treat for 2003 was a visit from The Fuzztones from the USA
as these guys had not played over here for around 12 years.
A bunch of Pooterland Crew members went down and met up there
where we also met up with Gray from The Pooterland Lounge
and also Lorna Tiefholz from Past
& Present Records (check
out their awesome psych comps....)..."Hi Lorna!!...."
The Garage in Highbury, London was the place and could not
have been a better venue for The Fuzztones as it is a dark
and dingy club with one of the loudest PA's in London (just
the sort of venue for these dudes...). To top this they had
the legendary Cannibals, one of the UK's famed Garage/trash
bands from the heady days of The Garage Club in Brixton and
also The Clarendon Hotel, West London where they used to tear
it up with bands like The Prisoners, The Milkshakes, The Surfadelics
and The Scientists.
This made tonight extra special as the first time I saw The
Fuzztones was on their first UK visit back in 1985 at Camden
Dingwalls, supported by.......yep, you guessed it...the Cannibals.
Tonight they played a set of Garage classics at breakneck
speed and were brilliant, my memory is rubbish these days
so I cannot recall most of their set but they did do an awesome
version of Strychnine and also The Chob's 'We're Pretty Quick'.
Soon it was the turn of The Fuzztones who since last visiting
our shores have had several personnel changes. These days
it's Rudi Protrudi - Vocals, Guitar & Harp, Deb O'Nair
- Fender Contempo Organ, Gabriel Hammond - Bass, Vocals, Batlord
- Phantom Guitar and vocals. For this visit drummer Andrea
Kusten was temporarily replaced by Romero from Spain who did
a brilliant job and looked like a full time Fuzztone with
his bone necklace!!
The 500 capacity venue was over half full but perhaps surprisingly
not sold out, not for many years had so many mop tops and
beatle boots been assembled in one place at one time with
many members of the crowd sproting Fuzztones t-shirts and
even one guy spotted with the 'Skull & Vox Guitars' Fuzztones
logo tattood on his arm like Rudi's, that shows dedication!!
The band were brilliant playing a mixed set of 'Tones classics,
some mind blowing covers including during the 2nd encore an
obscure Lincoln Street Exit cover 'Whatever Happened To Baby
Jesus' which totally blew away Pooterland scribe BlueMagoo/Sonic
who had started to walk away from the stage thinking the band
were done. This had him right back down the front, screaming
the words along with Rudi and he even managed to score the
set-list off Deb and a guitar pick from Rudi.....tonight the
'Tones made his night and he was grinning from ear to ear.
By the time the set was nearing it's end the band got into
playing some old favourites and the crowd went totally crazy
with the people at the front bouncing around, crashing into
each other and generally going nuts.
Rudi as ever was positively oozing sexual energy and soon
had several girls transfixed as he worked his magic on them,
one was caressing his legs and stroking his guitar and Rudi
bent down several times to kiss her, later describing her
as having 'potential' !!!
Another kissed his guitar and attemted to play with her teeth
briefly. This was the girl he described as a "Satanic
Carly Simon", she responded my pouting her lips and staring
back doe eyed as the 'Tones frontman thrust his guitar at
her, staring her out..............
1-2-5 was introduced as "A Blues song we know" and
saw the crowd going from crazy to insane with arms and legs
flying. I found myself getting slammed into the speaker stack
on several occasions as I tried to photograph the band whilst
getting stamped on and knocked around :-)
One thing which was very dissapointing for a lot of fans was
the total lack of Fuzztones merchandise on sale and in particular
the problem ridden new album 'Salt For Zombies' which had
been supposed to be on sale 'at gigs only' and 'unavailable
Dave's brilliant Fuzztones
Yahoo Group had been keeping us all up to date throughout
the tour with updates on the album and its associated problems
and on the morning of this gig he had posted up the following
thanks to Munich's PRESSWERK for taking the band's money but
not giving them the 2,000 CD's they ordered. Trust me, we'll
hear more about this when the band comes home this weekend!
This was totally bad news as the band would have sold possibly
hundreds of copies at tonight's gig as people had been told
it would be available and had money ready to spend!!
It does sound like there is a serious issue with the company
handling the CD's and reading between the lines it looks allegedly
like there is something underhanded/malicious going on as
the band had paid for 2000 CD's and Presswork so far had not
Keep an eye on Dave's
Yahoo Group for news on this subject as it unfolds, there
will proably be an official statement from the band when they
return home after the weekend.
I really hop these guys come back over soon and do a UK tour,
one London date for these guys is not really enough to satisfy
the Fuzztones Hungry UK fans, especially after a red hot show
Rudi, if you are reading this.....YOU
GUYS ROCK, COME BACK SOON.
News just in from Dave's
here's the short version. I'm sure Rudi will give us the details
in a couple of days.
couple of months ago, Rudi made a deal with a company in Munich,
Germany, named PRESSWERK. He paid to have 2,000 copies of
Salt For Zombies pressed. They were supposed to be ready as
soon as the band came over for the tour, and they weren't.
That's pretty much all I
know right now. Everyone was bummed about it.
Wait til the band gets home...I'm sure we'll hear the gory
details, as well as revised plans
for CD release.