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Review: 'DIRTY STRANGERS/ HEALTHY JUNKIES/ ELECTRICS'
'London, Kilburn, The Good Ship, 8th July 2017'   


-  Genre: 'Rock'

Our Rating:
This was a very cool night out put on by Peace In The City round the corner from here at The Good Ship on Kilburn High Road.

After a little hoo-ha when our Pizza didn't show up, and a quick visit to Woody's Kebab's on the way, we still managed to sneak in just before Electrics came on to open the evening's music.

Electrics are a standard rock band who are a week or two beyond being young enough to referred to as "up and coming", and the rhythm guitarist is a familiar face even if I don't recall from were. They opened their set with a song about being all right that had some really nifty guitar work and a smirk on its face.

The wry lyrics were a theme throughout the set with nice crunchy guitars on the song about doing it before they paid tribute to a Dead Boy although it wasn't a cover version of another band's theme song.

I liked the old fashioned break up song Somebody I Used To Know. It twisted the knife on the ex just far enough. Keeping on the same theme it was followed by a song about "when I used to be yours" that sounded pretty cool for a standard bar band rock song.

Cold Sweat wasn't a cover but a bit of a withdrawal song if I got it right. That was followed by the really cool Natural Born Killer. You Don't Know Me broke down to feature a couple of verses of Sorrow even if they didn't play the tune to it.

Looking Like The One was a nod that they might have found a new partner and things are getting better with more guitar breaks like these they should anyway. They closed with Leave Me Alone; not the Lou Reed Song but another song about wanting solitude and a bit of peace. It was also a good end to a decent and nice and tight opening set.

It was soon enough time for Healthy Junkies once more who have the band's current drummer back from his bout of the Chicken Pox. That ailment stopped him playing the last time I saw them a few weeks ago.

I think they opened with Trash My Love and with the right drummer they did sound a bit tighter and more powerful than at the Black heart gig with Nina really giving it her all. This Is Not A Suicide sounded as heartfelt and angry as normal and I was also getting a bit transfixed by the graphics on the backdrop that were ever changing throughout the set.

Not certain what came next I'm afraid, but it was about where do we go and was as good and grungy as normal. I think they did If You Talk To Her It's Over next but I'm not sure I was too busy looking at the graphics that were by this point of some disaster scenes that were playing backwards.

Runaway Devil sounded as great as usual with Phil's guitar really helping to ram home the sad story at the song's core. That was followed by Idol? That really flew by us in a whirl of guitars. Some Kinda Girl was next and it's obviously not a cover of the Cockroaches thanks be to the Lord. Instead it was full on and nice and angst-y.

They then did what I have down as Teenager Till I Die which is a sentiment I think many of us get along with as it's about carrying on behaving how you want to at all times which is cool. They then got some guy called Tom up to help them cover The Wipers' D7 in a far less messy fashion than last time. It sounded way cool and was a great way to end another cool Healthy Junkies set, they are always worth seeing.

Then it was time for The Dirty Strangers current line-up to begin with a false start of an intro to Danger First as they sorted out a couple of things and Danny Fury got properly seated at his drum kit. Then they were off with a full on blast of Stones-y rock and roll. Running Slow was anything but slow as they ran through it like it was meant to be a sprint.

Alan Clayton then name-checked Bo Diddley as they stomped onto a classic Bo Diddley beat for Liberty Smile and who doesn't like a tune on that beat? Well maybe the odd T T T T'Troublemaker wouldn't but as they are singing about him even he'll be happy and rocking along with them.

They then went back to their debut album from 1987 for Easy To Please. That really did have that Stones-style sound, down and dirty rock and roll thing going on even if it was a little ragged round the edges as it was the first time they'd played it for 15 (or was it 16) years and were playing it at the request of a fan who had travelled from France for this gig.

Well as they had made one fan's Dream Come True it was time for a song of that name of course!! The Crown could almost of been about the pub about a mile up the road that used to host gigs back in the day, but I'm sure it's more about less salubrious things than that and also about his baby of course.

Thankfully we were in no way South Of The River (guv) for South Of The River: a good tale of the wrong side of town. Shake had most of us shaking and the attentive roadies working hard to keep Alan's microphone from Shaking out of place. One Good Reason had some great guitar and Keyboards as the tale at its centre unfolded at lightning speed.

They went back to the debut album for Diamonds: a song which some blokes called Keith Richards and Paul Fox played on the original recording! This is a cool break up song where the Diamonds are the large tears falling from the dumped woman's eyes. Damn, she might need some Stuff to help her recover and the band might need it as the pace they are playing at they need something to keep this energy up.

We all love some Bad Girls and songs celebrating them and their ways are always good. Although you should never ask one Are You Satisfied? as you know the inevitable answer will be no even if it's in the form of a storming song like this one.

They then went all proper west London Geezer on us for Gold Cortina: a great song about wanting to own one and what it will do for you once you have that Gold Cortina. It had to be followed by Shepherd's Bush City Limits. It might nick its tune off Ike and Tina but really has a good feel of what the Bush used to be like before it started to gentrify in recent years.

They then closed with the very tongue-in-cheek Bathing Belles also from the debut album about the joys of going to the beach and - as The Stranglers put it - looking at all the peaches and having a fun time . This gig was certainly a fun time, a really well put together bill that was worth way more than the £5 it cost to get in.
  author: simonovitch

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