Recorded for the famed German TV show in February 1978, just a few months after the release of New Boots And Panties!!, this is arguably the most satisfying illustration of Dury’s Blockheads as a loose and limber live unit. Still to make a sizeable dent on the mainstream (the single What A Waste wouldn’t chart until later in the spring), it’s already evident that this is a band destined to be one of the greats.
A dazzling hybrid of poet, raconteur, music hall comic, punk and surly rock’n’roller, Dury’s stage presence burns through every frame; a performer of supreme confidence capable of grabbing his audience by the lapels and not letting go until the last bars of the encore. He’s matched every step of the way by the fluidity of his band, especially the interplay between Chaz Jankel’s guitar and keyboards and Davey Payne’s saxophone.
Almost every track from New Boots… gets an airing, alongside earlier material written during Dury’s time with Kilburn & The High Roads (I Made Mary Cry, You’re More Than Fair). By the end of the year Dury would be on the verge of becoming a household name, courtesy of Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, but here is where his star first began to ascend.