The Fuzztones -
The Garage,
Highbury, London
1st May 2003.
Set List:
I never knew
In Heat
Johnson in Headlock
Out of our tree
Ward 81
Hallucination Generation
9 Months Later
Wristwatch Band
Be Forewarned
They're gonna take you...
Heathen Set
Get Naked
Highway 69
The Face Of Time
My Brother The Man
Don't Blow
She's Wicked

Bad News Travels Fast
Whatever Happened to Baby Jesus

A special 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 elsewhere'.

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 notice:

No 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 released ANYTHING.

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 like tonights.

Rudi, if you are reading this.....YOU GUYS ROCK, COME BACK SOON.

News just in from Dave's Yahoo Group:

Actually, here's the short version. I'm sure Rudi will give us the details in a couple of days.

A 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.


words: pOoTer
pics: pOoTer

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