Archive for the ‘Cramps’ Category

The Police Newcastle Mayfair 14 June 1979

The Police Newcastle Mayfair 14 June 1979
policetixmayfair The next time I saw The Police was at Newcastle Mayfair. By then they had hit the charts with Can’t Stand Losing You, So Lonely and Roxanne, and had built up a strong following. They were on the brink of the mega-stardom which was to follow, starting later that year when they hit No 1 in the UK with Message in a Bottle and Walking on the Moon. I was spoilt for choice this night. Dire Straits were playing the City Hall, and The Police at the Mayfair. Which gig to go to? Well I tried to go to both, as I often did in those days. So my mate and I saw Dire Straits at the City Hall, and then raced down to the Mayfair for the Police. I’ve already written about the Dire Straits gig which was sold out and great; this was the first time they had played the City Hall and it was at the time of Sultans of Swing. policeprog For once the timings worked. We arrived at the Mayfair in time for the Police’s set having missed support acts The Cramps and Bobby Henry. The Mayfair was packed, and the Police were just great. Sting was on top form and was getting heavily into his Yo..Yo..Yo.. reggae cum jazz / scat singing at the time. It was very clear that this band was much more than a punk band, and were a great pop act. I always found it strange going into a gig late. Its like arriving at a party where everyone has been drinking all night and you come along sober. When we entered the Mayfair it was packed, hot, sweaty and the Police were just coming on stage. Sting was wearing his boiler suit, Andy was chopping out some great guitar rhythms and Stewart was at the back pounding away on his drums. A great night. The next time I saw the Police was when they returned to play two triumphant shows at the City Hall.

The Cramps Newcastle Mayfair March 1986

The Cramps Newcastle Mayfair March 1986
When I was very young, around 10 years old, I discovered horror movies and a magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland. I loved the classic 30s horror movies: Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, and was fascinated by zombies, ghouls, the creature from the black lagoon. Through my teens I bought Famous Monsters from Filmland regularly, and saw as many 30s, 40s, and 50s horror and scifi films as I could on TV or at the cinema (which was sometimes difficult as many were X rated, which meant that you had to be 16 to see them). Why I am telling you this in a post about The Cramps? Simple. The Cramps blended together several of my favourite things: a love of gothic horror, the bizarre, scifi, surf music, garage, and rockabilly. They came out of the New York punk scene, and are often credited with starting the psychobilly genre. Looking through the pages of the programme from this gig reminds me how great this band were. The programme is crammed with images taken from B movies and features the 1985 movie Return of the Living Dead, for which The Cramps wrote a song “Surfing Dead”. The Cramps were at their peak of popularity on this, their 1986 world tour. The tour took in several nights at Hammersmith Palais and a few nights at Hammersmith Odeon, as well as gigs around the country, including this North East gig at Newcastle Mayfair. They were fronted by singer Lux Interior and guitarist Poison Ivy. I went to the gig with my mate Dave, and it was a load of fun. The show was totally wild and wacky, quite similar in many ways to The B-52s, but much crazier. Lux Interior was totally wild on stage; I can picture him now, crawling all over the top of the speaker cabs, stripping off at the same time. The guy had no fear; think of Iggy Pop at his wildest times 10. The place was packed, and the crowd lapped it up. The Cramps continued throughout the 90s, and split only when Luz Interior passed away in 2009.