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Saturday 10 September 2022.

Saturday 10 September 2022. COCK SPARRER live at The Roundhouse. Cock Sparrer play the second of two special shows at The Roundhouse. They rarely play London, and usually stick to playing The Rebellion Punk Festival in Blackpool. I saw them play up north at punk festivals in 2003 and 2006 , but never seen them play in London. Cock Sparrer are widely considered to be one of the most influential Street Punk bands in history. 2022 marks the celebration of their 50th Anniversary. British music paper Sounds sums it up perfectly in a live review from April 1978: “Musically and visually, the Cock Sparrer crew are just about as motley and uncouth as its possible for a band to project. Imagine five collectively imageless Cockneys with hair length varying from skinhead to Woody Roller, wearing clothes that looked they pool from the jumble sales, and singing about how East End life is tough but fun…(they)…create a good time sound that occasionally approximates to the original spirit of Slade.”... In 1980, the band found themselves on a number of compilation albums and a new breed of fans discovered them. This was punk from the streets, and Sparrer were part of the Oi! music movement at the time. The band will be playing two sets each night. The band split up in the mid 1980s but reformed for gigs in 1992 and were surprised at how many non UK fans were at an Astoria gig and since then they have toured the world every now and then. -------------- Plenty of older skinheads in the crowd tonight, but they are behaving themselves. Folks from all over Europe have made the trek to this special anniversary event. COCK SPARRER play for two hours 10 mins over two sets of 55 mins and 75 mins. Their style is influenced by pub rock, glam rock and raw 1960s beat music as delivered by bands like the Small Faces and The Who. Their lyrics mostly deal with topics related to the daily lives of working class people. Their name derives from their original name, Cock Sparrow,a Cockney term of familiarity. Pretty amazing they can fill this venue for two nights when you never hear them on the radio or see them on tv. The first set had video clips of band members talking about the early days of the band on the big screen. The second set had live footage of the gig on two big screens. It got very lively down the front for the second set which included their best known songs including "Riot Squad", "Argy Bargy", "Take Em All", "England Belongs To Me " and "We're Coming Back". All the crowd are singing very loudly to the catchy simple lyrics. Cock Sparrer doing their own thing for their own fans, a great gig. FIRST SET (rarities set) Out on an Island We Love You (The Rolling Stones cover) Chip on My Shoulder I Need a Witness Bats Out I Live in Marbella (Working, Part 3) Battersea Bardot True to Yourself Family of One Take It On The Chin One by One SECOND SET ( their usual set) Riot Squad Watch Your Back Working Teenage Heart / Droogs Don't Run What's It Like to Be Old Argy Bargy Gonna Be Alright Tough Guys A.U. Nothing Like You Runnin' Riot I Got Your Number Because You're Young Take 'em All Where Are They Now? Suicide Girls England Belongs to Me We're Coming Back -------------------------------------- -------------------------------------- Friday 09 September 2022. LAURA MVULA live at Shepherds Bush Empire. Her three solo albums have all made the UK Top 40. Laura has also released a live album from Abbey Road Studios. I have seen her three times before, with the first time in 2014 supporting PRINCE in Birmingham. This is her only headlining show on her summer European Tour where she has been on the middle of the bills, along with a couple of shows supporting Coldplay at Wembley Stadium. ----------- Levels 2 and 3 are closed tonight, and there is space on the floor so maybe only 800 folks here. Laura Mvula career has had its fair amount of up and downs over the past decade. Other female artists have come after her, and had more commercial success. TAMARAEBI arrived on stage at 7.50pm for his 35 mins set. Nigerian born Londoner and his band performed a nice soul set. The set included a cover of Coldplays "Magic" that he dedicated to his newly born son. Headliner LAURA MVULA arrived on stage at 9.05pm for her I hour 45 mins set. An impressive entrance by Laura as she is wearing a shimmery dress with a neck halo and high heels, and is holding a keyboard (keytar) around her shoulders that she plays on many songs. Laura would also play normal keyboards during the show. Laura has a big screen showing pre-recorded images. There is a film crew here, filming everything. Laura has a fantastic soulful voice and a warm and friendly on stage personality. Many critics and musicians highly rate Laura including Nile Rodgers so we get a nice cover of "Lost in Music" dedicated to him, and of course Prince so we get a stunning cover of his gem "I Would Die 4 U ". Neat the end she performed her breakout track "Green Garden" and the first encore was another stunning cover of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" Before the prescribed pre-encore will-they-won't-they, Laura Mvula ends her set with an impassioned tribute to her band, her team and her fans. It's always a pleasure to see an artist so overjoyed to be performing their music live and so gracious for the people around them who bring their musical vision to life. Having said that, she can thank all the people she wants, but it was Laura herself who stole the show tonight.