THE DICKIES – CON CLUB, LEWES 4.8.18
Congratulations to ‘We Love The Big Blue Shed’ concert promoters as they gallantly put on America’s foremost bubble-gum punk band The Dickies at the Con Club in Lewes last night, despite the fact that the date clashed with the Rebellion Punk Festival in Blackpool and the Pride party in Brighton.
This was just the tonic that I personally needed, as I have been out of action for a couple of weeks due to a stupid back injury and I wanted to gently ease myself back into gig mode with a concert where I would be able to comfortably sit if need be and not fight all the hustle and bustle on thousands of revellers, thus The Dickies were just the tonic.
The Dickies have become known for their campy and humorous live performances over the past 41 years and my mate tagged along to Lewes with me as to be honest we both required some jollity in our lives and The Dickies delivered this by the bucket-load.
The current five-piece line-up is made up of Leonard Graves Phillips-Vocals, Stan Lee-Guitar, Ben Seelig-Guitar, Edward Tatar-Thunder Broom and Adam Gomez-Drums.
They came into being way back in 1977 after current band member Stan Lee (not the one of Marvel fame!) and former band member Billy Club witnessed a gig by Captain Sensible’s zany act The Damned. The Dickies successfully went on to be the first California punk band to appear on network television in the USA and the first California punk band to be signed to a major record label, namely A&M Records.
I purchased their first studio album back in 1978 and I still have it to this day. It’s called ‘The Incredible Shrinking Dickies’ and contains a cover version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ and their 100mph version of ‘Eve Of Destruction’ which had been made famous by Barry McGuire.
In 1979 I bought their follow-up album ‘Dawn of The Dickies’. This included their revved up version of The Moody Blues classic ‘Nights In White Satin’ which they crammed into less than three minutes. This was a single too and I snapped up the 7″ white vinyl platter at the time.
I have made it sound like The Dickies are a covers band, but that would be totally incorrect as a vast majority of their work are original compositions. Mind you having said that they are best remembered for their wonderful 7″ yellow vinyl version of the Banana Splits theme tune ‘Banana Splits (The Tra La La Song)’ which peaked here in the UK official singles chart at number 7.
So back to last night’s intimate Lewes gig.
Were we entertained? Yes.
Were they comedy value? Yes.
Did the guitar strings break twice and singer Leonard Graves Phillips have to tell the crowd ice cream parlour jokes? Yes.
Were there comedy props used during certain tunes? Yes.
Could they play their instruments well? Yes.
Did they inform the crowd about a forthcoming final album? Yes. And did they play a track from that album? Yes. And do I recall what it was called? Sadly no.
Did the crowd all have fun? Yes.
Did I jerk my ailing back laughing at their jokes or when pogoing around? No.
Well then, certainly ticks all the boxes.
The guys didn’t stick to their proposed setlist, but in the main it was accurate. So what tracks did they play? As far as I can work out it was these………….
‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ (The Beatles cover), ‘Give It Back’, ‘I’m OK, You’re OK’, ‘(I’m Stuck In A Pagoda With) Tricia Toyota’, ‘I Hate Punk Rock’, ‘Got It At The Store’, ‘Fan Mail’, ‘Nights In White Satin’ (The Moody Blues cover), ‘Golden Boys’, ‘Toxic Avenger’, ‘Waterslide’, ‘Manny, Moe & Jack’, ‘Gary Glitter Getaway’, ‘Doggy Do’, ‘Wagon Train’, ‘Paranoid’ (Black Sabbath cover), ‘You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)’, ‘Gigantor’ (encore) ‘Rondo (The Midgets Revenge)’, ‘Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)’ (tv show cover).
So over to The Dickies now to finish and release their final album and then come back on tour to plug it.
Find out about the band on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/The-Dickies-241169060890/ and their website http://thedickies.com/