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Suicide (live)

The Garage, London
25th November 2000

Martin Rev (Pic: Linus)Ahhh, poor Suicide… always just missing the boat but still trying to hitch a ride thirty years after Alan Vega claims to have coined the term “punk”. These guys are getting old now, and I must say I did feel a bit sorry for them tonight, faced with a boring as stiffs crowd and faint memories to go on.

Alan Vega (Pic: Olly)My sympathy was not needed really after all. Martin Rev and Alan Vega seemed to be having a time of their lives, happy to play about and remain undeterred from their purpose which was to play Rock and Roll. Perhaps they have mellowed; they have definitely dropped the pissed-off attitude. One wonders if the last two years since their most recent reformation has humbled them, or if the aging process has given them a graciousness that foul-mouthed youths could never understand. Whatever the case, they played for and played with an audience mostly attended by people who could easily be their children, sparked and inspired by the odd real Suicide devotee. I was never sure if this was one man moving about the crowd or several different people, but when a voice rang out above the din saying to the band, “You changed my life! I love you!”, the appreciation on Vega’s face was absolute.

Alan Vega (Pic: Olly)The crowd never did really get to the whipped-up riotous proportions of days gone by, but Martin Rev’s programmed beats did inspire movement among the listless crowd. There was almost one fight, when a serious Suicide girl fan got tired of being fallen on by a drunk uni-boy who had probably been dragged to the show. He backed down and the action was short lived. Alan Vega was good with his comic relief and commentary on the importance of “French girls”, and Martin Rev pulled very silly faces behind his massive wraparound visor shades while showing off his talent for keyboard playing with elbows, fists and knees. As expected, the musical hightlight was “Cheree”, which Vega dedicated to “the girls”, but I believe there have been many more inspired versions of this song. The near jolliness which made Suicide all the more charming than ever also took the edge out. It was weird to see them so light and smiley. Still, what are the fathers of Punk supposed to do now that the kids are really all right?

-Lilly Novak-

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