I am writing this review on a plane, having taken with me, the energy from last night’s powerful gig of The Chameleons at 229 the venue. This was the first of the two last gigs of 2019, which started with an electronic gig and ended with an experimental one.

Time he’s on my side…she said…” (lyrics: ‘Less than Human’)

Despite not having seen any familiar faces in the audience at this gig, it felt as if I was among friends.The Chameleons live photo There was strong anticipation in the air, people were discussing their experiences from other gigs of the band in other cities and others were just voicing their desire to listen to specific songs. There were two generations of fans in the venue and it was very evident that they all shared an adoration for The Chameleons.

For this gig, Mark and Reg have reunited on stage in order to celebrate 36 years since the release of the band’s debut album ‘Script of The Bridge’ and the beginning of their career. The setlist started with ‘Rule The Chameleons live photoBritannia‘, ‘Here Today‘ and  ‘Intrigue‘ before Mark dedicated ‘Less Than Human‘  to Boris Johnson. Our warm applause and passionate chant was an honest response to the band’s grand performance on stage and it was received with humbleness and kindness. In the end, it felt as if all this emotional exchange that was happening throughout this gig, has cumulatively increased the energy in the venue. There was nothing pretentious or over-confident about the band’s stage appearance, everything was warm and honest and the audience offered such a warm reception, that this initial feeling of being in a familiar environment, suddenly became quite positively overwhelming. While the words ‘…time he’s on myThe Chameleons live photo side she said…‘ were being delivered with an added sense of frustration and anger, Reg was on the darkest side of the stage,  while Mark in the middle was the only one building rapport with us, in a sincere, warm and personal way. The drummer was mouthing the lyrics almost throughout the gig while Neil (Dwerryhouse) and Danny (Ashberry) had their own quieter ‘systems’ of communication with the audience. Communication on stage between the musicians was minimal until the encore where everyone on stage seemed more relaxed. At this point, Danny took up a guitar while Mark set the bass aside and was able to move around much more.’Splitting In Two‘ closed this gig with a passionate performance, a dynamic exchange of fiery gazes as the audience chanted the lyrics while Mark came forward to greet as many of us as possible.

Absolute highlights of the evening, were ‘Don’t Fall‘, ‘In Shreds‘, ‘P.S Goodbye‘ and ‘Monkeyland‘ (a song that must have made one fan in particular very very happy as he had been waiting to listen to it since the The Chameleons live photobeginning of the gig). It was the audience’s spontaneous reactions during these songs that stayed with me the most, because they created the strongest, more memorable and mostly captured through video, moments of this gig. The chant and its emotional power was overwhelming. It was as if it had multiplied the appeal of the lyrics and the music tenfold and this made almost everyone turn their gaze away from the stage, to look around and ‘see’ the feeling that was been shared between us, as Mark was the  ‘guide’ of all this. All these songs have been transferred through time and were presented to usThe Chameleons live photo  with a renewed passion and dynamism. ‘Nostalgia‘ was another highlight of the evening as it has been performed in a way that truly spread around a feeling of creative nostalgia which is hard to describe but a very dynamic thing to feel nonetheless. Another great moment was the combination of the chorus of Joy Division’s ‘Transmission‘ with the chorus of The Beatle’s ‘Love is All You Need‘. Towards the end of the night, Mark made a comment about the importance of London as a music hub for punk music compared The Chameleons live phototo Manchester about which ‘…everyone is talking these days…‘ and acknowledged London as one of the most important places for punk music.

While leaving from the venue, singing the lyrics of ‘Second Skin‘ in my head, one thought became more and more prevalent. I don’t know if what was being performed is ‘…the stuff dreams are made of…’ but I surely know that it truly is the stuff timeless music is made of! Standing there, listening and dancing to these songs was one of the most fulfilling moments during a gig, that I have experienced during a this year.

Thank you Mark, Reg, Neil, Danny for this evening, for enhancing the meaning and for giving new power to all these melodies and the lyrics for us. It was one of the best ways to end 2019!

You can see more photos from this gig here.


Blaue Rosen box



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