Saturday, 1 October 2011
Ian Dury died on 27 March 2000. New Boots and Panties has always been one of my favourite albums - one of those rare 'don't skip a track' ones - and so it seemed only right to go and pay my respects when my good friend Ivan suggested we attend the tribute concert.
The idea was simple: each act would do a couple of their own songs in the first half before returning to perform Dury's songs with The Blockheads in the second. The proceeds from the show would go to Cancer BACUP. The ticket shows some sort of sponsorship from Dr Martens, which seems appropriate.
There were rumours before the show that Joe Strummer and Mick Jones were going to appear together, but in the event only Jones showed along with other contemporaries Glen Matlock, Wreckless Eric and Tom Robinson. The first to get the crowd excited though was Wilko Johnson with his trademark staccato guitar and bug eyes, he brought energy and attacked the songs with everything he had. Chas and Dave also got the crowd nicely warmed up with a cockney sing along before Madness closed the first half.
During the break, a nice lady from Cancer BACUP, who looked like someone's auntie, came on stage to say thank you and a little about their work. However, this being a rock show, someone from the crowd shouted "show us your tits" which completely threw her. Shame.
The second half saw The Blockheads (still tight as a gnat's chuff) performing with all of the above plus a right bunch of herberts including Keith Allen (Blackmail Man), Kathy Burke (Billericay Dickie), Saffron from Republica (Mash it up Harry), Mark Lamarr (Blockheads and stage diving), Kirsty MacColl (Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick) and longtime Blockheads collaborator Phill Jupitus (Reasons to be Cheerful). The finale saw Robbie Williams come on for Sweet Gene Vincent before everyone returned for a riotous Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. It was a joyous night and a fitting tribute to a true original and a national treasure.