The Spin Doctors – O2 Academy Islington

I think I’ve reached that age? I remember my parents going through the same phase when I was but a wee nipper; my Mum and Dad would take me to go and see bands that defined earlier periods of their lives; 50’s and 60’s legends like Chuck Berry, Del Shannon, Jerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers……an endless list.

Last night, I saw one of my favourite bands, The Spin Doctors, at the 02 Academy in Islington; they were FUCKING AWESOME.

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I was 15 when The Spin Doctors released their ‘A Pocket Full Of Kryptonite’ album; I eventually bought the CD a couple of months later (having turned 16) from the Sound and Vision department at Boots, I even got a cheeky 10% staff discount back then! Alas, I digress! I played that album to death!

Along with Primus and Presidents of the USA, the Spin Doctors defined my teenage years with their unique take on alternative rock and funky blues standards. At the time, Brit Pop was in full flow and dominated the radio waves in England; however, I felt more of a connection to The Spin Doctors than the poncy glam peacock bands from Camden Town.

The Spin Doctors played gutsy stuff, bluesy, funky and HAPPY! I don’t think there would have been quite so much self-harming in the UK had The Spin Doctors been a mainstream band in the UK!?!

David (who attended his first gig ever!) and I got to the venue for ‘early doors’ and I unashamedly took up a place in the front row, eager to get a glimpse of my idols do their thang.

I’ve never been front row at a decent sized gig before and found myself standing 4ft away from bass supremo Mark White whilst he oozed out the funk; it was hilarious watching him indulge the incredibly drunk tart who stood next to me with her constant attempts at reaching out to him!

The experience of Aaron Comess on drums was mighty to behold indeed; a veritable powerhouse on the skins, crisp, tight and clinical.

I genuinely felt like a teenager as I watched them utterly stomp through their set; I was not sure if Chris Barron (Vocals) would still sound the way he used to before the gig, but boy was I wrong to doubt him!!

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His pitch perfect dulcet tones lead the way whilst he commanded the audience with such a mischievous stage presence complete with his trademark moves and swaggering about!!! Oh, and fantastic banter with the crowd!

Watching one of my guitar idols, Eric Shenkman, utterly destroy everything in his path with a Gibson SG and Flying V will be something I’ll never forget. Words can’t describe the respect I have for his talent, sound and ability as a musician.

My first memory of the group was seeing Chris Barron sodding about in a big woolly hat, singing ‘Two Princes’ in a video on MTV.

So it was rather amusing seeing someone from the audience throw their own woolly hat onto the stage in an attempt to get Chris Barron to wear it during the rocky rendition of ‘Two Princes; only for Chris to kick it aside and almost say ‘Get a life douchbag!’ with his body language.

I can’t emphasise how great the performance was last night, four guys at the very top of their game bashing out fantastic versions of old and new material with absolute ease; I urge you to go and see them because you simply won’t see a better live band at the moment!

Oh, and buy their new album “If The River Was Whiskey”!!!

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