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The Only Ones @ Koko

March 14, 2012

First published March 2008

Tricky gig, Koko. Euphoria, disbelief and media hype surrounded Shepherds Bush Empire last June but tonight was considerably more low-key, with virtually no advertising and early doors to accomodate a teenage disco later on.

Arriving at Koko (The Music Machine to all us ageing punkrockers) for a 5pm soundcheck proved to be a dispiriting experience. Whilst a lovely building, by daylight any tattiness in the decor is all too visible and the place reeks of loo cleaner (bring back smoking!). Spirits were not lifted by an in-house soundcrew who seemed not arsed and a monitor mix which gave Kellie real concerns.

No support band tonight so a marathon near-two hour DJ slot from me. The band were late (no!) so I tried to entice them from the dressing room with Beck’s Bolero which got a round of applause from the now-packed audience…but no band. They strolled on a couple of numbers later to a reassuringly raucous welcome.

First impressions were that Peter’s voice had strengthened although he seemed frail towards the end of the set, sitting on the riser at one point. The rhythm section were in vintage form – Kellie’s Bo Diddley shuffle throughout Me And My Shadow was worth the price of admission on its own. Being positioned stage left I had a great view of Alan’s bass technique and I realised he frequently strums rather than picks his nifty Les Paul Sunburst bass. John Perry played some phenomenal leads on his white Strat and Les Paul Junior, with the coda to She Dreamt She Could Fly outstanding.

A smattering of new material (Black Operations, Is This How Much) livened the set and showed great promise – look out for at least one new song on Jools Holland this week. Best song of the set for me was the encore, Transfixed. Originally released by The One as a B-side to Woke Up Sticky the Only Ones live version features three-part backing vocals and some emergent guitar lines which really nailed the melody. Transfixed was preceded by a pause whilst Chris and Manny swapped a defective Fender amp. The continuing applause which bridged this slight hiatus indicates the genuine affection in which Koko held the Only Ones.

Simon Wright

Playlist Before The Band

Mother’s Little Helper – Rolling Stones

Don’t Look Back – Remains

Police On My Back – Clash

Coast To Coast – Ducks Deluxe

Whole Wide World – Wreckless Eric

Children Of The Sun – Misunderstood

Rainbow Chaser – Nirvana

(If You Think You’re) Groovy – PP Arnold / Small Faces

Soda Pressing – Boys

Gobbing On Life _ Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranois

Open My Eyes – Nazz

You’re Gonna Miss Me – 13th Floor Elevators

Fall On You – Moby Grape

Bangkok – Alex Chilton

Do You Love Me? _ Heartbreakers

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night – Electric Prunes

I Ain’t No Miracle Worker – Brogues

The Cops Are Coming – Criminals

Did You No Wrong – Sex Pistols

White Light White Heat – Velvet Underground

I Want You – Troggs

Why Are We Sleeping? – Soft Machine

This Perfect Day – Saints

Jail Guitar Doors – Clash

Desdemona – John’s Children

7 and 7 Is – Love

Final Solution – Pere Ubu

When I’m Bored – Snatch

Rosalyn – Pretty Things

Gloria – Patti Smith

See Emily Play – Pink Floyd

Looking At You – MC5

I Saw Her Standing There – Pink Fairies

(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone – Monkees

Pushing Too Hard – Seeds

Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White – Standells

Give Him A Great Big Kiss – Shangri Las

I Need You – Kinks

Manic Depression – Jimi Hendrix Experience

Beck’s Bolero – Jeff Beck Group

96 Tears – ? and the Mysterians

Playlist After The Band

My Way Of Giving – Small Faces

Memo From Turner – Mick Jagger

Playlist – Aftershow

Cherry Bomb – Runaways

Little Queenie – Flamin Groovies

Understanding – PP Arnold / Primal Scream

Paper Sun – Traffic

Transparent Day – West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

Let’s Loot The Supermarket (Again) – Mick Farren and the Deviants

Seven Deadly Finns – Eno

32-20 – Charlatans

2000 Light Years From Home – Rolling Stones

Under My Thumb – Who

Little Girl – Syndicate Of Sound

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

Child Of The Moon – Rolling Stones

I Got A Line On You – Spirit

Psychotic Reaction – Count Five

Tin Soldier – Small Faces

Do Ya – Move

Fire – Jimi Hendrix Experience

Don’t Bring Me Down – Pretty Things

We Love You – Rolling Stones

Roadhouse Blues – Doors

Baby Please Don’t Go – Them

Milk Cow Blues – Chocolate Watch Band

Woolly Bully – Sam The Sham And the Pharoahs

Billy’s Bag – Billy Preston

You Got Me Hummin – Sam and Dave

Call Me Lightning – Who

Route 66 – Count Bishops

Parchman Farm – John Mayall

C’mon C’mon – Von Bondies

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