|The International Swingers - London, The Lexington - 19th July 2013|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Tuesday, 30 July 2013 03:00|
No, The International Swingers is not some high class dogging network, it’s a punk ‘supergroup’ made up of some very familiar names indeed. Sex Pistol and Rich Kid Glen Matlock is joined by Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Chelsea/Generation X/The Cult guitarist James Stevenson and Twenty Flight Rockers singer/guitarist Gary Twinn. These self-declared ‘best mates’ are doing it purely for the sheer hell of it in between their various other projects, and tonight sees them make a one-off appearance at a very hot and sweaty Lexington in London’s King’s Cross.
It’s a great set comprising of covers and picks from each member’s back catalogue along with a few recently self-penned tracks too. Blondie’s ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ gets an early hearing as well as a great version of the old Monkees standard ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’. The Rich Kids’ ‘Burning Sounds’ sounds just great, Tracy Hunter makes a guest appearance for ‘All The Young Dudes’, and Clem takes on vocal duties for The Romantics’ ‘What I Like About You’. Crowd pleasers ‘Call Me’ and ‘Pretty Vacant’ are pretty inevitable, but most welcome. What is more welcome though are the band’s newer compositions, scattered between the covers and career retrospective tracks. ‘FBI’, ‘Live Wire’ and ‘Gun Control’ are all highly impressive, and an early indication that there’s a damn good album to come out of these guys if they so choose.
Clem Burke’s former Blondie cohort, and one time New York Doll, Frank Infante joins in the fun for an explosive encore of Eddie Cochran’s ‘C’Mon Everybody’ and The Stooges ‘No Fun’ which wraps things up nicely.
It’s a good, fun set and you can tell the guys are thoroughly enjoying it. It’s not hard to ‘spot the American’ in the band as Clem Burke clearly wants his share of the limelight and grabs the microphone as much as he can. His drumming is, of course, still outstanding, if a little over the top on occasion, but it’s a privilege to see him on stage alongside other punk legends such as Matlock and Infante. Twenty Flight Rocker Gary Twinn does a really good job fronting the band and adds a bit more of a pop sheen to proceedings rather than a punk snarl.
Whilst they won’t change the world The International Swingers are not only capable of putting on a thoroughly entertaining show, but can also clearly pen a decent tune.
Photos by Noel Buckley www.noelbuckleyimages.co.uk