Wednesday, 3 March 2010

568 THE REZILLOS, The Briefs, The Spitzz, Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA USA, Monday 1 July 2002

That's right, it does say the bloody Rezillos! The last gig on this particular Boston trip, after a day spent shopping and hanging out with friends EdV and John Dragonetti at Q Division Studios, had initially raised an eyebrow during our pre-trip gig research. However, the "Boston Phoenix" had confirmed that this was indeed the same late 70's punk Rezillos and not some imposter, so tix were duly purchased on arrival in Boston for this show!

We head over to grab a pre-gig bite at the Middle East, and note that the band are eating there too. Main songwriter Jo Callis, also formerly of the Human League, looks exactly the same as back in the day, but vocalist Fay Fife is looking her age, and I'm cringing at the thought of her in her trademark short vinyl dresses tonight. Nevertheless, we eventually go in, after walking off the meal with a quick wander to "Asgard" (the nearby pub, that is, not the home of the Norse Gods!), and spend an hour or so enduring a couple of rackety local punk acts with not a memorable tune to rub together between the pair of them, and also checking out the clientele; a mix of young punkers in yesterday's dog-collars and chains, and old lags with vintage "first time around" punk t-shirts.

We wait until 11.45 for the Rezillos to come on, and they kick off their set with their incongruous cover of the 60's classic "Glad All Over". Fay's wearing a knee-length leopardskin print coat and, fully made up, looks a whole lot better than in the restaurant earlier, which admittedly wasn't too difficult. Co-vocalist Eugene, however, has possibly doubled in girth since the 70s! "Good Sculptures" and "Top Of The Pops" follow, and the Rezillos are into the full flow of their energetic, spiky, sci-fi take on the 70's New Wave sound. It's fun and good to watch, but the sound is a little thin and reedy, which I'm fully prepared to put down to the fact they haven't played together for (sez Fay) 23 years! The coat then comes off and Fay's wearing a short vinyl dress, sure enough, and hurling herself around in her "going to a go-go" style. I find it entertaining - Rach just thinks it's embarrassing!

They save the best for last; "Destination Venus", with its duel vocal attack and pace changes, and insistent fadeout hook, is a good way to end an ultimately worthy set. We don't stick around for the encore, but I'm glad I got to see an early teen memory!

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