The Rezillos at The Brook, Southampton 8.2.20

I’ve had a bit of a Winter break…three casual pub gigs since the end of December and now I’m back on it. Been looking forward to this…The Rezillos at the Brook, Portswood, Southampton.

The Brook

I haven’t been here since January last year. Instant feeling of guilt and wondering… why not? I don’t know. Possibly the travel…. 1.5 miles south of Southampton Parkway station with some seriously big roads to contend with on foot or 2.5 miles north of Southampton Central Station. The Brook website gives all the detail you need for an innovative combination of public transport and taxis…but I just drive here. Free on street parking is available. for travel and other detail.

What a great place. Unusual balcony with upstairs bar and great view from any early grabbed seat. The upper floor has a huge overhang to almost get you on the stage.

Balcony view of support band The Flying Alexanders

I’ve seen several acts here since moving to the south coast in 2003, but not loads – Undertones, a Men They Couldn’t Hang duo, The Rifles, Ben Montague, Steve Diggle, Secret Affair and Absolute Bowie (this place is generally tribute paradise).

Capacity of 550, this is a ‘hollowed out’ big suburban public house. One new addition I noticed was the Pieminister pie counter, just on the left on entry.

The Flying Alexanders (support)

Jon Sansom – Flying Alexanders – The Brook

The name sounded familiar. I think I’ve seen this Southampton band before, supporting The Stranglers, having Googled.

They’re good – a mix of Clash, Jam, Ruts sounds, without the band looking like any of them. About six songs in all. Impressed.

Rezillos Retro

The band formed in 1976 in Edinburgh. Fun, visual, cartoon sci-fi imagery, mixed with 50s rock ‘n’ roll and post-punk pop. A lot of songs conjure up thoughts of Lost in Space and B-movies with Martians in. (I’m sporting my ‘Flying Saucer Attack’ Rezillos t-shirt tonight.)

There is a bit of a B-52s feel. When they started there were the two girls, ‘Fay Fife’ and ‘Gayle Warning’ (!), no, not their real names. Fashion design students – Fay still has it – look at her gear later.

I was first aware of the Rezillos when most were – Top of the Pops 1978 – the programme and the song, which got to number 17 in the charts, back when we listened to the chart show on little radios at school and were bothered, and didn’t realise it was fiddled.

Top of the Pops on TOTP:

After their initial burst, which included ‘Destination Venus’ (Number 43 pop-pickers), and the first album ‘Can’t Stand the Rezillos’, they disappeared from my radar. They split up and a reformed ‘Revillos’ returned in 1979 with ‘Motorbike Beat’ getting to number 45 in 1980…I seem to have got hooked on the chart thing now but that was pretty much it on the hits front until…..

In 2002 a film Jackass: The Movie included The Rezillos
cover versionĀ of “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight”, a Fleetwood Mac song. This is what most would know them by outside the UK.

The Rezillos’ version:

The Rezillos got re-started in 2001 and next Rezillos album, ‘Zero’, wasn’t until 2015. There’s a live album and a few Revillos albums in between.

Previous Gigs

I didn’t see the Rezillos live until March 2015 when they supported The Stranglers at Portsmouth Guildhall. We (+Sally S) were late – some foot injury – and just caught three last songs, including ‘Top of the Pops’.

Next was Thekla, Bristol – the moored ship – September 2018. That was a cracker. Department S were supporting. I turned up with mate Dave P about 8.15pm and we asked the merch man what time Department S were on…they’d played and gone ashore. (It was one of those gigs where they chuck the old people out early and open a night club for youth afterwards.)

That night was announced as a last one for the then Rezillos guitarist and his place was subsequently Philled by Phil Thompson who is with The Rezillos on tour currently.

I finally caught up with Department S at the February 2019 Great British Alternative Music Festival at Butlins, Minehead, where I was down the front for another great, but shorter, Rezillos set. I was keen to see them again after that and here I am.

The Rezillos – live tonight

The Brook, Southampton 8.2.20

A great up-close place to see the animated performance of The Rezillos. Fay Fife leaning over the audience, staring and facially expressive, performing mime while singing and Eugene darting to and fro with guitar, saxophone, x-ray spex and a cheeky smile.

Eugene Reynolds on stage at The Brook 8.2.20
Fay Fife – The Brook 8.2.20

They open with ‘Destination Venus’. Great start. There are several large quiffs in tonight. I can see one particularly enormous one twitching away.

Phil Thompson and Fay Fife

New guitarist Phil Thompson is up front and central to a lot of the songs, with Fay and Eugene dancing around and generally teasing him at his central riffs.

The set list was stuck on one of the stage amps as a spoiler for those with good eyesight or a zoom.

Tonight’s set list

‘Head kicked in’ was an air puncher – I must listen to the Fleetwood Mac version – and ‘Top of the Pops’ the obvious highlight. Their best song though, I thought, was ‘My Baby Does Good Sculptures’ and that was saved until near the end.

The saxophone got a full outing for the instrumental ‘20,000 Rezillos Under the Sea’ of course.

An enthusiastic Saturday night crowd squeezed out a second encore, not on the set list: a full-on Fay Fife cover of ‘River Deep Mountain High’.

That’s it – the show’s over – see you at Butlins

Published by ivaninblack

Still wild about live music - bands - gigs - festivals - after 42 years at it. All photos have been snapped by me or I will point out otherwise - I'll even own up to any blurry mobile phone ones. If gigaholic is a phrase then in recent years I think I've become one.

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