The Truth & Purple Hearts – Modrophenia at 229 The Venue 6th May 2012
Well it finally happened after a few false dawns but on 6th May, The Truth made a triumphant return to the stage after 20 odd years away. We were promised the original line up and we got it too, with Steve Phypers on drums, who it transpires had lasted 3 weeks before being replaced by Gary Wallis. It was the first night of Modrophenia, a 2 day double header that saw The Lambrettas and From The Jam play the following evening. There was an expectant buzz in the air as The Purple Hearts took to the stage, maybe for the last time if all is to be believed, and they duly tore into their set of mod anthems with Bob Manton making full use of the stage. I only hope someone filmed it for Ian Brown so he can brush up on his moves for the Stone Roses’ forthcoming gigs. While Jeff Shadbolt sorted out his bass during the first 2 songs, Simon Stebbings gleefully attacked his guitar pulling out powerchords and feedback as Gary Sparks powerful drumming fought for attention at the back. You know what you get with The Purple Hearts, 45 minutes of glorious pumped up teenage angst all neatly packaged into 3 minute chapters from Beat That, Jimmy, Extradordinary Sensations and Frustration while not forgetting David Jones’ Can’t Help Thinking About Me.Let’s hope it’s not the last time we get to see them.
The Purple Hearts. Photo by Dave Edwards.
A quick half hour to get our breaths back and for the first time in many years, the lights dimmed as Stingray blared out into the darkness and Dennis Greaves led The Truth on stage with Mick Lister, Chris Skornia, Brian Bethell and Steve Phypers in tow. They launched into From The Heart and carried straight on in to Love A Go Go, it was like they hadn’t been away as they sounded as fresh as they did at the Marquee back in 1983, the rhythm section of Brian and Steve driving it along, Mick & Dennis’ harmonizing was superb while Chris Skornias keyboard gave the songs that full on sound. All the favourites were there, Confusion, Exception Of Love and I’m In Tune along with choice covers of Gimme Little Sign, Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby and Ain’t Nothing But A House Party. As always the set closed with Just Can’t Seem To Stop, the crowd singing along after they depart waiting for more which duly comes with Everlasting Love, The Equals’ I Get So Excited and a second helping of Playground. Was it worth the wait? Oh yes and then some. Talks are underway for another gig in October and maybe a few more, possibly to coincide with a cd release of the back catalogue up to the Playground album. Definitely something to get so excited about.
Dennis Greaves. Photo by Dave Edwards.
Mick Lister. Photo by Dave Edwards.
Originally published 11th May 2012.