When the band hit the stage, it is actually the guitarist Kerri who first catches the eye, as he is wearing a somewhat scary hat and skull mask. Thankfully, this only lasts a couple of songs and it is a relief to see he has retained his "badger" look dyed hair. As for Jizzy Pearl, whilst like all of us he has aged, he still looks like a great front man and most importantly, still has a great voice. It's power is soon demonstrated on "Tumbleweed" where he manages to scream and shout but keep the tune of the song. Whilst he proclaims during "Yucca Man" that it is "exhausting for old people" he clearly still has loads of energy.
The other great thing about this gig was the reminder of how great the bands song actually are. This is something which originally got lost amongst the promotional hype that surrounded the band at times. Although, that hype did include the excellent stunt of Jizzy infamously tying himself to the Hollywood sign! Songs like "Straight Jacket" and "One More Round" really got the crowd head shaking and dancing. On "Fuel To Run" its sing a long parts saw the crowd joining in and really creating a great atmosphere. This really was a greatest hit set, with the majority of the songs coming from the bands first two albums "Blackout in the Red Room" and "Wasted in America". The title track of the second of these was delivered in an excellent run of songs including the great "Evil Twin".
Not surprisingly, the best was saved to last, with the encore including the brilliant double whammy of "Why Do You Think They Call It Dope" and "Blackout In The Red Room". You will be hard pushed to find two better songs to end a gig and the crowd at The Vault certainly appreciated it. This was the last gig on the current UK Tour, but hopefully the band will return a lot sooner next time. Many people may argue about the merits of the line up, but at the end of the day if you get a gig full of great songs, performed by excellent musicians, moaning seems a little futile and instead you should just enjoy it!
Review by Paul Hastings