Tuesday, 31 August 2010

372 CHINA DRUM, The Pecadiloes, Reading Alleycat "Live", Friday 17 April 1998

I was expecting a hot one tonight, so despite the snow earlier this week, I donned shorts for the trip to The Alleycat with Rich and Ady. Got there at 9 and got the beers in before The Pecadiloes came on. They were bloody awful; clumsy pseudo-glam, with a triple-decker leopardskin print keyboard being played at random, like a bad Roxy Music or early John Foxx Ultravox. Still, the vocalist had a good t-shirt on; "Jesus Is Coming - Look Busy!"

Got more beer in and returned to the by-now very busy stage front crowd just before 10, for the arrival of the Drum. Vocalist Adam Lee, now divesting himself of his former drumming duties and sporting a maniacal stare and dyed blond crop, pitching him somewhere between Henry Rollins and Edd The Duck (!), sauntered onstage and sang the a capella opening of "60 Seconds". I immediately knew we were in for a battering, and this proved to be the case, as the Drum ripped into a sweaty, phenomenally hot and hard set of their top drawer popcore, a la Sugar/ Husker Du. I've enjoyed the Drum at festivals before, but in a small club they really soar, and were magnificent; aggressive, intense, committed and bloody loud and fast! I stayed in the fierce moshpit with the boys throughout the set, the highlights being a superb early "Fiction Of life" and the wilful encore destruction of "Wuthering Heights", including Adam dragging some poor unsuspecting girl onstage and pronouncing her, "Kate Bush for the night!".

Wandered around Reading town centre in a slight daze afterwards, with the boys, looking for fast food and stripped to the waist, still steaming from the mosh, soliciting cries of, "it's freezing! That bloke's a nutter!" from the locals. Right then, however, I was hot and happy - a self made maniac!

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