London Highbury Garage

Hey look! Old men!...

Hey look! Old men! And make no mistake, they’re all having a glorious, drunken, shambolic Cockney knees-up of a time onstage tonight. Sure, their suits are shabby, the beer they swill is cheap, their jokes are corny – but the enthusiasm! The slurred banter! The balloons! It’s like a punk Butlins in here.

If there’s one thing old man Jim Bob still retains from his days in Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, it’s his way with the forced grin, the desperate eagerness, the faux-cheeky chutzpah. He could get away with it then, because he was young(-ish) and the musical climate was overcast. But, as with The [a]Clint Boon Experience[/a], it’s embarrassing to watch a man in his 30s still clinging to an adolescent pop dream when the vibrant likes of Ooberman and Spearmint are around.

Sensing this, Jim’s gone all cabaret, striking jokey but defiant poses, roaring [I]”D-I-S-C-O!” [/I]as ‘Could U B The 1 I Waited 4’ fades out, allowing his band of old men to piss about like pre-teens and let off party streamers. Amid this bedraggled mess of a show there’s great songs like ‘You’re My Mate’, snatches of glam and twisted Pulp melodrama, palatable doses of pre-Christmas kitsch. But it’s still like watching your parents dancing at a wedding reception.

The future of rock, then, does not beat in the hearts of old men. But you knew that already, right?