I first saw The Only Ones in 1979 at the first Futurama Festival at The Queen’s Hall in Leeds. On a bill that included future luminaries such as Joy Division, Echo and The Bunnymen, OMD, The Teardrop Explodes and The Fall there’s no doubt that they were the stand out act. Within two years they had split up without managing to play Leeds again!
So you might imagine how excited I was when they decided to re-form, with the original line-up, in 2007 and I shot off to The Manchester Academy to discover they were just as good as I remembered!
Now they’re playing a short tour and coming to my favourite Leeds venue, The Brudenell Social Club. I arrive at 8.30pm, just in time to see the support act, Leeds band The Pablos, who have an interesting 60s garage band sound and resolve to catch them again at The Brudenell on 29 January 2010, if at all possible. Why not check out their Myspace site?.
The Only Ones wander on stage at 9.50 and proceed to show that they can still stand comparison with the best. They have a rock solid rhythm section in Alan Mair and Mike Kellie and John Perry is a guitarist for whom the description brilliant would not be hyperbole. Peter Perrett, still stick thin and looking only hours away from death, sings in a south London drawl that is strangely attractive.
I suspect that many of the audience have come to the show to hear Another Girl, Another Planet but that is not the limit of their repertoire. As well as songs from their three CBS albums, including stand outs Lovers Of Today, The Beast, The Whole Of The Law and Even Serpents Shine, they perform several new songs written for a proposed new album, including Black Operations.
If you want to investigate The Only Ones I commend the double CD Why Don’t You Kill Yourself, their complete CBS recordings.