FLAMIN' GROOVIES live review

Flamin Groovies in their 1976 'Shake Some Action' days.

Scala, London, 2nd July 2013

We’re a good long distance now from the post-‘Jumpin’ In The Night’ pseudo-line ups, and up until a few months ago the prospect of any sort of Groovies reunion was the stuff of wishful conjecture. Yet somehow, through whatever bridge-building processes may have gone on behind the scenes, a coalition of ‘Shake Some Action’ period members is back on the boards. As they take the stage at a heaving Scala – an expectant crowd already stoked from the Bermondsey Joyriders’ fine supporting set – it’s at once clear that the current-format Groovies are on intimidatingly good form. Leading off with a formidable take on 1973’s ‘Let Me Rock’, Chris Wilson and Cyril Jordan’s chiming fretwork strikes immediate sparks over the V8-powered rumble of George Alexander and new kid drummer Victor Penalosa, while veteran Procol Harum keyboardsman Matthew Fisher adds his tasty Hammond wash to the mix. Sounding together and almost supernaturally tight from their recent far eastern tour and stadium-sized bash with Springsteen, the Groovies execute a slam-bang rundown of career highlights – ‘You Tore Me Down’, ‘I Can’t Hide’, ‘Between The Lines’, their definitive cover of The Byrds’ ‘Feel A Whole Lot Better’, and the delirious two-punch set closer of the all-time classics ‘Slow Death’ and ‘Shake Some Action’ in rapid succession. With a capacity crowd baying for more, the Groovies encore with ‘Yeah My Baby’, a thunderously debauched ‘Teenage Head’ and close with a jubilant romp through Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’. The Flamin’ Groovies rollicked home with the Scala in their back pocket tonight; surely a Roundhouse date now beckons?

Hugh Gulland


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