Just after teatime, Christopher called to say Merseyrail trains weren't running. They were probably overwhelmed by the enormous amount of rain. After a few minutes, he came back, just as Matthew and I were arranging a taxi to take us to our event, so we took Christopher with us. The taxi driver didn't seem to know where he was going. Aren't they supposed to know their area reasonably well? Anyway, in the end we got to Pacific Road at Woodside.
We arrived nearly an hour before the event, seeing as we wanted to get Chris to his youth group only a bit late, so there was scarcely anyone around, but Matthew an I ha a look around. I'd never been to Pacific Road before. It has a concrete tiled floor and looks like it was a warehouse in the old days.
Just on eight o'clock, "The Dead Class" came on stage an assaulted our eardrums with possibly the worst set I have *ever* had the misfortune to hear. Their drummer was the only member of the band to show any promise, and I would say he seriously needs to find somebody better to play with. The best moment (apart from the end of the set) was the guitarist saying "Our CD is on sale from the people over there selling stuff. This next song is called Sucker."
The Twisted Cabaret was next, a very weird collection of female burlesque performers. The MC, Kitten on the Keys, presented a number of piano songs laden with double entendre, punctuated by two other acts, both strippers who did not contravene decency laws. I've never seen a stripper on stilts before...
A short break and then The Damned came on. "Thank you for the music" brought them on stage and they launched straight into it. I'm not so familiar with their later material, so I'm a bit vague about what some of the songs were. The keyboard player was walking off after the first song after a glass or something had been thrown at him, also taking out the keyboards. The roadies got it working again, and after a couple of minutes, he came back. The Captain made it quite clear that he was not happy with this sort of behaviour, and the band carried on.
There was no mistaking the charismatic position of both Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian, the two original band members. The Captain pretty much kept to his place on the left of the stage, but Dave Vanian and his large metal microphone kept moving across the stage the whole night.
Suddenly, the whole place came alive as the rumbling bass introduced Neat Neat Neat. Hearing that song played made the admission price worthwhile, and when we got New Rose a few minutes later, I was even more delighted. OTOH, I would have been surprised if it hadn't been played at all. All the songs they might be expected to play were there, though you could be sure of a couple of encores when they went off with both "Smash It Up" and "Love Song" both unplayed. Not surprisingly, they both featured as encores. As seems to be the standard these days, the Captain offers a choice of "Happy Talk" or "Smash It Up", the result of which is a foregone conclusion. But a set of well over an hour, with a very well pleased audience and a band that is celebrating 30 years makes for a good night. By the time we stepped out and up to Hamilton Square, the trains were running again. Good for them! It also meant we were home at a decent sort of hour.
And now I'm only just over a day behind, another busy day, possibly to be described when I've composed this year's Christmas newsletter. There are not enough hours in a day, especially for people like us.