in the band and as with the name suggests lots of Bowie to follow. The current line-up reads: Lyell Drumond (vocals and acoustic guitar), Bruce Maxwell-Smith (electric guitar and backing vocals), Mark Thursfield (bass guitar) and I do believe former TTB Ogs (Drums and backing vocals). They had us all reminiscing and singing along from the off with their Mick Ronson era material including “Ziggy Stardust”, “All The Young Dudes”, “Space Oddity” and ending the set with “The Jean Genie”. They were accomplished musicians and provided a great warm up for the evening with their extraordinarily long 75 minute set.
Next up were the colourful Viki Vortex and The C*mshots, who were formed in 2008 in Girona, Spain of all places, from the amalgamation of 70’s punk band The Spurts and Viki Vortex. The drummer Theo (aka Anthony Theodotou from The Long Tall Texans) provided a fast paced rhythmic beat throughout the set, which started out with “Watch Out”. I first saw them live at Undercover 2016 up at Brighton Racecourse and loved the set. I can only describe them as a great feeling of retro old school punk at its very best.
Viki is awesome on bass guitar and vocals (although the soundman did have them a little low tonight as compared with the other mics) and has captivating facial expressions when she is performing. The band’s trio is finalised with Steve Manuell on lead guitar, providing that raw energy sound. The set was well received by the audience with notable songs like “Fluffer”, “Lollipop People”, “Hypocrite”, “Monster” and finishing off with “Thank You”. Two of the band live in Spain, so if you want to see them perform live then keep an eye out on social media or grab your ticket to Rebellion 2018 in Blackpool where they will be performing.
I had been really looking forward to the main act, as I grew up as a Peacehaven Wild Kid (even though I lived in Newhaven). I used to hang around the Vault in Brighton where all the bands rehearsed circa 1978/79 – We all used to play in each others bands and jam. The TTBs had their first recording on Attrix Records ‘Vaultage 78’ album with “Elvis Is Dead”. I have cherish memories of the old days when I was 14, when the TTBs played at the Boys Club in Newhaven, the Sheffield Arms and even Tideway School came flooding back as soon as they hit the stage with “Moped Lads”.
Peter Bywaters and Del Strangefish being the only two original members, still have it with great energy and polished performances and a friendly mosh pit formed instantly. The new members of the TTBs Nick Abnett and Sam Fuller are great musicians and we all appreciated that from the start.
Incidentally, Del Strangefish has his own show on the terrific Radio Reverb and tonight’s venue, The Prince Albert actually sponsor his programme – a nice tie-in me thinks.
The set was a blend of old favourites and new power tracks from the new album. The audience seemed to soak up every minute of it. A truly brilliant gig and great performances from all the bands on the night. Best of all, I got that “Wild Kid” feeling back – only downside was they didn’t play that song.
Next year (2018) is the Test Tubes 40th year (who’d of thought it eh?), but nothing can hold them back from going on tour again and presenting their new record ‘That Shallot’. The band surprisingly now states: “We’ve actually held back our best record until just before retirement and we’re more than happy that we were able to create this.”
Peter & The Test Tube Babies setlist for tonight was: Moped Lads, Run Like Hell, The Jinx, Never Made It, My Unlucky Day, In Yer Face, Up Yer Bum, Spirit Of Keith Moon, None Of Your Fu**ing Business, Keep Britain Untidy, Wrong, Shake My World, Transvestite, Maniac, Banned From The Pubs, Blown Out Again, (encore) Elvis Is Dead, September
Viki Vortex & The C*mshots setlist: Watch Out, Plastic Fantastic, Hold On, Something’s Gone Wrong, Fluffer, Police Car, Countdown To A Breakdown, Lollipop People, Five To Five, Hypocrite, Window Shopping, Monster, Radio’s Dead, Grab Your Life, Thank You
The Spiders From Marz setlist: Hang On To Yourself, Ziggy Stardust, All The Young Dudes, Watch That Man, Starman, Andy Warhol, Star, Space Oddity, Five Years, Moonage Daydream, John I’m Only Dancing, Queen Bitch, The Jean Genie
For more info on tonight’s bands visit:
Listen to The Del Strangefish Show here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/delstrangefish/episodes/2017-12-01T05_37_01-08_00
Further details for The Prince Albert, click here: https://en-gb.facebook.com/ThePrinceAlbert/
For Rebellion 2018 info, click here: http://www.rebellionfestivals.com/