Live 2009

Borgata Casino, Atlantic City, NJ – 31st January 2009

Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Talk Of The Town | Message Of Love | The Nothing Maker
Love’s A Mystery | Back On The Chain Gang | Rosalee | The Last Ride | My City Was Gone | Stop Your Sobbing | Day After Day| Don’t Get Me Wrong | Thumbelina | Brass in Pocket | Rebel Rock Me | Tattooed Love Boys | Break Up the Concrete | Kid | Up The Neck

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

Believe it or not, Martin Chambers, the founding drummer for the Pretenders, learns more about his bandmate, singer Chrissie Hynde, by reading newspapers and magazines than he does hanging out with her.

When we tour, Chrissie has her own dressing room, and the boys have their own dressing room,” Chambers recently told The Denver Post. “And after the gig, we’re on the bus and maybe watching a movie. There is interaction, but it’s lightweight stuff. I find out a great deal more by reading interviews.”

That reality will be surprising to some, since Hynde and Chambers celebrated 30 years of playing together last year. (“Celebrated” is used loosely, as the anniversary “just passed,” according to Chambers. “It’s just a bunch of time, really.”) But sure enough, when Hynde wanted to record an LP with noted session drummer Jim Keltner behind the kit instead of Chambers — as she did with 2008’s “Break Up the Concrete” — her longtime bandmate took no offense.

“I said to her, ‘Go ahead and do whatever you want to do, because you’re going to do it anyway,’ ” Chambers said. “You never know with Chrissie. She doesn’t talk with me much. And that’s the way it should be. We just get on the stage and play. This is a musical endeavor. She writes, and I perform, and if she wants to use somebody else in the studio, she should. My bit is playing live. It’s for one night only. And when she called me to schedule a tour, I was all about it.”

Chambers will be back behind the kit when the Pretenders play the Paramount Theatre in Denver on Tuesday, and he’s enjoying playing the fast-driving, rockabilly-centered songs that make up the new “Break Up the Concrete.” The band is playing seven or eight songs off the new record in these shows, according to Chambers, and he said he’s appreciating the time between the album release and the tour.

“People have had a bit of time to listen to the songs,” he said. “And the front rows are always full of people singing along.”

It helps that Chambers is pleased as ever about the band’s current lineup, which includes pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood, bassman Nick Wilkinson and guitarist James Walbourne.

“This lineup is particularly good, and we’re recording these shows for a potential release,” Chambers said. “We won’t get any better than this.”

Chambers met Walbourne at his neighborhood pub, the Boogaloo, in Highgate, North London. And after introducing him to Hynde, she enlisted him into her new gang of studio musicians. And it’s easy to hear the band’s new energy after a single listen to “Break Up the Concrete,” a Western-kissed romp that has Hynde in top, showboating form.

“It was good for (Chrissie), after 30 years as a band, to be in the studio with people she’s never played with before,” said Chambers. “I think she really got something out of that.”

“Boots of Chinese Plastic” is a jittery toe-tapper that is full of life and hope, while the title track is a free-spirited exercise in soul. Hynde’s voice — and accompanying attitude — is as potent as ever. And that’s hardly surprising, given that the last time the Pretenders came through Denver, opening for the Who at the Pepsi Center in late 2006, Hynde left a larger impression on some than the evening’s headliner.

And now critics and fans are talking about the “rebirth” of the Pretenders, a term that makes Chambers giddy.

“I think we are going through a rebirth, certainly from the live performance perspective,” he said. “An album is an album, but now that we have Nick in the band, having him on bass has been really helpful to me, and finding James has been spectacularly good. It’s all lit a fire beneath Chrissie. It’s given us another life — another touring life.”

Paramount Theatre, Denver – 24th February 2009

Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Talk Of The Town | Message Of Love  | Love’s A Mystery | The Nothing Maker | The Last Ride | Back On The Chain Gang | Rosalee | Stop Your Sobbing | Tequila | Kid | Don’t Get Me Wrong | Day After Day | Brass In Pocket | Cuban Slide | Thumbelina | Break Up The Concrete | The Wait | Precious | Tattooed Love Boys | Up The Neck

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

Ole Bull Scene, Bergen – 14th June 2009

Boots of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Message Of Love | Talk Of The Town | Love’s a Mystery | Don’t Lose Faith In Me | Stop Your Sobbing | Back On The Chain Gang | Rosalee | I Go To Sleep | Kid | Don’t Get Me Wrong | Thumbelina | Cuban Slide | Brass In Pocket | I’ll Stand By You | Middle Of The Road | Watching The Clothes Go Round | Precious
Up The Neck | The Wait

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

Kesselhaus, Berlin – 22nd June 2009

Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair |  Message Of Love | Talk Of The Town | Love’s A Mystery | Don’t Lose Faith In Me | Back On The Chain Gang | The Nothing Maker | Rosalee | I Go Sleep| Stop Your Sobbing | Don’t Get Me Wrong | Tequila | Night In My Veins | Brass In Pocket | Thumbelina | Break Up The Concrete | I’ll Stand By You | Middle Of The Road | Watching The Clothes | Precious | Cuban Slide | Up The Neck

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

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Laeiszhalle, Hamburg – 23rd June 2009


Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Message Of Love | Talk Of The Town | Love’s A Mystery | Don’t Lose Faith In Me | Kid | Back On The Chain Gang | The Nothing Maker | Rosalee | I Go To Sleep | Don’t Get Me Wrong | Stop Your Sobbing | Tequila | Night In My Veins | Brass In Pocket | Thumbelina | Break Up The Concrete | I’ll Stand By You | Middle Of The Road | Cuban Slide | Precious | The Wait | Up The Neck

Buy the album The Best Of/Break Up The Concrete

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

Zelt Musik Festival, Freiburg – 25th June 2009

Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Message Of Love | Talk Of The Town | Love’s A Mystery | Don’t Lose Faith In Me | Kid | Back On The Chain Gang | The Last Ride | Rosalee | I Go To Sleep
Don’t Get Me Wrong | Stop Your Sobbing | Forever Young | Night In My Veins | Brass In Pocket | Thumbelina | Break Up The Concrete | I’ll Stand By You | Middle Of The Road | Cuban Slide | Watching The Clothes Go Round | Precious | Up The Neck

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

See Gallery below of pictures from the Zelt Musik Festival, Freiburg 25th June 2009

ABC, Glasgow – 14th July 2009

Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Talk of the Town | Message of Love | Kid | Don’t Lose Faith In Me | Love’s a Mystery | Back On The Chain Gang | Rosalee | Tequila | I Go To Sleep | Don’t Get Me Wrong | Stop Your Sobbing | Day After Day | Brass in Pocket | Cuban Slide | I’ll Stand By You | Thumbelina | Break Up the Concrete | Middle Of The Road | Forever Young | Precious | The Wait | Tattooed Love Boys | Up The Neck

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

Latitude Festival – 17th July 2009

Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Talk Of The Town | Message Of Love | Kid | Loves A Mystery | Back On The Chain Gang | Rosalie | Don’t Get Me Wrong | Stop Your Sobbing | Brass In Pocket | Forever Young | Day After Day | I’ll Stand By You | Middle Of The Road

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

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Casino Rama, Ontario – 5th August 2009

Boots Of Chinese Plastic | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Talk Of The Town | Message Of Love | Kid | Love’s A Mystery | Rosalee | Back On The Chain Gang | Tequila
Nothing Maker | My City Was Gone | Angel Of The Morning | Don’t Get Me Wrong | I’ll Stand By You | Break Up The Concrete | Thumbelina | Night In My Veins | Day After Day | Forever Young | Brass In Pocket | Middle Of The Road

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

Greek Theatre, LA – 3rd September 2009

Break Up The Concrete | Message Of Love | Talk Of The Town | Kid | Love’s A Mystery | My City Was Gone | Back On The Chain Gang | Tequila | Rosalee | Angel Of The Morning | The Last Ride | Don’t Get Me Wrong | Don’t Cut Your Hair | Thumbelina | Boots Of Chinese Plastic| Night In My Veins | Mystery Achievement | Precious | Middle Of The Road

Chrissie Hynde – Vocals/Guitar | James Walbourne – Guitar | Nick Wilkinson – Bass Guitar | Martin Chambers – Drums | Eric Heywood – Pedal Steel Guitar

Embed from Getty Images