Slyder Smith is one of those people who looks like he was born with a guitar strapped to his chest. Every time I have seen him over the years rock n roll’s premier underdog has never looked happier than being a lead guitarist. Now, he’s the leader and the main man, and even if its not the most natural frontman, it suits him. The band – old friends, bassist Tim Emery and drummer Rik Pratt – have a tremendous balance as a power trio and songs like “Calcio Queen” and the brilliant “I’m Done” – a funky thing, show the recently released “Charm Offensive” record in a fine light. What is interesting, though, is that they sound a little more raw in a live setting than you expected. The other highlights of the new songs – in particular the mid-paced “Maya” –  perhaps underline the differences between what’s gone before and what is happening now. Indeed, it is telling that when they do a Last Great Dreamers tune (all three of the “Kids” if you will, have Dreamed at one point) it’s a reworked “Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven” rather than a facsimile. There’s a couple of covers, Limahl’s “Never Ending Story” was on the album and it’s a singalong here, “Malibu Nightmare” from Hanoi Rocks is more to my tastes I have to admit, and it was only ever going to finish one way: “We are the “Oblivion Kids”, offers the man himself.  “And this is “Oblivion Kids”. I have never hidden my love for Last Great Dreamers and I never would. This is why. But equally Slyder Smith And The Oblivion Kids highlight that there’s talent here to say different things than ever before. Oblivion does not await.

When Electric Boys play “Goovus Maximus” tonight – about halfway through their set – I have to admit I was one of those people videoing the chorus. I sent it to my mate. I did so because 34 years ago we heard Electric boys together and we’d never heard anything like it.

His reply came back. “Never gets old.”

And those words seem to underscore the hour and a half they are on stage. The best songs never date. In the break between bands here, the Tannoy was basically blasting out rock hits of the 80s and when “Final Countdown” or “Paradise City” hits, be honest, whether or not you listen to them still, if they came out tomorrow, you’d buy them, right?

These songs are cut from the same cloth.

It doesn’t matter whether its “Electrified”, “Rags To Riches” or “Mary In The Mystery World” – three from the past that are still glorious – or new ones, because what this is, without any doubt at all, is a rock n roll band of supreme talent.

The phrase “new ones” is apt too. Last year they released “Upside Down”. It was an excellent record. They must know it too, given how much of it they play. “Super God” and its jam “Upside Down Theme” start the show and others – the particularly impressive “Tumblin’ Dominoes” perhaps the best of them – pepper the gig.

With long time guitarist Martin “Slim” Thomander back (and he still is thin and rocks white jeans way better than I could) it seems to have given some chemistry. Conny Bloom, of course, the bands front man for 30 odd years, is a fella for whom the phrase “Rock Star” was invented. He is as good a guitarist as there is, but equally when he ditches it and just fronts the band (as he did on “….Maximus”) then he doesn’t have many equals there either.

It helps that they have some (to rework my mates phrase) timeless songs. “Angel In An Armoured Suit” is a mighty slice of hard rock, “Twang ‘Em And Kerrang ‘Em” a celebration of the music itself. Neither of them are from the bands perceived heyday, but both are highlights.

The two in the encore – “Captain Of My Soul” and “All LIps N Hips” are, of course from the stunning, seminal “Funk O Metal Carpet Ride” (the former played seemingly because it was a shouted request) and I look around as they play. There aren’t many that don’t know every word. This band means a lot to people, still. It’s evident too that it means a lot to the band to play these songs, and it makes for a lovely warm atmosphere. “Come and have a drink with us” offers Bloom at the end, and it appears he’s nowhere near done. The same could be said for the Electric Boys. 34 years and counting. But, what do dates matter?

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