Clam Abuse / Tyla / Sack Trick

Dudley JBs

August 4 1999

I wasn't actually going to write a review of this gig, I mean, who needs it. But then when I got home last night, last night being the night of this gig as I type this, I'd received another fan luuuurve letter about my reviews. And so it inspired me that yes, YES, people want to read this shit. Lovely.

Nah, I was always going to write the review. Just playing with your playables that's all. Especially going to write it when I found out a couple of days before as the Sack Trick interview was finally finished (cheap plug - it's going to be in the next issue #11 of YAZ. Which is a bit of a cracker I reckon, and so does the adoring fan above!) that ST were playing. Now, not sure exactly WHO was in ST tonight. Chris is there as ever, in the dungarees, wooly hat and swimming goggles, and Robin "on hire from Rachel Stamp" Guy is on drums. But there was also two guitarists tonight, one dressed something like Minnie Mouse, the other like one of the Beano cartoon characters - damn I forgot which one now. It's quite a sight. And to the taped Kiss intro, they pour into Perfect Today. The emphasis is squarely on fun. There's 3 Kiss cover tunes in tonight, well they are doing a Kiss covers album, more details in that there interview. So there's Dr Love, Love Gun and the set closer of Detroit Rock City. Never been a fan of Kiss myself, but hey, the version of Love Gun sounds absolutely superb. Hiring Camels as ever is fun "Kerrang! called that a filler. Only today. A filler today, tomorrow it'll be something different, you know how it is" in reference to the mighty K! finally reviewing the album, only a year after it was initially released. I Play Bass almost falls apart as Chris is laughing so much, and there even appear to be grins on some faces in the crowd. I'm going out on a limb here maybe, but I reckon Sack Trick actually just about snuck the honours tonight from under the noses of the clamsters.

Never been a fan of Tyla and the Dog's D'Amour, so what can I say. A one man sort of acoustic runthrough of a number of old standards, and finishing with a new track called Little Boy Blue if I remember correctly. It sounded ok at the start, but unfamiliarity on my behalf, and the lack of variety that one man and his guitar is going to face means that I find myself longing for the end. But, to be fair, I looked like I was in a minority of one, because the man had people eating out of his hand, and given half a chance, probably drinking out of his cup. "I'll be back next year with a band called the Dogs D'Amour" he promises. Ok.

Clam Abuse. Yeah. It's fun, definitely. It's good time lurrrrve fest. Plenty of banter between the Clam Abusers and a few tunes in there as well. Message To Geri is annoying. You kind of feel you want to hate it on a point of principle, you know, "me neanderthal, you pop song". But it sticks in the mind, and try as you might to surpress the melody and chorus, you fail. From there in it's high fiving, back slapping, crowd engaging run through of the album. Plus of course a few surprise snippets. You get some Status Quo, we end up with a touch the Nirvana's. There's behind the head one on one guitar duels and swipes at accents and various other things. In fact it's all a bit surreal at times. There's the guest appearance for the Country and Western of Unlucky In Love, Tyla ambles on during Sky Chaser High, and Beautiful Thing You is there, something I never thought I'd hear live. It's also extremely bloody hot in here, and you want things to be in out and over. So the protracted middle bit where the two warm up blokies come on again playing Ukelayle or however the hell you spell it, and guitar is funny, but unecessary. It breaks the flow of the event, and you find yourself, or at least I do, yearning for them to piss off. As ever, JBs puts the bands on late, at 11pm. Which means that halfway through the set, many people are leaving. Not I doubt cos they hate it, but there's those buses and trains to catch. It really would make a lot more sense to get the timing right. And it's around midnight that they finally strains of "There's Always Someone More Fucked Up Than You" ring out. Clint hammers the microphone into his head, really, because later I did an interview with him, and there's a bit shiny red mark where it hit home. They lurve us and leave us. It's kind of new, though the guitar to backing tape has been done by others, most notably in my mind BlowHoly. It works here in a live setting better than I thought, and could be sustained. Though how many times you'd be able to sit, or stand, through some of the banter is questionable.