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Review: 'The Tearaways Ft Clem Burke'
'and Last Great Dreamers Live at Nells Jazz & Blues'   

-  Album: 'West Kensington'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '17.8.18.'

Our Rating:
I was asked to go and review Last Great Dreamers again this time supporting The Tearaways an allegedly legendary bar band from Santa Barbara who have a certain Mr Clem Burke on the drums currently.

Last Great dreamers opened with a great and as ever perfect slice of Junkshop Glam that is New Situation with Marc Valentine as ever holding onto the microphone for dear life as he sings. 13th Floor Renegades it was good and spunky with a great concise solo from Slyder Smith and although the sound in Nells was a bit clean for them it still had plenty of grit in it.

White Light (Black Heart) was played in a trashy blur with the despair at the antics of the person it's aimed at made clear before they take us all to the Glitterball Apocalypse that as ever goes down a treat even if this venues apocalyptic years were back when it was a table dancing club surely. Yes as ever they then play the b-side to Glitterball Apocalypse the always fantastic The Way We Collide that was pretty spot on.

Miles Away was as trashy as it could sound in this room and they were really enjoying themselves on Message You a 100 times even if the lyrics make them sound a touch stalkerish. I think I Like It is pretty much the reaction of everyone present.

It was a bit early to be singing Going Home as we still had another band coming on but it is a poignant song and sounded great before they blasted through The Oblivion Kids at a hell of a pace before closing with a great version of Primitive Man to leave us wanting more from them.

After the Break John Ferriter the lead Tearaway came out to introduce a young girl the band have been working with from Liverpool. Now sadly for Millie Courtney John managed to put his foot in it during the intro by trying to get everyone down the front and trying to get the gent in the white Jacket at the bar to come down the front.Really you want Chris Spedding to come down the front, please no just let Chris go and sit wherever he want too.

So on comes Millie playing her first ever London show at the age of 16 and sadly she wasn't allowed to sing one of her own songs to really show us what she's got, she had been advised, I'm guessing to sing a great cover song from her home town and so she sang Eleanor Rigby that is one of about 5 still acceptable Beatles songs to cover that you might be able to add something too, which in this case was to sing it like a Liverpudlian Alanis Morissette which was OK but other than having a good voice this was about as useful a guide to her talent as an audition on X Factor would be. I hope to get a chance to hear a proper set at some point in the future to hear why they think she's a future star.

Then it was soon time for The Tearaways to assume the Heinz position for me as the 57th band I've seen live this month. The moment Clem Burke sat down he launched into the opening Ready To Rock was it and they sounded like an okay bar band pretty tight but nothing special and then Rock & Roll Radio was ok a good fun version that most Friday night bar bands should be able to do and then they started on the band's own songs and well they sounded like they'd love to be as good as the Miamis.

They had songs that sound like The Raspberries and the Plimsouls and as well as it was played the vocals were just ok but every now and then a song stood out We Text was pretty good and on that one they sounded like Steven Kallinich's Yo Ma Ma.

They also had a good song about John Wayne that I don't think was one of the tunes they said was in a movie soundtrack either way as well played as it all was they had nothing to really make them memorable in a month when I've seen so many better bands.

The version of California Sun was only saved by how great Clem Burke's drumming was throughout as otherwise they made the Dictators sound like incredible vocalists in comparison this was vocally off but musically cool they then ran through Call Me at the sort of speed that made it feel almost throwaway pop.

I loved the guitar solo Dave Hekhouse played on We Love cars but the closing run through Going To A Go Go was very much covers band fair and didn't really sound great to me.

The got an encore and came back and started to play the riff to Psycho Killer only they were actually playing The Bee Gees You Should Be Dancing of all things that I'm sure was just what Glen Matlock wanted to hear on a Friday night at least they hammed it up to leave everyone with a smile on their faces.

This was a good chance to see Clem Burke play in a small club but in a month as busy as this they were rather forgettable sadly.
  author: simonovitch

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