Medway legends return with a set of gems from their long career.
It’s early 1984 and I’m in the Tunnel Club on the south side of the Blackwall tunnel in Greenwich along with my friend Barry to see a band I’d heard a lot about and had already bought their first album and recent single. That band was The Prisoners and they were astounding, so much so that my usually reserved friend Barry was dancing on top of a table like a man possessed. Fast forward almost 30 years later to Bethnal Green working men’s club and ex-Prisoners stalwarts Graham Day and Allan Crockford are joined by their longtime sticksman Wolf Howard playing a selection of “hits” from the Graham Day songbook.Support came from the ever reliable Aardvarks, plying their trade of late 60’s mod/psych pop with a smile despite the vocal mix being almost non existent. They were followed by The Higher State, all jangly Rickenbackers and Byrds style harmonies and were well received by the ever increasing crowd.
By the time Graham Day & The Forefathers took to the stage, the venue was filled to bursting and appropriately they started with The Prime Movers era The Good Things before Promised Land, Better In Black and Creepy Crawlies warmed the crowd up. The whole set was nicely balanced with tracks from The Solarflares, Gaolers and Prime Movers though unsurprisingly for most in attendance, it was the Prisoners material that got the biggest reaction. Hurricane, Be On Your Way and Love Me Lies all delivered in a no nonsense manner. With Wolf and Allan keeping it ticking along, Graham was throwing his guitar around in his usual manner, his shirt was now soaked with sweat. Mine wasn’t that far behind if truth be told, and we hadn’t even reached the first of 2 encores which started with The Gaolers Sitar Spangled Banner and was followed by Coming Home. The crowd wanted more and they got it with I Am The Fisherman and Melanie. Gig of the year? Definitely a strong contender and if my old friend Barry wasn’t now residing in Canada, I’m pretty sure he’d have been dancing on a table in the corner of the club.
The Aardvarks Photo by Dave Edwards.