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THE REZILLOS (Little Civic, Wolverhampton)

03-11-2007

THE REZILLOS

Blimey? Are they still going? Too right says Dave Woodhall. And they've been neglected for far too long.

When the great influential new wave bands are discussed, the Rezillos get left out. Partly because their sixties sci-fi image meant they were hard to take seriously, partly because they split just when they were on the verge of success - in the middle of a tour when they were supported by the Undertones.

So while a lot of the music from that era has been played to death on a million compilations, they still sound fresh.

Their recent tour ended up at the Little Civic in Wolverhampton, which is probably the smallest venue they've played in thirty years. Black Country venues are always better than their Brummie counterparts and the Little Civic is one of the best.

With a sold-out crowd of old punks and the terminally nostalgic, the night began with Darkwater, a gothesque band of average ability. After a few technical difficulties the Rezillos entered stage front with a salvo of Destination Venus, Getting Me Down, Top of the Pops & Culture Shock.

If the titles mean nothing to you, then sorry, you'd better skip the rest of this review.

A mixture of old stuff, covers (a singalong White Light White Heat was different, while River Deep Mountain High showed the power of Fay Fife's voice. She could give Amy Winehouse a run for her money) and a couple of new songs got the audience moving.

Eugene Reynolds alternated menacingly between guitar and vocals with the rest of the band as tight as could be. A stage the size of a postage stamp didn't help, though.

Finishing off the main set with Good Sculptures and Can't Stand My Baby, the band returned for an encore of Don't You Want Me (bonus points if you can spot the connection) and Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite, which I've no doubt would cause outrage if it was released today.

A second encore of Cold Wars and another song I didn't recognise was granted but in truth was two songs too many. Both were out of place and meant the evening ended with applause rather than frenzy as a lot of forty-somethings gathered outside to get their breath back and remember.

Any more great under-rated bands out there?

As Dave says, The Rezillos are hardly mentioned these days, but had a slew of fine singles. And what about his claim that Black Country venues are always better than Brummie ones?

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