Live 1979

Paris Theatre, London – 1st February 1979

The Wait | Stop Your Sobbing | Kid | Cuban Slide | Brass In Pocket | Tattooed Love Boys | Mystery Achievement

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Honeyman – Scott – Guitar | Pete Farndon – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums



NO APOLOGIES for following Mark Williams’ review of the Pretenders at the Moonlight last week with an instant replay. Now is the time to catch them, before success (which is inevitable) and the consequent expectations modify them in any way.

Last Friday night’s event had the edge that feels like minor history being made: lots of interested faces from unexpected quarters, jammed into the Railway Arms’ small room, lent a vibrancy to the atmosphere, and the Pretenders delivered.

I thought they’d goofed when they opened with ‘The Wait’, the B-side of their Real Records single, the best thing of its kind I’ve heard since the MC5’s ‘Looking At You’. They hadn’t, though: almost every subsequent song was its equal (and, in at least one case, its superior). It was one of those sets which build to the point where, when it’s over, you’re cursing the fact that you didn’t have a cassette machine in your bag and a microphone up your sleeve, because you want to hear it all over again, right away.

Chrissie Hynde deals with rock ‘n’ roll like no woman I’ve ever seen. She avoids the pop nuances of Debbie Harry while, unlike Siouxsie Sioux or Poly Styrene, making an instrumental contribution (on rhythm guitar) of a weight equal to any of the three men in the group.

Although she looks tuff (by Keith Richards out of Veronica Bennett), there’s an uncondescending charm about her introductions and asides which establishes the performer/audience rapport at a very interesting and constructive pitch.

She also happens to be the best new singer in ages: razor-phrasing abets a pushy delivery, and she doesn’t have to stop playing while she sings (or vice versa). She can spit out ‘The Wait’ or drawl a Lou Reed-soundalike song about anonymous ‘phone calls (better than anything Reed’s written in years), and she transfixes the listener both ways.

The band matches her extraordinary power, most notably on ‘Married Life’, the only decent white reggae song I’ve ever heard, and they cope beautifully with the dense pop textures of Ray Davies’ ‘Stop Your Sobbing’ (the A-side). Some of the originals have quite complex rhythmic substructures: I think it was ‘I Can’t Control Myself’ which had alternating bars of 4/4 and 7/8 in the verses, attacked very confidently by the rhythm section.

Anyway, the theme of this message is See Them Now. Maybe in Northampton tomorrow night (Friday) where the “House Full” notice will doubtless go up early again. But, pretty soon, it won’t even be that easy

Chequers Club, Barnstaple, UK 29th March 1979

The Wait | Precious | I Need Somebody | Porcelain | Stop Your Sobbing | The Phone Call | Private Life | Tattooed Love Boys | Up The Neck | Mystery Achievement | Sabre Dance/Stop Your Sobbing| Girl Don’t Come

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Honeyman – Scott – Guitar | Pete Farndon – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums

Concerts For The People of Kampuchea 28th December 1979

The Wait | Precious | Tattooed Love Boys | Brass In Pocket | Private Life

Watch Brass In Pocket from this concert.
Watch Jimmy perform with Rockestra covering Lucille, Let It Be and the Rockestra Theme JHS Demos

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Honeyman – Scott – Guitar | Pete Farndon – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums

Concerts for the People of Kampuchea was a series of concerts featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, and many more artists which took place at the Hammersmith Odeon in London during December 1979 to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia. The Pretenders played the 3rd night out of the 4 evenings.