Monday night saw the launch of the new solo album, The Price of the Ticket, from Wendy James. The former Transvision Vamp lead singer looked excited, nervous but overall genuinely delighted at the great turn out. The launch was at London's world famous 'Rough Trade East' record store. The Rough Trade shops are coolness personified. I, on the other hand, am not. Indeed I find in-store gigs and meet and greets awkward affairs. Yes it can be amazing to see an artist up close but for some reason I always feel uncomfortable. I seem to stand around looking shifty while secretly getting more and more nervous. Why nervous? Well it would appear that I am shit at meeting famous people I admire...or in this case bloody adore.
Nervous or not, to say I have been waiting for years to see her live would be a massive understatement. I never did see Transvision Vamp back in the day (which kills me) but I had posters of Ms James on every wall of my teenage bedroom (except the one with Susanna Hoffs). I was obsessed with Wendy. I was an innocent 15 year old teen when she screamed her way into my heart on Top Of the Pops. That song, Baby I Don't Care, was taken from the excellent Velveteen. I still love that LP as well as the band's debut Pop Art and judging by the make up of the crowd here I wasn't the only teenage boy that felt the same all those years ago. Transvision Vamp were more than just a pretty face though. They merged pop and punk to great effect and had a lot of success with it at the end of the 1980's.
Tonight Wendy's band included drummer James Sclavunos of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. A seriously good musician (and yes, before any jokes, drummers are musicians too). They played a 50+ minute set made up mainly of songs from the new record and a few oldies. Of the new tracks the excellent lead single Bad Intentions starts us off and it is that along with Indigent Blues and You're a Dirtbomb, Lester that stand out for me from the latest record. I would be lying though if I didn't say that it was hearing Tell That Girl To Shut Up and last song Baby I Don't Care that were the biggest thrills each bringing back such good memories.
I collected my copy of the album (with that cover), but more importantly I met my teenage crush. I was nervous as hell but Wendy was very nice and signed everything...I got the obligatory selfie even though I knew I would look like an over ripe orange (and sure enough I did...hence why I don't include it here), but I forgot to give her a hug. Damn it.
Disappointed at my inability to keep calm, and remember to hug Wendy, I walked the 15 minutes over to the Old Blue Last pub where she was to play a free show. Judging by the size of the signing queue it would be a while before she made it. This was going to be a late one...
Ticket: February 15th 2016 (Wrist Band)
Ticket Price: £29.99 (including LP)