The Blockheads - same horse, different jockey
The Blockheads - same horse, different jockey
For most of you, The Blockheads should need no introduction, but if some of you younger folk need a primer on their early years with the legendary Ian Dury, watch the marvellous feature film Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll.  The prize-winning film was scripted rather brilliantly by Paul Viragh, who, as it happens, I shared a student house with back in the day. Strangely he didn’t join me for the free Blockheads show – It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Royal - at Crystal Palace on the day of Charles and Dianna’s wedding. I nearly got beaten up on the tube that day for wearing a badge with the official picture of the couple but with a bald-headed Charles and the caption ‘The King and Di’.  Oh well, it still makes me laugh.

Now fronted by Derek ‘The Draw’ Hussey, Dury’s best friend and minder, The Blockheads line-up still includes Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher from the band that recorded New Boots and Panties.  Their music continues to develop, a decidedly funky, modern-day music hall style that propels lyrics that combine poetry, puns, earthy humour and deadly-accurate observations of everyday, British working-class life.

Their WHC show at Lyde Court is now the stuff of legend, folks were almost swinging off the rafters and every happy punter seemed to know all the words to all those timeless classics.

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When Richard Met Debbie

Everybody knows the story of my meeting with Patti Smith but she’s not the only one of the artists of the New York underground scene of the late 1970s who I’ve met. Yes, of the CBGB centred scene-makers, I’ve also talked to John Cale and Richard Hell, exchanged grunts with Tom Verlaine and hung with Lenny Kaye. OK I confess to having engineered these encounters, mainly by blagging my way backstage, but my coming face-to-face with the Queen of NYC cool, Debbie Harry, that was totally unexpected.

When Richard Met Debbie

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