The Professionals, Archive 45 – the (New) Talking Heads, Southampton 18/3/2016
After spending all day writing a review of this gig I’ve deleted the lot…because it was all pretentious bollocks.
Bollocks about Punk-dot-London being absolute bollocks. Bollocks about Joe Corre and what a knob he is. Bollocks about how the Professionals were not the Sex Pistols and not as good as the Heartbreakers….
Then there was the typical anecdote about the time Ian and I met Paul Cook and Paul Myers when they played with Subway Sect in Brighton…. name-dropping bollocks.
Promotional bollocks about how the Talking Heads has moved onto the site of the former Polygon Club and Maple Leaf and remarkably has kept its friendly, laidback ambiance and low beer prices.
I didn’t bother with the bollocks about Steve Jones absence as that has been covered…
All that there is to say really is that this was a absolutely brilliant gig for lovers of old-school, no-nonsense punk rock’n’roll. Big guitars, catchy songs played well with …some bollocks!
Opening with arguably their best song ‘Just Another Dream’, the Professionals were perfection. The fact they haven’t slogged around the world playing for years mean that they retain a freshness. Paul Cook is lean and keen and a great drummer. Myers is a handsome bugger and cool bassist. Ray McVeigh looks like the white-bearded George Best of the 1990’s but plays the part of the guitar hero to the max. Singer Tom Spencer, a hit with ladies of a certain age before he’d opened his mouth, got on with the job in hand with no fuss and none of the ludicrous ‘Hello Southampton’ crowd-pandering which you might’ve expected.
This was just a great, down-to-earth, no-nonsense rock’n’roll band playing to an appreciative crowd. Their material not being that well-known by everyone did mean it sagged a bit mid-set but a rousing Silly Thing was rapturously recieved as was a great cover of Suspicious Minds which lead to a stage invasion and mass singalong. The charge was led by the Pompey crew including members of support act Archive 45 – who had provided a flawless set earlier in the night.
And that is it – a pretty bollocks review really of an extraordinarily good night.
There is so much 24-carat bollocks being talked online and off about Punk at 40, 40th Anniversary Tours and so on ad infinitum that it was just good to see a great band play cool music, enjoy it and realise that at the heart of it … it’s only Rock’n’Roll ….and I Like It.
(Normal, Pretentious Journalisty, Service Will Probably Be Resumed Shortly )
All words Ged Babey. Pictures by Nixs Watson (top one) and Tel Hibberd (stage invasion)