With a sound which lay somewhere between Punk, New Wave, Pop and a few other genres, and a musical virtuosity that distinguished them from most of their peers, The Only Ones, led by the then, elegantly wasted Peter Perrett, made four accomplished albums, over as many years and then spectacularly crashed and burned in 1981. Famed for ‘Another girl, another planet’;, a song essentially endorsing the use of heroin, the band left a lasting legacy which went on to influence the likes of Nirvana, Blur, The Replacements and The Libertines.
Once over the shock of seeing a frail looking Peter (although still with a fine mop of hair) take to the stage at Relentless Garage on Saturday night, opening number, the wretched 'In between', gripped a crowd made up mostly of fans from back in the day - ‘Sordid clandestine love, it burns your heart out. Try to fix up an hour, in the back seat, get to know each other...’ the languid tones of that voice, if somewhat lacking the energy once present, was immediately unmistakeable and reassuring.
New songs from the forthcoming album sounded promising, but with so many classics calling out to be heard, it was hard to give them the attention they deserved. ‘Curtains for you’ was a bit of a disappointment in as much as Perrett walked the words rather than sung them, but hey, legendary guitarist John Perry gave it the treatment and we all sang backing. The tribal rhythms of 'Me and my shadow' thundered ominously on and the sorrowful ‘Miles from nowhere’, more poignant than ever with the passing of the years, followed with the dramatic,spine tingling ‘The Big Sleep’ lamenting “I don't ever wanna sleep again, now that I've found love” hot on its heels. The euphoria of ‘Another girl, another planet’ and the despair of ‘The Beast’ made for an emotional roller coaster of a ride to end of set. The encore unleashed ‘Lovers of today’ and the sardonic ‘Why don’t you kill yourself?’ and a Norwegian was randomly brought on to play guitar!. If there hadn’t been a curfew on time, there would have been no stopping them, nor us. This was a truly touching and exhilarating celebration of a band whose rightful glory is yet to be thoroughly exulted.,,
Image Suke Driver