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Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Ramonas - ABC2 - 18/12/10 (Glasgow)

It's the Battle of the tribute bands tonight in Glasgow's ABC.
In the much larger ABC1 some guys are channelling Jim Morrison and the music of the Doors to a fairly large crowd while I'm tucked away in the smaller ABC2 to see The Ramonas - an all girl Ramones tribute act - doing their gabba gabba hey thang.
The road that led me to this night started about six months ago when I bought a Batusis ticket and scurried off home all a tremble about seeing Cheetah Chrome and Sylvain Sylvain in a small club.
My excitement was rather short lived though. as the news of the tour needing to be rescheduled, and then ultimately cancelled, came soon after.
So ticket in hand I returned to the venue for a refund, but instead found myself having to exchange it for another show.
I looked down the list of indie bands, disco divas, hardcore metal bands and virtually wept.
The Ramonas were the only band there that came close to tickling my fancy.
I'm not even overly keen on tribute bands as a rule, but I will occasionally make an exception if they are bringing something different to the mix, or the band they are emulating are all dead and I quite fancy hearing their music getting a live outing.
So I guess with The Ramonas I was already half way there and I reluctantly took a ticket for them in exchange for my Batusis one.
I've seen them before when Claire of AntiProduct, now Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg, fronted them. So I sort of knew what I was in for, but there is no escaping the fact that I had swapped a ticket for a show featuring a couple of living legends of punk for a band singing the songs of legends.
At the time it smacked of a “when life throws you lemons sometimes you end up with the juice rubbed into your eye” scenario.
Bit crap, Huh?
Unusually for me I'm giving the support bands a body-swerve tonight.
I'd given as many of them as I could a listen on myspace prior to the show, and to say I was underwhelmed would be an exaggeration. Some of them aspire to levels of shite but are a fair bit off achieving it.
Recently it would seem that the support bands at the ABC2 appear to have more to do with swelling the crowd by dint of bringing their mates, rather than any attempt to provide entertainment that would broadly appeal those who are there to see the top of the bill act.
Basically the hanging around bored to tears while paying over the odds for a pint to dull the pain just didn't rock my boat. So instead we went for something to eat across the road and tried to time it so that we managed to catch the Ramonas.
Unfortunately we misjudged the time and arrived as “Audio Driver” took to the stage.
Now think about that a minute. “Audio Driver”. Type that into a google search and where do you think the band will get a mention?
Probably around about the 1615245367237287 page of info on audio drivers for pcs.
It's the equivalent of hiding a needle in a pile of needles in a needle factory.
They weren't actually that bad musically and the front man can sing, but they had zero stage presence, and doing a cover of Southpark's “Chocolate Salty Balls” is really something that should be kept for a practice jam or an encore for a laugh. and not squeezed in mid-set.
There was more wrong with them than right and the annoying thing is it was all very basic stuff that can be fixed. There's a good band in there bursting to get out, but I'm not sure if they have the imagination to set the band free.
Thankfully the set is short and The Ramonas are more than up to the task of making us forget what has preceded them.

Starting with R.A.M.O.N.E.S. they hit the ground running and didn't let up over the course of twenty six Ramones classics.
It's not an exact replication of the Ramones live as the guitar playing is a bit more shaded than Johnny's ever was. More power thrashing Johnny with the added bonus of some Daniel Rey flourishes.
As a bit of a hardcore fan of the Ramones I can honestly say that these girls do their heroes justice.
The real deal aren't about now so this is the closest that anyone is going to get, and you will have to take my word for that.
It's all about the attitude and these girls have it in spades. When they play there's no messing about, and with a 1,2,3,4, they are as relentlessly bludgeoning as the Ramones were.
There's nothing thrown in from leftfield from them. No surprises. No taking of a modern pop song to sing in the style of “the brudders” or even the inclusion of a track that would be unfamiliar to anyone who only has a best of collection.
Instead it's a run through of all the big well known tracks that never disappoint.
Not bad at all.
I guess that now in the cold light of day and with the benefit of hindsight I'm glad I went. Not as happy as I would have been if it had been the Batusis, but happy enough none the less.
I mean, c'mon. There's always time for the Ramones, even if its the Ramones by the Ramonas.

1 comment:

  1. Have to say I agree with the confusion at seing "indie bands, disco divas and hardcore metal" bands on the support band lineup, but did you get round to checking out Semtex? We were the only band that suited the headline act - We are a punk band that were formed because of the Ramones and we try and keep the ramones alive in our music. We certainly were not one of the bands there just to make up crowd numbers. We were there through love of punk rock and love of the Ramones and what thanks do we get, Sweet FA.

    check us out on you mite actually like us!

    Gabba Gabba Hey!