Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Ramones and the celebrating thereof can sometimes be a bittersweet undertaking. The actuality often gets overtaken by the individuals involved or just some kind of clunky revising of what seemed to be the most simple songbook on earth. Not so. There has to be heart, soul and spirit involved and I have to tell you that the songs have seldom sounded better than they did last night.
I knew it would be good but wasn't expecting monumental. And so many songs that you'd never have heard the actual band play. It was something of a pleasure then to go home with my ears ringing to the sound of some seriously joyous noise. These things did more for the memory of the band in this short hour than has been done in a long, long time. They distill the fabric of that ripped denim powerhouse with a genuine passion for rock'n'roll. Not the commodity known as punk rock. This was Riverdales-type good!
And of course there are the credentials...! Any lesser mortal dedicating "Glad To See You Go" to Michael Jackson might have seemed trite. "You're gonna smile, you're gonna laugh". Not half.
So here was that chunky Wild Kingdom guitar tearing it up with a double solid rhythm section. What a joy to hear these cracked off by a real drummer and not some clockwork monkey making short work on the old biscuit tins. I'm not taken to grinning uncontrollably but there was no other way. And the crowd was great. Some old enough to know better but we didn't care because the excitement was back. If you could trap this kind of energy in a jar then we'd be on to something and gas or electricity could go fuck themselves.
And there was a little bit of CB's about the room. Not even the second most salubrious spot in town but a pretty decent venue nonetheless. So I hope that some of you folks will go to Camden tonight and that it turns out to be the blast that Glasgow was. You kids out there in Scandanavia and Spain should be thinking about how to get these guys out to your backyard too because this is an exercise in everything that's positive about what made us what we are.
No cynical, misguided ego trip just a schlepp down memory lane in the company of the greatest pop catalogue on earth. It was always about the music and an hour in the glory of this will reinforce that. I might not have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. Leaving the place, people were heard to say that it was "better than any Ramones show they had ever seen". I'll leave you to draw your own conclusion to that. Murray saw it too so he'll hopefully second this emulsion. My thanks to Daniel Rey, a real gent and one of the great guitar wranglers. Grand to be able to catch up with him again. And as for the upcoming Joey album, Ed Stasium has all the raw material so it'll be coming out in due course. The fact that we'll finally get to hear it being the most important factor in all this.