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BUDGIE Kings Head,Fulham,London
18 December 2003
Well, after not visiting the capital in nigh on twenty years, the
Welsh trio have now made the trip up the M4 three times in twelve
months and an amazing twice in 2 weeks! It was therefore perhaps a
little unsurprising that after playing a storming gig at the Mean
Fiddler on December 5th, their rapid return in the midst of the
festive season meant that the attendance for this particular gig was
not all that great with maybe a 100 or so folks filling out the Kings
Head in Fulham.
I timed my arrival so as to miss the support act, a band fronted by
ex-Hangnail shouter Harry Armstrong, but unfortunately got there in
time to endure their closing number. I never liked Hangnail as they
played the sort of characterless post-grunge rock that filled the
pages of Kerrang! in the mid nineties and which forced me to look
abroad for decent music. This lot were even worse. Harry's distressed
guitar wailed and produced the sort of sounds which might have been
original around the time of Hendrix, yet seems rather out of place in
these times. Absolutely ghastly!
After a short break, Budgie hit the stage and one was transported
back 20 years or so in time, to an age where musicianship and
musicality were considered more important than image. However time
has not taken the edge off these guys and they produced an awesome
set of old classics which were heavy yet soulful, bluesy yet made you
want to dance. Burke Shelley still has the voice and pounds away on
his bass, backed by Steve Williams on drums, while new axe slinger
Simon Lees(??) plays his heart out, whether riffing or delivering yet
another melodic bluesy solo.
The set seemed very similar to that which the band played when I saw
them in January, with only a few song titles sticking in my head,
including `In For The Kill' and `Nude Disintigrating Parachutist
Woman'. Of course they had to return for an encore, playing a medley
of much older material including my favourite song of
theirs, `Parents' coupled with `Breadfan', both from the 1973's
excellent `Never Turn Your Back on a Friend' disk. Much of the
material played can be found on their current `Live in San Antonio'
It was an excellent 90 minutes of classic rock music from a band who
are very much a live act once again. It was a shame that Lars and the
Metallica crew, (in town to play Earls Court this weekend), couldn't
find the time to pop down to Fulham to see them play.
Review: Charlie Farrell