Des Henly's Rock and Roll Circus

Gig reviews - uk music papers

Concert Review:

7 June 1973 - London, Speakeasy

The Speak has a secondary title - the Palace of Cool - so it was all the more pleasing last week to see those starchy, denimed little turnips with streaked hair and jewelled belts going totally flippo over Britain's best undiscovered revival band.
Fumble's first gig at the Speakeasy was at last year's NME Christmas Orgy. They acquitted themeslves well - so well, in fact, that subsequent gigs included support to Aladdin Stardust on his recent US tour. Zig himself digs the Fumblers; so do I; so did the Speak last week.
Oh, how we rocked and rolled to the strains of "Oh Carol", "Teddy Bear", "Nutrocker". How we flung our steaming bods around while Des Henly on mean vocals and Gretsch Country Gentleman mouthed the never-to-be-forgotten-words to "Ebony Eyes", "Jailhouse Rock" and "New Orleans" and many others.
How the elegant sweat dripped in festoons from our...never mind...as Barry Pike on drums and shiny pate, Sean Mayes on beat-up ivories and Mario Ferrari on bass took us back to the days when rock was exciting, disapproved of , and was considered a communist plot. Mario's bass is almost bigger than he is but he overcomes the difficulties in style and provides a gnomish visual counterpoint to Heartthrob Henly.
The Fumblers themselves apparently considered the gig fairly lame but I dig it and so did the Coolies. Even the Italian waiters nodded and smiled while the rest of the revellers cheered, clapped and danced till the liquor licence ran out and there was nothing for it but to make our sodden ways home under the heartless eye of the all-pervading dawn.
Tony Tyler
NME
June 16, 1973