Ducks Deluxe
London 100 Club
9th October, 2007

View: amid a multi-national throng

Some 32 years after disbanding on this very stage, pub-rock legends Ducks Deluxe returned with the same line-up that played them out. With respect to the rhythm section of Mick Groome (bass) and Billy Rankin (drums), all eyes were on little and large singer/guitarists Sean Tyla and Martin Belmont. And what a contrast! Tyla, the pocket-size proto-punk whose Lou Reed-like drawl once gave the Ducks their edge, was ill at ease for the first half-hour, while Belmont, our best home-grown Americana guitarist and veteran of gigs from Graham Parker to Hank Wangford, hogged the spotlight from the off with his gawky movements and spiky licks. The set sagged early on, the opening Fireball followed by a string of obscure cuts. But when the juggernaut built speed, it wouldn’t stop. Shaven-headed Sean caught the mood, put pedal to the metal and, by the time Fireball was reprised in far more impressive end-of-set fashion, you wished it could all go round again.

Reviewed by Michael Heatley
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