Gig 300 for me. Love Blondie. Love Debbie Harry. Love London. Love Brixton and love Brixton Academy. All the music Gods came together to help me celebrate my third century in style. I've always loved live performance of any kind and since going to my first gig in 1989, on a cold December night in Birmingham, I have loved live music. Of the 300 some have been poor, some have been ok, some good and some absolutely magnificent...300 goes firmly in the latter category.
The Brixton Academy is a pretty unique venue. It doesn't look particularly big on the outside but has a capacity of close to 5000. The sound is great and the view (thanks to the sloping floor) is normally good as well. You know the atmosphere is going to be good when there is so much buzz (unintentional Pollinator joke there folks) on the way into a venue. The merchandise stall is already heaving (where you can buy everything from Blondie hair clips, stickers, CDs, Vinyl, cup holders, T Shirts and much much more).
The buzz continued right through the excellent French support band, Mustang and on to Blondie who wander on stage at 9pm with Debbie sporting the now famous 'Stop Fucking The Planet' jacket. They then proceed to play a set list that, to these ears at least, really couldn't be any better. One Way or Another and Hanging on the Telephone to start is impressive but all through the set there are highs after highs with zero low points.
The singalong on Maria mid set brought a tear to the eye. Seeing happy faces all around from the groups of women waving the £20 bottles of wine in the air (drinking straight from the bottle...fuck it why not) to groups of 40 year old (and well above) men reliving their teenage Debbie Harry dreams (yep that would include me) is a joyous sight. The atmosphere tonight in the Academy really is one of the very best I have experienced.
New album, Pollinator, is a cracker. Every song is great and the four tracks played from it here (Fun, Gravity, Too Much and Long Time) slot in nicely alongside the many older classics. Of those Atomic and Heart of Glass close the main set and have Academy jumping.
The band is tight and with Clem Burke on drums powering through every song, Chris Stein looking as cool as ever and of course Debbie Harry being, well, Debbie Harry, what more could you want? Well Tommy Kessler on guitar is a sensation as is Matt Katz-Bohen on keys and Leigh Foxx just gets on with it (don't think I saw him move once).
The new Doom or Destiny video (featuring Debbie and Joan Jett) is shown while the band is off stage before they return with an encore of Fragments, Union City Blue and Dreaming. Dreaming is free after all and tonight I went to bed dreaming happy thoughts...but not before I grabbed myself a Blondie sticker and T shirt on way home.
Ticket: November 16th 2017
Ticket Price: £55.00