Teenage Punk Rockers

This site explores the punk culture as it was in 1977 England. We were teenage punk rockers that wrote a fanzine and formed a garage band.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bombsite Fanzine 2008; Eric's The Musical

Above; Mark H Bombsite Fanzine Editor 1977
Wednesday October 8th 2008 - Eric's Review - Mark H
I read the flyer and watched the trailer on the web, "Joe's in trouble. It's not his time but the clock is ticking. You've got to be ready; ready to battle, ready to clash, ready to fight." I wasn't sure I would go and see the play, I hoped it would be about Eric's the club as I recalled it, but I was concerned that it would be some arty interpretation of how someone thought it was. I guess I thought it may ruin my memory of 1977. Then I thought, well if I don't see it then I will always
be wondering, and if I had never gone to Eric's that first time out of curiosity, look what I would have missed.
So I phoned up for tickets, the last week, sold out Friday and Saturday, so I got tickets for Wednesday, mid week, probably be half empty, no atmosphere.
We, (my wife and me) got there before 7pm, time for a cains and a wine, not quite the Grapes on a Saturday afternoon between the Eric's matinee and the night session but OK, and the girls behind the bar sorted out more drinks all ready for the short intermission. The bar started to fill up, looking around, can I recognise anyone? Most of us are late 40's early 50's; I guess
everyone else who was an Eric's regular in 1977 is thinking the same. No one I recognised, still it was 31 years ago!

Above; Poster from www.mudkiss.com
Time to sup up and head upstairs to find the seats. So much for half empty, midweek the place is packed, I saw maybe only 3 or 4 empty seats. The set looks interesting, there is band equipment on stage so the music must be live, although no sign of the red and black decor and why is there a
hospital bed centre stage?
Suddenly everyone bursts on to stage; the band breaks in to Deaf School, "What a way to end it all". I get flash backs, Kirkland's Wine bar, Jugs of Sangria, Pips in Manchester, Roxy, Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, the first time I heard New Rose by The Damned.
I'm not going to tell you what the play is about, maybe it will get a re-run and that would then spoil it for you.
For me, they got it right. The character I most associated with was Joey. My not so exciting job, the threat of the dole. My first visit to Eric's, like no other club I had been to, the music, the people, the atmosphere, being part of something new, exciting, rebellious. Bleaching my hair round at my sister's house and bleaching her sofa in to the bargain. Trawling local jumble sales on a Saturday to find old suits and shirts, down to the surplus shop for combat pants, painting my DM's, making stenciled slogans to spray on, piecing my ears, London Road for winkle pickers, Kings Road for brothel creepers. Getting in to fights over the way we looked, some we won, others we lost, but we never ran, Joey gets a kicking but he drops the nod in first before he goes down, outnumbered. For me that was 1977, we are doing something different and its great feeling like this, if others don't like it, then tough, each to his own, live and let live, but if you want to make something of it then we don't run even if it means a kicking. The fact that your dad doesn't get it, dyed hair, earrings, is his son a puff? That gut wrenching feeling when the latest girlfriend tells you she's late coming on!
To be honest I never felt any of the Liverpool bands who feature in the play had the raw, hard, dangerous feel of the bands that I most enjoyed, The Damned, The Clash, The Pistols, 999, Stiff Little Fingers. But that was the thing about Eric's, no one bothered if your tastes were different, and the fact people had different tastes made it all the more inspiring. I never saw any trouble inside the club, ever. I remember most of those names featured, I was made up when Pete Wylie came on stage wearing the toilet seat, that I do remember, also a plastic lobster featured somewhere I thought? I don't recall all the characters portrayed, nor did I know many of them personally, I just recall seeing them there on a regular basis in Eric's, but those I do remember certainly look like I think I remember, Pete Burns, Jayne Casey, Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie. Are they portrayed accurately? I thought so, but then those who know them are best to judge. They are however, portrayed with humour and energy.

Above; Mark H Bombsite Editor 2008
Was I glad I went, YES, definitely? I thought the play captured the feel of those years spot on. It was a slick, professional performance, well researched and the actors brought it all flooding back. I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did that packed mid week audience who stood and applauded for
ages. Bonus, on the ticket desk, I even got to pick up a free copy of our old fanzine Bombsite issue 2 Sept 1977, I never kept any, we wrote that stuff? Happy days!
I hope Eric's gets another rerun for those of you who, like I almost did, gave it a miss.
I'm glad I never missed out on Eric's the first time, I'm glad I never missed it this time.
The day after writing this, I read the programme I bought. It's a true story, damn, well I'm glad it worked out and we got to share it with you, thanks.

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