Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic vs. Doc Doc Sputnik
So once again I visited Sputnik City #1: London - for what would be my 16th Sputnik gig. Not without trouble as the bloody airline "service" had lost my bag underways. But bag or in this case: no bag, nothing could stop the Sputnik 2 Express.
I was lucky enough to catch the soundcheck at The Purple Turtle, which for some reason was open to the public. This was the first Sputnik soundcheck I've ever been to and it obviously was pretty cool to experience.
When I arrived to the venue I found well-known Sputnik family already there: Lynn, Dean and Jo. We had a few beers during the soundcheck with the boys playing "Rockit Miss USA" and Martin also doing some vocal tests. After that we had a good chat with Martin and Johann. Martin had brought the brand new "Flaunt It" factory pressed discs, so now we knew that it did in fact exist. Martin showed me the backstage area of the venue so that I could make my way through there if I wanted to film some video from the stage. It never really became necessary though, because half of the crowd (including me) would end up invading the stage later anyway.
Martin, Johann and Lynn had to go back to their home to dress up like only few people dare or can. Dean and Jo had to find their hotel and see how much vodka Dean could really drink and still be standing on his feet. I went to the World's End which is the traditional Camden pre-gig warm-up pub, and on my way there I met John and his friend Stephen. They had just left the same pub. They agreed to go back and we stayed there for quite some beers and a long discussion of great musicians and football.
We went back to The Purple Turtle and met up with everyone again. Now also including DocSputnik, Leigh and Dean's alter ego "Vodka Dean" taking care of both bouncers and "Flaunt It" sale. I had agreed with Martin to film the entire gig using my Zoom Q3HD handy recorder but I don't know if I was too drunk or just too stupid, but somehow I messed up the first track, a brilliant "Sci-Fi Lover" that was really way cool live. Well, I've merged the two thirds of the song I got on video with some studio sound and some other video. In my defense the button layout of the Q3HD is not very good, the old Q3 had a much better layout. But I still hate myself for fucking it up. Anyway, the lights conditions were not perfect, so the video isn't top quality.
Other than that we had crowd favourites like "Rockit Miss USA", "21st Century Boy", "Jayne Mansfield" and of course "Love Missile F1-11." Very interesting were the inclusion of "Transformer Transex" and a slowed down version of "Frankenstein Cha-Cha-Cha". As the last song we got the brand new track "Fascination". Technically the show was then over, but in fact it wasn't. What happened next was that a huge part of the crowd invaded the stage with Martin's blessing and launched into "Rockit Miss USA" and "21st Century Boy" with DocSputnik and Leigh doing most of the vocals. DocSputnik has done so many Sputnik stage performances now that it is only fair to label his show "Doc Doc Sputnik".
Seeing Sputnik perform live is always great fun. There is a always a very good vibe in London venues and you get to meet both the Sputnik family - or The Elite, if you will - but you also meet a lot of new fresh faces every time. I have to be honest though and say that I really miss a live guitar in the mix. Lloyd Price and Martin have both done an outstanding job in giving many of the old tracks new life and a fresh new sound as well. Also taking on lost gems like "Sci-Fi Lover" to mention the most prominent of them. They have launched many new tracks and will keep doing so. I just wish the live performances could be made a bit more live by adding at the very least a guitarist to the line-up. I really miss Neal's guitar in the live mix. I really do.
After the gig Martin and Johann were as always more than willing to have a chat and a photo taken and the old and hopefully new fans could buy the brilliant new "Flaunt It" disc and they could have some more to drink which it seems I most certainly did, otherwise I can't explain the massive headache I had when waking up the next morning. Well, woke up is not really true, since I stayed in the hotel bed for most of the day while watching or sleeping to the royal wedding on tv only interupted by some outdoor journeys to get some food and cold drinks.
Another great trip to see Sputnik was over and the count down has begun: when will I go next time? We'll see.