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The Three Wise Monkeys
These guys categorically state they are not trying to be a tribute band, they love The Clash and want to share their enjoyment of the music with others. They certainly did that in style and created at least one new fan this night. It helps when they are damn hot musicians with a level of experience that it would be a pleasure to listen to whatever they played. Oh, that drummer!
Lead singer, Larry, and his long-term drummer buddy have been playing together for a hundred years, which explains why the band are just so pleasurably tight. New female bassist, Sam, did a pretty good job. They were looking smart, which I liked, respectful, nothing worse than a band looking like students, trying to be too cool.
Sam was also doing the backing vocals so that added a different tone to the sound – see, not trying to be a tribute band. ‘The Clash’ was a sound of its time, so can’t be repeated and any attempt would probably fail, but a celebration of their music, done right..….truly spot on.
They have a real respect and passion for The Clash, it oozed through the set and Larry’s charisma engaged the crowd further, telling us the odd story and what album the song was from (although I wonder whether that was for my benefit). Larry has a decent voice, I thought there would be a tendency to shout The Clash tracks due to the statements they were making, but no, there is no need to shout when the words say enough and Larry portrayed their sentiments.
All the classic tracks were there and some more obscure ones for the hard-core fans and even we were treated to a new one to the set ‘Somebody Got Murdered”. Nice to see they can still add to their repertoire which means you can see them more than once and not get bored. They played my favourite track ‘Magnificent Seven’, that made me happy. You forget there are a lot of words in these songs – takes a lot of effort to sing and play lead. As Larry is seasoned, he wasn’t struggling at all. Lovely smooth guitar sound with his Essex accent was brilliant.
The set was nice and long and they packed in the tracks – again, a real celebration of the music, not a cheap short tribute act set. Even if you hadn’t heard any of The Clash music before, these guys are worth going to see – they are a damn good band and very entertaining.
The band/function room at The Three Wise Monkeys is a great venue, small enough and big enough at the same time and considering a pointy ceiling the sound was more than decent.
Staying true to the songs without trying to be them, these (aging?) Essex wide boys they might be, but they deserve every morsel of respect as they were a total delight to watch. These guys were there at the time The Clash were hot and they are the only kind of people who can recreate that energy. Larry might be reliving some of his youth, but we were there right with him.
There were plenty of nods to The Clash but many went over my head, but I am sure the fans knew. Broadway Clash did Joe Stummer proud and makes me want more.