The miraculous second coming of Peter Perrett continues after The Only Ones reunion tours and Peter is now poised to release his second post reunion solo album Humanworld on 7th June and this sold out show at The Scala in Kings Cross is part of the tour to promote it. The choice of The Scala is fitting as the venue is every bit as cleaned up and on the straight and narrow as Peter is these days compared to the old days.
This is the second time I've seen Peter Perrett this year and the other one was at a rare gig that I didn't review being that it was a private party, on that occasion he had Jim Sclavunos as special guest drummer for a great 4 song set this time Jim is just an audience member.
By the time I arrived Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard were well into there set and sounded very 1970's glam rock to my ears even though they are all in there early 20's and from Cardiff not exactly the most Glam of locations. The first song I heard properly was John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ, which is a hell of a statement, although at least he had already been martyred before they were all born, I'd of preferred it had it been he was there Satan. Either way not a bad song with some very histrionic vocals and some very solid bass playing from Ed Rees who I'm sure I've seen playing in another band.
Double Denim Hop was next to get this flagrant glam treatment nicking riffs from Slade and guitar parts from possibly Mud or The Rubettes this is very retro but damn good fun with it and a good knowing wink of the eye at the cliche's of early 70's rock without them having actually lived through wearing horrendous brown platform shoes and flares like some of us did.
They closed with a song about a Magic Mountain of some sort that reminded me a lot of The New Seekers crossed with Kenny and managing to come across as Christian Glam rock while they were at it a wonderfully preposterous closing song that implored us all to join them although I'm not sure at what!!
They are good fun and should be able to appeal to what used to be a college rock type audience.
After the break it was time for Strange Fruit although they were introduced as being Funtime and apparently answer to both names, either way they are a duo featuring Jamie Perrett and Jenny Maxwell who are sometimes just Jamie & Jenny, confused we maybe at the acts name but not at how wonderful they sound. Jenny did most of the signing with Jamie on acoustic guitar as she sang about another Love Sabotage or whatever it was, she was on about it was beautiful and had the audience in rapt appreciation you couldn't hear anyone talking at all while they played.
The second song was all about Jenny pleading for her lover to Let Me Go with Jamie singing counter to her pleading it was wonderfully played and full of emotion making me want to hear an album of them playing like this.
They closed there short set with a magical jaw dropping cover of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood that was closer to the Nina Simone interpretation than the Animals or Johnny Thunders versions, it was slow and Jenny picked out every word and syllable to draw out all of the emotion in them quite wonderful and pretty much worth the price of admission just to hear this song performed like this live.
After a short break Jamie Perrett was back on Lead Guitar with Jenny Maxwell on Violin as part of Peter Perrett's band, although Jenny didn't join them till the second song, along with Lauren Moon on Keyboards, Peter Perrett Jnr on Bass and Jake Woodward on drums yes this is a bit of a family affair and Peter Snr seems to have schooled his kids well indeed.
They opened with Baby Don't Talk that was one of the highlights the first time I saw him solo with The One back in the 90's and Peters careworn vocals about going from the cradle to the grave seem to have grown in gravitas in the passing years.
How The West Was Won the title song of the last album already feels like a greatest hit and got a great rousing cheer from the packed crowd as Peter made sure to really sing all the wonderful lyrics in a way we would all get them before making sure we all knew he'd dropped the line about Kim Kardashian, you can figure out why yourselves.
An Epic Story had a very sinuous bass line that the song seemed built around as Peter Snr wove his epic tale for us all to hear as those keyboards swirled and Jamie went for it on his Telecaster. Just like on How The West Was Won they continued with Hard To Say No which was certainly something Peter had trouble with over the years and the emotion and feeling in the music and lyrics was great to hear.
Peter was nice and chatty between songs and good at getting the best out of the band as they played Troika and as I did through much of the show I wondered at how Peter remembered all the lyrics as all of the songs have loads and loads of lyrics in this case a love letter to Peter's better half Xena.
Sweat Endeavour kept the feeling of love going with some wondrous interplay within the band as the violin and keyboard kept a kind of shimmer going to make sure the guitars sounded as sweet as they needed too. Peter was soon Living In My Head something he may have spent a long time doing during his wilderness years or maybe he was a doting dad taking his kids to school etc.
They stripped back to a four piece of just guitars bass and drums for From Here To Eternity no not a cover of that song Nick Cave nailed a good few years ago but another slightly sad tale of wanting to be back home once more.
One of the biggest cheers of the night came for the opening notes to The Whole Of The Law that had most of us singing along to one of Peter's bigger hits in the Only Ones it still sounds magical live.
Peter then announced that the rest of the set was going to be all new songs from the yet to be released new album kicking off with Once Is Enough that sounded like a normal Peter Perrett song with loads of lyrics and great playing and a spectral solo from Jamie as all the band looked like they were enjoying every moment.
Heavenly day sounded cool and has some good sage advice in the lyrics as did Love Comes On Silent Feet and it was anything but silent with cool violin and keyboards and more magisterial bass.
They then made a bit like The Doors on Love's Inferno with its repeated lyrics about how no one gets out alive, it sounds like it will grow on me after a good few listens.
I wasn't certain if Master Of Destruction was about how Jamie see's his dad or more about the idiots running the world right now as that was the one song Jamie sang. Before they tipped there hats to Suzi Quatro on 48 Crash which despite the name check and matching title wasn't a cover version.
They closed the set with the overtly political and very much of our times War Plan Red that should be a rallying call to all of us who oppose the madness of our current world leaders and want to live in a far saner and safer world. It's a great song and really should be played on the radio on heavy rotation a great set closer too.
Of course they got a well deserved encore and came back and Peter dedicated the first song of the encore to his old friend and email buddy Patti Palladin who these days is I believe a sculptress rather than a singer, I Want Your Dreams seemed a perfect song for Patti and sounded out there enough for her.
They then brought the house down with Another Girl Another Planet that everyone sang along too generally with big grins on all of our faces before they closed with The Beast that sounded every bit as edgy as it should and did the job of making most of us leave wanting to hear more and to get Peter's new album when it comes out later this week.