SOUND OF THE SUBURBS
Growing up round here, us Bored Teenagers used to moan, "You always have to go somewhere else" for live music, films or other action. Sandwiched between Richmond & Putney, Sheen always seemed to miss out - the last gig I went to round here was the Edgar Broughton Band playing Progressive Night at the Bull around 1970. So any local action is good news...
The Fallen Leaves presented a real-community based show which drew a happy crowd of all ages & persuasions, all proceeds going to a local hospice. We arrived on a hot muggy night to find the gig surrounded by a pulsating mass of kids & parents, tucking into barbies & picnics. The venue was probably one of the more unusual in Mudkiss terms - traditional local social club (which meant cheap bar, yay!), and an atmosphere somewhere between school fete & post wedding party. All very different to the same time last week, when we wandered the dank sweaty chav-filled tunnels of Shunt.
We missed opening act Superhans. Next up were local kids the Seen, with an ambitious range of covers, taking in "Ever Fallen in Love...", "99 Red Ballooons" & "I Predict a Riot" along the way.
When the Leaves came on, they delivered their trademark sharp-edged, punchy garage sound - playing a similar set-list to last time at the Parliament Club, very tight musically, & the low-ceilinged room ideally suited to their compact sound & Rob Symmons' guitar flourishes. Stand-outs were "Seven Years", "Happy Times", "Charity Girl", "Repetition," & "Revenge", before concluding with a really rousing version of "Trouble."
The night was always more about the cause & the vibe than a hardcore music scene. Many kids were clearly getting their first taste of the joys of a loud electric guitar, mums & grans waved their glow-sticks, while the teenagers tried to fit in a sneaky drink or two. After the Leaves finished, the wedding knees-up vibe was completed by the DJ doing a real Rip van Winkle & hitting us with such up to the minute delights as Black Box "Ride on time," S Express, Technotronic & the like, perfectly summed up by the teenage girl I overheard on the way out, "Oh my God, I hope my Dad isn't dancing..."
Fallen Leaves:- Robert Green (gtr/vocals), Robert Symmons (gtr/vocals), Ian O'Sullivan (drums), Matthew Karas (bass).
Next gig - Parliament Club, Ladbroke Grove - with Proxy Music, July 18th.
Review by Den
Photos by Jane