Wasted Youth: the Lexington – live review

Wasted Youth
The Lexington, London   
Feb & April 2022

Ged Babey missed both recent 40 years on, reunion gigs in London but his friend Andy Blade (from Eater, solo artist and author) didn’t.  So, in a ‘was the reviewer actually even there?’ type scenario here is a second hand conversational account of both Wasted Youth gigs as a preview of them supporting Psychedelic Furs on tour, starting at the Royal Albert Hall tonight, 5 April 2022    

(Day after the February gig)

Andy Blade: I thought I might see you last night, Wasted Youth were fucking great! Ken Scott’s new ‘Peter Cushing’ look is the best rehabilitated frontman look EVER! He was boss. Rocco was on a bit of a star trip, and very pissed. He fucked the set up a bit, but was every inch the rock star. They’re pretty good foils for each other.

I hadn’t intended going, it was only a last minute thing, my expectations were low. So a nice surprise on all fronts.

Ged Babey: I’ve seen bassist TC described as,”the coolest bassplayer ever” online. A striking woman (and of course the mother of Rocco’s children). Having a glamorous woman in Wasted Youth fits their whole schtick doesn’t it?

TC is definitely a bonus, a ‘chick bassist’ is sometimes a crucial lure for a band, but in this case, doesn’t change the focus. it really is all about Ken and Rocco – the survivors. Thee Hypnotics guitarist and the drummer – the ‘youngsters’ – are great and did well to hold the songs together, with the ‘technical issues’ Rocco was facing!

(Day after 2 April gig)

This one was a lot tighter & Ken seemed happier with no drinking before stage time rule, a sensible decision.

Ken Scott seems to cut quite a striking figure, despite the walking stick and a hat, Wasted Youth: the Lexington – live reviewpresumably hiding a lack of hair (Wasted Youth always had ‘great hair’)

Ken has real presence, that I found mostly absent in during the hair days – the fact he has the walking stick adds to his slightly ghoulish presence. Because it is so un rock n roll it makes it much more rock n roll than trying to be a rock god. He never took his hat off during the first gig, so I didn’t even consider the ‘bald’ thing, it didn’t seem to matter. Last night he removed his hat for a few seconds, and lo and behold, no hair, but again, because he’s not doing the ‘goth hair rock star’ thing, it just makes him more enigmatic.

Any particular songs stand-out?

Paris, France & Housewife, for sure. Classics. Paris, France is one of the all-time great rock n roll singles. My Friends are Dead was quite poignant, with half the band having met early deaths, compounded by a long list of ‘friends of the band’ all of whom Ken, pastor like, dedicated the song to. I suspect some of the audience, by the look of them, imagined they were at a kind of Goth-memorial service.

Was Rocco a bit less intoxicated this time?

He was 3000% better. I would even say professional. The difference was huge. But I’ve been there… all that waiting around before a gig, what else to do?

Being blown away by them this time round has virtually nothing to do with any other time I’d seen them in the ’80s. It’s a different, much more interesting proposition: the juxtaposition of an enigmatic, out of place, but perfectly in place, Peter Cushing fronting a slightly gloomy but glamorous rock band, complete with ready-made classics… it’s almost a piece of theatre.

I wouldn’t normally go to see a band twice in a decade, let alone the same band in two months (with all the fucking train hassle especially). That says a lot to me, as in – this is quite special (whilst it lasts).

How will they do on bigger stages supporting the Furs?

I think they’re perfect for a big stage, and I can’t think of a more suitable band to play with The Furs. I’m pretty sure most Furs fans would be au fait with Wasted Youth, and if they not, they have a treat in store.

Andy Blade was speaking to Ged Babey.

Photos by Laurence Harvey.

YouTube video nicked without permission – many thanks to 2XTANZ for filming

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.

2 COMMENTS

  1. coincidentally, the only time i managed to see Wasted Youth in the 80’s, they were support band for the Psychedelic Furs’ Talk Talk Talk tour at St Andrews Uni

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