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One, two, three, four. Well I never thought I’d be reviewing the Ramones live, as all of the original band members (Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy) are no longer with us, may they rest in peace. Well it’s not really the Ramones but I guess it’s the closest fucking thing that’s out there and still touring. Marky Ramone, who took over the drums with the Ramones from Tommy in 1978, is touring with his band, Blitzkrieg, and pumping out at feverish pace all the fucking Ramones tracks that we know and love.

The band played the last night of their Australian leg of their tour at the Badlands Bar in Perth. They were met with cheers from the crowd as they walked onto the stage and we managed to get a ”hello” form Marky. There wasn’t a hell of a lot more of interaction with the crowd, but who had the time for that shit. The bass player counted in and with that the songs kicked off and they didn’t stop for almost an hour.

As each classic song came to an end, in true Ramonesque style, the bass player counted in the next track and the music continued. It was fast paced and full on with a few extra-long drum solos that let Marky do his thing. It was fucking amazing to hear those songs live, even if the vocals weren’t by Joey. The singer in Blitzkrieg (who I think is called Paul, but it may not be, but it’s what I’m going with because it’s a cool name) was energetic and engaging as he skirted around the stage, occasionally hiding down behind other band members and speakers, looking paranoidly as if someone or some fucking thing was after him. He definitely captured the sound of Joey Ramone and was almost as skinny. Hell, he even had the trademark ripped knee if his skinny black jeans. His vocals did impress that’s for sure.

As I scouted out the Badlands before the Ramones got on stage, I found myself a fucking cool spot to see the band from. Problem is there were others hanging around waiting to get into my fucking cool spot, so I couldn’t get to the bar to replenish my rapidly disappearing beer. I did end up talking to a guy from South Africa, who was eyeing off my fucking cool spot, and he was telling me that he’d seen the Ramones in London in 1990 and just had to come along to this show, probably trying to recapture his misspent youth. There did seem to be quite a few old punks in the crowd but there was also a good mix of young punks too. It’s great to see that people are still into the Ramones so many years after they ended.

As the main set came to an end my newly found South African mate decided he was off to get a beer and offered to get me one. I said “sure” and went to give him some money but he said “all good”. When he came back I told him the next one was on me. I think that was his plan, so that he could get my fucking cool spot when I went to get the beers in. His view of the band was slightly obscured by a post, so I knew what he was up to.  By this time the band were back on stage to do the encore and then before I knew it my new mate was off. Probably not quite as young as he once was. So I didn’t end up getting him a return beer and he didn’t up getting my spot. That’s a fucking win-win for me in my book.

The band played two encores on the night and a few people did leave, mainly after the first encore which ended with the Motorhead tribute song R.A.M.O.N.E.S. Before each encore, the crowd started chanting “Hey Ho, Let’s Go”, in a bid to get Marky and Blitzkrieg back on stage, which inevitably happened each time. No shit, Sherlock. As mentioned Tuesday night at the Badlands Bar in Perth saw the Australian tour come to an end, but they are moving the tour to a few more places into December and then South America early next year.

If you missed them, then you missed out. Hopefully they’ll be back in the near future and you’ll be able to catch them then. I know I’ll go and see them again for sure if they return. It was a cool night with a rapid-fire delivery of Ramones songs from go to whoa, which ended with Blitzkrieg Bop and a last extended drum solo by Marky. Oh yeah and I got the chance to wear my, now vintage, Ramones T shirt again this year and at the Badlands Bar again. Hopefully I can get that fucking 30-year-old shirt back on if they return, which hopefully won’t be too long otherwise I’ll never fucking get into it. Thanks for a great night, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. GABBA GABBA HEY!!

I would rate this show as OLD SCHOOL COOL SHIT




Paul Bradford

Author Paul Bradford

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