London Camden Dublin Castle
Polyfest 6 was a particularly poignant occasion as an all-female cast performed the entire X Ray Spex classic debut album, Germfree Adolescents, in sequence over the two days – with side one being performed on the Saturday with side two played on the Sunday.
Standout versions, for me, included the magnificent The Day The World Turned world turned Day-glo and the cult classic I Can’t Do Anything by Christine Sugary Staple who was backed by a star-studded banned including Specials and Fun Boy Three legend Neville Staple.
Fuzzbox did probably the best version I have ever heard of Identity which sounded somewhere between Gary Numan and Devo but with that magnificent Fuzzbox twist . These girls brought the house down.
Another amazing covers came from newcomers Peesh and …The minimalist version of Plastic Bag was truly magnificent and emphasised the brilliant lyrics of Poly Styrene. and then Tara Rez did a tremendous tribute and was backed by bass legend Segs of Ruts DC fame.
The late great Mark E Smith was also paid a tremendous tribute by Ed Blaney who presented a video filmed by Steven Bowden, especially for this monumental occasion. His set was also fabulous and was a tremendous tribute to Poly Styrene.
New band Off Topic did a tremendous medley of tracks from the Germfree album with the lead vocalist sounding like a New Wave version of Janis Joplin.
Bronco another up-and-coming Camden band did an amazing version of Germfree Adolescents which was completely different from the original arrangement proving once and for all that the songs of X Ray Spex transcend the genres and take the repertoire to a new audience.
Other great performances came from Dr and the Medics , The Vapors, J Stapley, the magnificent JC Carrol and Only ones legend John Perry and headliner John Otway who completed the proceedings with a magnificent set that simply took the roof off Dublin Castle.
Another spark of surprise was provided by Steve Etherington of The Rubettes who’s electronic workout of Genetic Engineering was as staggering as his new wave version of Sugar Baby Love.
Knox of The Vibrators also put in a brilliant appearance much to the thrill of a packed Dublin Castle.
Some superb artwork provided by Gaye Black AKA Gaye Advert from the legendary Adverts added an additional dimension to this multimedia presentation that included great cinematic montages projected by Steve Bowden.
Long live the work of Polystyrene, Long live PolyFest !