Friday, 13 February 2015

Friday Five: Ramones on Repeat

C J Ramone
Feeling rather old and a little bit foolish, we went to see C.J. Ramone at the Transit Bar. Although not one of the original Ramones, he did play with remnants of the band for several years, so is perfectly entitled to play their music. It's not all nostalgic cover versions, however, as he has released a few albums in his own name, and they are packed full of short, punchy, punky numbers with rock influences.

As it was part of my non-drinking month, I was driving. It wasn't unpleasant to be totally sober at a gig, although  I didn't feel like moshing and getting all sweaty and beer-soaked. Despite the obvious youthful element (who have no idea how to mosh), we didn't feel too out of place. The support bands (Hard-Ons and No Assumption) were enthusiastic and suitably loud. In fact, the whole gig was loud and I couldn't hear a word that Him Outdoors was trying to say to me, but that's sort of the point, isn't it?

I really enjoyed the mix of C.J.'s new stuff with the old favourites, interspersed with a few anecdotes about the characters of The Ramones and the dynamics between them. Apparently none of the band except Joey liked 'Baby I Love You' (used ironically - I think - in a Cialis advert), so they never played it live - we heard it here tonight. And 'I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend' was rather contentious as it was written by Johnny about Joey's girlfriend (whom he later went on to marry). Watching a 49-year-old bloke sing these songs with his NY baseball cap on askew and his tongue poking out sarcastically was kind of funny, but he still treated the material with respect and energy. 

5 Favourite Songs from the C.J. Ramone Gig (in no particular order):
  1. Blitzkrieg Bop
  2. Judy is a Punk
  3. Carry Me Away
  4. R.A.M.O.N.E.S. (by Motorhead)
  5. Last Chance to Dance

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