X-Ray Spex – Live at the Roundhouse London 2008

January 01, 1970

(Future Noise/MVD)




This wonderfully packaged 2 disc set (a cd and a DVD of the
same gig) was, we are to believe, the first X-Ray Spex gig since 1979 (apparently
they reformed In the ‘90s but vocalist Poly Styrene got run over by a fire
truck before they could play any gigs). The digipak is bound with a 24-page
booklet that has lyrics, photos and some excerpts from Poly’s diary in the ‘70s.
The performance shows the band playing to a packed, rabid crowd (3000 people)
on a night in early September 2008 and they sound great. Poly is no longer the
young gal with curly hair and braces, looking now like full-figured mom and
quite smashing in the low cut black skirt with see-through sleeves and a
glittery toque while the rest of the band broke out the nice duds as well (even
the younger, mohawked drummer).


The set begins with, you guessed it, those famous word,
“Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think, OH
BONDAGE UP YOURS!” Poly’s voice doesn’t have quite the same young screech it
did then but that’s ok, it sounds oddly better now (dare I say, mature?) while
Mr. Sax is honking including original bassist Paul Dean (sadly, guitarist Jak Airport
is no long with us). Up next is” Art-i-ficial”, which still has that great
stutter step to it. Elsewhere we get to hear the great “Warrior in Woolworths”,
the classic “I Am a Cliché'”, the catchy “I Am a Poseur”, their legendary
single, “The Day the World Turned day-Glo” and even one new song (“Bloody
War”). They come out for one encore, another try at “Oh Bondage Up Yours!”
(this time with a few new wavey women helping on vocals) and with that the
crowd at the Roundhouse is out into the balmy London night, feeling like they
easily got their money’s worth by a band they had been waiting three decades to


: “Oh Bondage Up Yours!”, “Art-i-ficial”, “I Am a Poseur”,
“The Day the World Turned Day-Glo” TIM HINELY



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