BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Saturday, September 30, 2006

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?: Sick Note take it to the home of pub rock

Dirty South, about to get dirtier

This is becoming a bit of a Sick Note fan club blog. Never heard of ‘em? Don’t worry, you will. Today we headed off to London on a coach full of Sick Note fans to see them playing at a showcase gig organised by the Alabama 3. The night can be split into two, both parts being equally memorable for different reasons, the journey and the gig.

We were quite impressed by the bus when it arrived, brand spanking new and top of the range, but with one draw back… no toilet. Now if you are off with the kids on a trip to the museum, no toilet is an inconvenience, when you are armed with 8 Cans of bow on a mission to get pissed before the gig it is a major problem. The driver was cool though and was quite happy to make regular stops, the first one being Newport (for our international readers, that is ten miles into a 150 mile journey). That was pretty much the theme for the trip, regular stops. It would not have been so bad if the stops were actually at proper toilets but it was generally the side of the motorway or peoples gardens becoming impromptu toilets. The drive that should have taken about 3 hours was dragging on and on. We thought it would be compounded by the driver not knowing his way through London, or even which part of London Lewisham was in, but the Artist formerly Known as Ginger finally proved he does have some use by navigating (the venue was just down the road from our mate Jon and Jackie’s pad). We arrived 5 hours after setting off, and all sprinted for the comfort of a proper bog.

Dirty South is a nice little venue; a proper Eastend pub with no pretensions and all the locals welcomed the busload of wrecked welsh boys and girls with open arms. Despite the late arrival we had plenty of time to sink more beer while watching local indie band Dirty Sam. Jon and Jackie had arrived well before us so it was nice to catch up with them again for an hour or two.

Somebody call a doctor!

Then came the main attraction. The Eastend did not know what had hit it. One minute they were swooning along to Smiths like teen angst, the next they were being rocked to the deep down and dirty rhythms of a depraved Alex Harvey on E. No time for warm up or a gentle intro, the Note belted straight into it, lowering the tone of the evening and raising the funk levels to 11.

This is the future London, remember you were here!

The 50 from the bus filled the dance floor but soon had to compete with astounded locals who also wanted a piece of the action, as the whole pub rocked like its life depended on it. In years to come people may look back on this gig like people look back on the Sex pistols at the 100 club.. or maybe not, but the Iguana crew will always remember this one.

The dirty downstairs backstage

After the Note had done their dirty business on the stage, Ultraviolet stepped into the fray with their “soaring melodicism charting the inner recesses of the human condition”, which, to be quite honest was something of an anti-climax.

As Ulraviolet did what they do, we headed backstage (or should I say down into the cellar) to chill out with the band. Up until this point we had all thought that the Alabama 3 were going to be doing an acoustic set, the website had actually stated in advance… “ALABAM 3 PRESENT: OUTLAW. Live bands, beats and burlesque mayhem from the 'Bama boys, Larry Love, Tattoed John and the Rev. D. Wayne Love. Acoustic performance and DJ sets from the famous 3 comes accompanied with the best in upcoming live talent, featuring:…”….but when we realised that only Larry Love was present, it was clear it was more likely to be a Larry love DJ set. No matter, it was the Note that we had endured the bus trip for. After a few more drinks we headed off to the chippy and tried to ‘prepare’ ourselves for a bus ride back to Wales without a bog. The journey was pretty much the same sketch as the way up, eventually being dropped off in Newport at 7am. All in all a memorable trip.


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