GIG: Surfin’ Lungs and The Manges - GIG 1
DATE: January 23rd 2008
VENUE: The Dirty Water Club, Boston Music Venue, Tufnell Park, London
COST: £7 on the door
RATING: Great gig, not so great venue
A cold Friday night in Tufnell Park, London, and the first of 2 gigs over the weekend kicked off at 9.40 in the Dirty Water Club with the first of 3 bands on the set for that night - The Hotlines, a young Brighton Garage band pounding what seemed like seven shades of $*** out of the drum kit! And that’s about all we remember from them!
Second on the bill, the band we had come to see – The Surfin’ Lungs. Dressed in their trademark multicoloured beach shirts, they lost no time plunging into their vast songbook and delivered class songs ranging in age from the time of their first LP release, "Cowabunga", passing through Lets Go To Rockingham, through to the more recent Surf Drags And Rock & Roll through to a new beach song that will feature on their next CD release, with the polish and professionalism that oozes from these Godfathers of UK Surf.
“Hey Bo-Diddley” was sung back by the crowd gathered at the front of the stage, as well as cries of “Holy Guacamole”. Their instrumental, The Godfather, reverberated through the venue, played in tribute to the recently deceased Patrick McGoohan, and Psycho Surfer with shades of Pulp Fiction was just ACE! The Lungs’ recent shows have been outside the UK, playing to Surf festival crowds in Italy and Spain over the last few years, so it was great to be able to see them on home soil again.
The 3rd act had travelled from Italy, from a town not far from Pisa – The Manges. Dressed in burglar-style black and white striped t shirts, this band looked good and their sound did not disappoint. These guys are the Italian Ramones, with all the energy you would expect from a wild punk band but with the voices blended that makes every song sound great. Towards the end of the set, one of their friends got on stage and took the mic and the crowd were jumping so much The Manges did a few more songs before finally leaving the stage just after mid-night.
So the verdict of our night? Well, the music was great but the venue does leave something to be desired. The pillars in the room and the DJ booth make it hard to see the stage from any angle other than from right in front of it and seating is pretty much limited to 5 or 6 booths to one side with sticky tables and hard, worn out bench seats and a few hard wooden chairs dotted around a couple of tables mid way back from the stage, forcing you to stand for the whole time (which can be a pain for a gig that is spread over 3 or more hours!) if you don’t arrive early to bag a seat with your coat!
Many of the music venues we have been to can’t shout about having great toilets, but the ones in this place would have to rank towards the bottom of the pile. I suppose we should have been grateful that one cubicle on the ladies had loo paper!