Always a pleasure to catch up with Nick, Guy and Arturo. 999 have been a musical mainstay of my life for over 30 years now. Tonight as we entered the upstairs part of the Waterfront venue I spied Nick to my right setting up the merchandise stand. Initially, he was a bit huffy, but that was because someone had spilt their pint across the table that he was laying stuff out on. The other members picked us out and said hi as we moved towards the stage. That evening my nose was something of a talking point as two days before I had collided with a glass door in a Prague hotel that had left me with a deep horseshoe-shaped cut across the bridge of my nose. What an idiot!
First up were The Vibrators of which Eddie is the only original member. Now performing as a three piece, the line-up included guitarist Nigel Bennett, on loan from The Members. In recognition of this we were treated to a rendition of the timeless ‘Sound of the Suburbs’. The set was a mixture of old and new of which I have to say I was only familiar with the old, ‘Judy Says (Knock You In The Head)’, ‘Baby Baby’, ‘Automatic Lover’ and my favourite song, ‘Disco in Moscow’. Whilst I have seen them on numerous occasions in pubs and at punk festivals they have never really grabbed me, nevertheless they delivered their set with energy and passion, something that I would say is not so easy to do in front of a quiet, midweek Norwich audience.
Eddie of The Vibrators behind the kit
Mo and Eddie.
And so to 999. For a man who has been in rock 'n' roll for as long as Nick Cash has... he was with Ian Dury (Kilburn and the Highroads) back in '72, he carries out his duties with 999 with remarkable zest and energy. Often dismissed as scene band-wagoners (an unfair accusation in my opinion) it is undeniable that they wrote some songs that are classics of the punk genre...... 'Emergency', 'Nasty Nasty', 'I'm Alive' and of course the irrepressible 'Homicide' and they were all belted out on the night. I tell you when I get smacked in the face with the sponge of Nick's microphone for a response to 'Feelin' Alight with the Crew' I feel right at home! Wonderful stuff.
A Lurker in out midst.
Arturo and Mo.
Mo, Guy and Gunta.
Nick and Mo.