Hot footing it over from Rough Trade I made it to the fab Old Blue Last pub with signed LP in hand. Plenty of time for a few swift Monday night beers (bloody expensive but that's Shoreditch for you, trendy haircuts and expensive beer) before Wendy's free gig at the venue.
Wendy is a punk rocker at heart (indeed a certain Glen Matlock plays on the new album). She always seemed to have that punk mentality in the Transvision Vamp days but it is something she never got any respect for. Critics and fans (including the teenage me) didn't see past the pretty face and the poppy side of the music. It is why it is great to see her doing what she wants these days and looking like she is enjoying it so much.
Back in 1991 I remember nearly passing out after watching Wendy declare on kids TV show Going Live that she didn't usually wear knickers. Not long after I was distraught when the bands third album (Little Magnets Versus the Bubble of Babble) never saw a release in the UK. Those were the days when record companies ruled the world and not long after the band broke up. There has been a lot of water the under bridge since then of course and I believe this is Wendy's fifth album since Transvision Vamp called it a day. Sometimes it seems that those 24 years have passed in the blink of an eye and, although she will probably never win that elusive Oscar, she still has much to offer.
For me seeing Wendy play live is a teenage dream come true but as this was a free gig some in the crowd were here purely out of curiosity (nothing wrong with that of course). As a result starting the set with I Want Your Love was a good move and the pub was on her side from the off. The new songs hold up very well and some including Bad Intentions are as good as anything she has done before. As at Rough Trade earlier, and as excellent as the new tracks are, it is songs such as Baby I Don't Care and Tell That Girl To Shut Up that I wanted to hear. She plays both again here and so after waiting all my life to see the songs played live I get to hear them twice in one night. Marvellous.
She may be 50 but like Debbie Harry at 70 she still has the punk edge that makes her a little different. Although never scaling the heights of Blondie she has undoubtedly left her mark. She certainly did on my 15 year old self and nearly thirty years later she still has a strong hold.
Right at the end Wendy happily posed for pictures with fans. I went in for another selfie. Alas again I looked like an over ripe orange. This time though I got my hug. I went home a happy and sightly pissed 42 year old man.
One more thing. Buy the new album. Independant music needs support. Actually one other thing. Can someone please update her Wikipedia page. There is so much more to add from both past and present. Actually fuck it I suppose I can do it. This may take some time...
Ticket: No Ticket Gig
Ticket Price: Free