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London Astoria, Saturday 12 March 2005

Now this event started at 6pm so I’d sadly missed the Damned’s Captain Sensible and his pre-Damned outfit playing a storming set by all accounts. However, I did see Arthur Brown’s first set - a three piece with Brown joined by violin and guitars. The music was very folky and highly enjoyable, with Brown showing he has lost none of his vocal power and menace down the years.

His second set saw the reunion of Kingdom Come (not the Lenny Wolf fronted band of the late 80’s) and this is where I lost the plot completely it has to be said.

For starters Brown was wearing prosthetic breasts and was soon being chased by policeman dressed in white. If that wasn’t bizarre enough we had set of traffic lights chasing a telephone around the stage! As my companion in madness for the night, Charlie Farrell commented the sets looked like they came from children’s TV programme ‘Blue Peter’! The music was well played but did little for me and I was soon watching the crowd that including a lady having her own mind trip and compere for the evening, Howard Marks being chased by a man wearing a pig’s snout.

In between were sets by Lene Lovich, who did a very long song on Count Dracula and his assistant Renfield. A couple of the Pretty Things, who could sadly only do one quick blues number as the night was overrunning and beat poet/lyricist Pete Brown (he wrote and worked with Cream). At the back of the venue, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson was the DJ and played some suitable music for the evening’s event like the Hooters’ ‘All You Zombies’!

The Fire Suite was the evening’s climax with Brown starting off in a double bed (as you do) and yes he did wear his flaming headdress for the all time classic ‘Fire’. This had the audience in rapture and it had to be said the whole set has stood the test of time musically.

Encore time was ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ with various guests coming back onto the stage and making for a fitting, if somewhat chaotic finale. A very strange evening and I think as long as I live I will never witness anything quite so entertaining yet frankly disturbing at the same time.

Review: Jason Ritchie

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