Walking into the Leamington Assembly Rooms was an odd experience this time, said my name on the door and could see only 3 names with e tickets on the list, upstairs to the bar, 4 people milling around and no queue, into the venue itself and it was dark with no one in there.
Was I mega early, no, not at all, doors opened at 7:00, I got there at 8:00, no one else did. So a bit of milling about was called for and people started drifting in, but let me emphasise, slowly.
However that was a shame, because what was to come was a good night indeed. After quite a while on came Pint Shot Riot, reasonable indie band, playing to the 25 or so people who had now gathered. Great stage presence from the front man, keen to gauge reaction of new songs, he could have asked us individually really. For me the song (presumably called) Breakdown was stand out, but the songs did nothing really to stand out from the crowd. Pretty good enthused indie rock. Rough count is 40 here now, it's very sparse. The tunes while we wait a good selection of Clash tunes to get people in the mood. A quick audience watch reveals a cowboy hat, vivid red died hair mom dragging round her lad, funny bobble hat, no one under 40 except for the lad, some stand out stand up hair (which may just be hair envy on my part). A potter to the merchandise stall shows it to be unmanned and just support band merch of which there is a signed album, unsold, t-shirts unsold, free cd singles, 'please take one' the chap standing near the stall says, 'nothing to do with me but I have been asked to try to clear them, in fact there's 2 different ones take a couple each for friends.' So I did. To be polite...... On came the blokes of Bow Wow Wow a quick instrumental and drew us in. The drums set things apart from the first beat, the Burundi drums inherited from the ex ants (as original drummer isn't with Bow Wow Wow) are incredibly fresh sounding. 'Where is she?' was the call and then on came Annabella Lwin, she's filled out a little at 45 but the voice and energy were undiminished from 30 years ago.
Annabella drew everyone closer to the the stage and launched into her set, her first song showed that there were a few die hard dancers such as Whip it (with the cowboy hat) and the big fish little fish cardboard box man, who was so impressive he got to high 5 Annabella. This would have been more impressive if he hadn't missed then injured her hand. The passion in the songs came thick and fast, no bum songs with Annabella whirling and chatting throughout. Not bad for a 45 year old, sorry in hind sight phenominal for a 45 year old, loved it! She had so much energy and passion for the gig, backed by the original bassist (a suitably bald bloke) and 2 glamorous replacements who probably hadn't been born when thetracks were first released. I want candy and C30 C60, C90 go were the highlights for me, but I will be pulling my Bow Wow Wow greatest hits off the shelf to investigate more as the quality of the other songs was superb live, such as afrodisiac. They went off and the small congregation managed to keep up enough noise for the full 5 minutes to warrant a 3 song encore, including another instrumental. Then it was the end and I realised that I had a strained face from having grinned my way through the set, not taking themselves too seriously, drums galore and bringing the small crowd to life made thus gig somewhat special. I did kind of go wild in the country for the night.
Why so few people there? touring one hit wonders from 30 years ago is a challenge, but they could be using social media to drum up support, dull facebook page, no twitter, no show times on line, no website for updates......a staple in the modern day and age, as they had been doing the traditional stuff like Radio interviews.