This was to be the sixth time I have seen the majestic girl power ambassadors and socialist pop punk stars the Tuts. What were they like? Well you’ll have to read on for a bit because there were also some rather excellent support acts on the bill too. First up was Simon Widdop a rather excellent and intelligent poet from Wakefield. Sadly thanks to heavy traffic I missed much of his set but what I did hear was clever, emotional reminiscent of another great northern poet John Cooper Clarke. I especially loved Simon’s tribute to the late, great Amy Winehouse.
Simon was followed by Leeds three-piece Autobodies. If you like the Velvet Underground or Bis then there is no way you won’t like this tight little band. Not only do they write great songs they look as if they are having amazing fun on the Brudenell Games Room stage. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this lot and I urge you to do the same.
Third on stage were a stunning band from Nottingham, Babe Punch, incidentally that is a bloody good name too. They are grungey, punky, alternative with what seems like a great understanding of what makes great pop music. Testament to this was their very different cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game“. The lead singer has a look of Grace Slick about her, but not only the look she has a voice that could match Grace at her finest too. Babe Punch are a highly talented band and I hope they venture north again because I for one will definitely try to see them again.
OK so now it was time for the main event, the Tuts. I was lucky enough to meet each of them during the support acts and they seemed well up for this gig. This show was a part of their Something Worth Voting For Tour of the UK. In a wonderful twist of fate Cruella de May announced a General Election after the Tuts announced their tour. I am guessing that there were no potential Tory voters at the Brudenell in the Tuts crowd that night. Their set was as we Tuts fans have come to expect; loud, punchy, fun, political, punky and powerful. Tut classic after Tut classic were blasted out and totally lapped up by the adoring crowd, believe me if you see this band once then you will be a fan for life. “Let Go Of The Past”, “Worry Warrior”, “Tut Tut Tut” and “Dump Your Boyfriend” had everyone in the crowd singing along. Perhaps the highlight given the forthcoming election was a stunningly angry version of “Give Us Something Worth Voting For”. Nadia and Hat Tut made a couple of crowd invasions which were greeted with rapturous applause. The girls even gave us a wall of death opportunity, which was quite a violent departure for this old bloke! Do you like the Spice Girls “Wannabe”? Go on even if you see it as a guilty pleasure you cannot deny that it is a great song and one that is made even better by the Tuts. The encore ended with the wonderful “Back Up”. At the end of the gig Nad, Bev and Hat spent as much time as they could with their fans. What we also learnt tonight is that legendary producer Mike Chapman is interested in producing them, I really hope that works out. As for the woman who gave the Tuts a poor review in Southampton, were we watching the same band?
Finally I want to add a postscript in that I wrote this review before the horrific events in Manchester on Monday 22nd May at the Ariana Grande show. I have being going to gigs for nearly 45 years and a tragedy like that evil bomb attack on innocent people, many of them kids attending perhaps their first concert, makes me think how much music means to me. Music is life affirming, do not let the acts of some fanatics take that away from you. My heart and thoughts are with the victims and their friends and families. So many young people lost their lives. But we must not let evil people beat us. From everything that I have heard and read since the attack one thing is very clear. The human spirit is alive and strong, so many people reaching out to help others. We need to focus on that to carry on. Take care everyone, be vigilant, be safe, show compassion and love. We are all earthlings and we share one planet regardless of race and ideology.