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It was a dark and chilly night when John Reis, known as Speedo to you and me, the ringleader, high heid yin and tamer of the beast that is rock n’ roll, couriers the Kings of said genre Rocket from the Crypt to the ravenous hordes tightly packed into Newcastle’s the Cluny*.

Speedo was out front and centre – banter filled and raring to go, acting more like a pastor than a lead singer, filled with holy word that is rock n’ roll which had his congregation** enraptured before any notes had even been played. But when they were played, starting with ‘Sturdy Wrists’ from their breakthrough album ‘Circa: Now!’. Well the place fucking erupted into a sea of jumping, shimmying and some dubious dance moves***.

But all the audience excitement so far seemed to be a prelude to the moves that were thrown on hearing the triple header of ‘Middle’, ‘Born in 69’ and ‘On a Rope’ back to back. By this point RFTC had really hit their stride and the evening continued at a blistering pace with highlighted cuts from throughout their more a less impeccable career****. With sweat beginning to drip off the walls and the general populace of the venue becoming clammy, one gentleman at the front of the stage discarded his top which in turn aroused the respect and fondness from Speedo where he commended the man for his practicality. Due to this, that topless gent got his pick for the next song which was a rousing ‘Dick on a Dog’*****.

Each member of the band was given their time to shine as the evening was coming to an end****** and they took to the opportunity with relish. Upon leaving the stage the audience roared for more only giving the band a minute to compose themselves before they returned to finish the evening with ‘Come See Come Saw’ and ‘Young Livers’. With genuine thanks they left to the cheers, applause and shout outs from a grateful and gratified audience where no one was in rush to leave.

As someone that has waited around 17 years to see this band live having just missed them in my (relative) youth******* there was a level of anticipation for this show that I do not normally have. But when this occasionally does occur I am always cautious that these things rarely live up to the wants that one has, so before entering I was excited but ready for disappointment. Luckily, or should I say thankfully, I needn’t have worried as they more than surpassed my unrealistically high expectations very much helped by the wonderful audience that attended. To RFTC please don’t fucking quit again guys!

*And what a lovely venue it is, it’s nice to have a stellar pint whilst watching a gig instead of the stuff that I wouldn’t even call cooking lager.

**That would be the audience… I think that was clear.

***It wasn’t just I.

****I even love ‘Camp X-Ray’!

*****They were going to play it later anyway.

******Which for the sake of flow I have left out of the main text but each one deserves their due so here they are… Petey X (bass), ND (guitar), Apollo 9 (sax), JC 2000 (trumpet), Ruby Mars (drums) as well as Speedo (vocals and guitar).

*******As good as seeing Hot Snakes was I really wanted to see this band since I first saw them on the Chart Show whilst staying in Barra – I think they melted my brain.