Atomic batteries to power, transmatt location and frequency set. It was Destination Venus at 229 The Venue, London. Scene Sussex and The Lens headed out of Sussex for a trip up to London. Thankfully Southern Rail had cancelled their day of train strikes – so it was time for action and all systems go! The Rezillos were in town!
This was set to be a rare event for the gig calender due to the line up – The Tuts and Spizz Energi were the guests on the night. What a line up and a look back at their part in the evening and the gig is coming!
I have been lucky enough to follow The Rezillos armed with a camera and a laptop for a couple of years now. It was great to catch up with the guys before the set. Chatting with Chris and getting a bass guitar “lesson” was something I will not forget. A chat with Angel about the tour so far which included a snowy covered Spain. So good to catch up with Eugene, chatted about the upcoming gig and set and the possibility of a new online Rezillos store – watch this space! A quick “hi ya” from Fay looking fab after her arm injury and of course always such a delight to chat with Jim although he was really busy.
The guys climbed up on to the stage with a huge set of ladders and fixed The Rezillos backing – I had my mobile on with a fast dial for an ambulance – just in case, but thankfully the backing was up and no one fell off the ladder!
I love sitting in on soundchecks, the atmosphere and the sounds created as The Rezillos sound was built up and created by Shona on the mixing deck. A couple of checks, followed by a couple of songs and then Eugene produced his sax. I guessed this was for the mighty “20,000 Rezillos under the sea”. This was checked until Eugene gave the thumbs up.
The 229 was packed that night and as the lights dimmed the crowd moved forward. Strangely there was no barrier and the stage was very high so it was a strain to look up and catch the sights and sounds of The Rezillos. Gone was the opening Thunderbirds/Stingray intro usually used but we had a strange fanfare, space funk, cosmic opener and the band took to the stage in slow motion, arms and poses moving slowly, as though they were in a gravity free environment. Great fun. A group fist bump. Fay and Eugene welcomed everyone and thanked us for coming and Jim hit his guitar with the opening riff of “I Cant Stand My Baby”. Blast off! We were underway! Ignition had happened and the fuse to the Rocket Rezillos had reached the main engines and propelled us towards planet Rezillos!
Jim Brady on guitars, glasses and goggles sparked into action. His unique sound is complimented with a style of gymnastics I had last seen at The Olympic Games. Leaps, twists, windmill arms, crouches all of these moves fill his repertoire! Around his neck was a red light, which was shone into our eyes regularly or at times placed on his forehead. He constantly switches his eye gear and how these items don’t go flying off is always a source of wonder! You could just tell, the minute Jim took to the stage and he was ready for action.
The Rezillos are well known for their bass lines from that first album “Cant Stand The Rezillos” and the recent fabulous album “ZERO”. Chris hits that perfect Rezillos sweet spot with bass fills and bass thunder. Tonight dressed in an immaculate suit topped with his wrap around shades he looked the business.
The man at the back giving us the drum attack is another original member of the band. Angel. He sat behind his customised kit, his usual sunglasses reflecting the light and also wearing round his neck what I reckoned to be a piece of rock hacked from the surface of planet Venus and smuggled back to Earth. Angel knows the original material back to front and the newer material attracts the same level of skill and attention to detail.
The set fired at us, with some chat with the crowd and on stage banter, at times hilarious. New songs “Groovy Room” and “Sorry About Tomorrow” came at us – loud and fast. Perfectly delivered. The Rezillos are always guaranteed to give you a show. You will be dancing, singing, shouting and caught up in the atmosphere these guys generate.
A couple of older classics were up next and included “Bad Guy Reaction” and “Cold Wars” and followed with “You’re So Deep”. Be assured these guys work hard, damn hard, to deliver a performance. Eugene and Fay bounced around the stage, and Fay almost standing on my shoulders at one stage. Eugene moves, or rather slides and grinds around the stage and pops up just about anywhere. The crowd was fairly vocal and Fay and Eugene interacted with us. The sound was damn sharp tonight and those amps were set to 11! They ripped it up and Fay and Eugene’s voices and presence are stronger than ever.
20,000 Rezillos Under The Sea
The stage was set, and Eugene grabbed his Sax. We had some chat about reefs and living in a submarine. The track was “20,000 Rezillos Under The Sea”, this was originally the B side of the vinyl release of “Top Of The Pops” and sadly has never been released on any other formats, it has never been included on any of the compilations or even albums. A shame and could be a great opportunity for a re-work or release of the original as it is a a rip roaring rollicking tune, based on the William Tell Overture, another title for this track was “The William Mysterious Overture“. (William Mysterious – original bass player who sadly passed away in 2013 but is held in high esteem and widely regarded as one of the most accomplished bass players of that generation. I think he played the sax on that original recording – be great if someone could confirm that!). Jim hit the guitar and finished his bit with a 6 foot leap into the air! No Kazoos tonight the band hit us instead with the vocals and “hey”‘s and Fay nearly blew the stage speakers when she let rip with her own “yeahhhhhhhh”. I have never seen this done live before, and it was well worth the wait! The sound was just top notch as Eugene melted us with his sax playing!
Top Of The Pops!
Other songs from this monster of a set included “NO” which I am pretty sure everyone joined in with. “It Gets Me”, “ZERO”, “Mystery Action” and “Flying Saucer Attack!”. The crowd had totally lost it by now and had become a “mosh pit” which in turn seemed to kick The Rezillos up into yet another higher gear! “Top Of The Pops” came at us loud and proud – an absolute classic of a track, and again everyone knew the words. Just brilliant! The stage went black and Chris kicked his bass back to life with the intro for “Good Sculptures” – the lights went up and the band seemed to just totally lose it! And that was it….. no wait – they are back!
The band came back to the stage and gave us “Glad all Over” and finally the crowd pleasing “Somebodies Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in”. And then that really was it. The lights went up. The audience just stood there, rooted to the spot giving the band well earned applause and cheers. The Rezillos from the start grabbed the audience by the collar, held them close with a set full of buzz and attitude and then just as suddenly let the audience go. They were on top form again tonight.
The band has always had a strong relationship with their fans and its great to see that they continue to make time to come out to meet them and sign CD’s and vinyl. As a result, they have a very loyal, and in some cases long standing fan base. The T Shirts always fly, and Andy sure had his work cut out that night – they are great value and high quality. It was great to get my Rezillos lapel badge replaced after losing it at the 2015 Edinburgh gig.
Well done The Rezillos! Also to AGMP for putting on such a great show.
They also have a well managed Facebook page, Twitter (make sure you visit the official Twitter) and website. A new online shop could also soon be available.
Please note all images are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists would like copies of the images – or more if available – please get in touch.
All pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ Scene Sussex/ Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2017.