Saturday 8 May 2010

The Blockheads At The Arc

The Blockheads
At The Arc
A Pictorial Report

I never thought I'd see The Blockheads in concert but, as luck would have it, they appeared in the rough vicinity of my neighbourhood earlier this week.

I think a lot of people thought they had stopped working as a group since the demise of Ian Dury in 2000, but in fact they have continued to tour and have released two CDs as The Blockheads ('Where's The Party?' in 2004 and 'Staring Down The Barrel' in 2009).

The Arc is a cosy venue in central Stockton. I was there once before; last November, to see Ian Siegal (

The support act was 'The Endgame', who played an interesting half-hour set. This Durham quartet, described on their own website as 'Alternative/Indie', did a good job. Apparently they have a CD coming out soon, which will be worth a lsten. Keep an eye on their website for further details:

Just after 9 p.m., The Blockheads took to the stage. The unlikely-named Derek The Draw is on vocals these days and I thought he did a very good job.

Rather than provide an imitation of Ian Dury, Derek The Draw quickly proved that he had a style all of his own. He was entertaining throughout the whole show.

For the track, 'I Want To Be Straight', he produced from somewhere an unusual facial prop.

The severely underrated Chaz Jankel switched between guitar and keyboards and added plenty of backing vocals too.

Mick Gallagher (above, right) was on the keyboards all night.

John Turnbull is another long-term Blockhead. He played with his customary enthusiasm and energy.

The legendary Norman Watt-Roy handled the bass duties as only he can.

The set list combined classics with a sprinkling of post-Dury numbers. I think this is the correct running order:

No Go Central

Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll

I Want To Be Straight

George The Human Pigeon

If I Was With A Woman


A Little Knowledge

Clevor Trever

Hold Tight

Wake Up And Make Love With Me

What A Waste


Where's The Party?

Life In Your Hands

Prophet Of Doom

Sweet Gene Vincent

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick


It's a good feeling when one can see that the band is having as good a time as the audience.

Dylan Howe kept the beat going on the drums.

Terry Edwards played two saxophones at once for 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick'!

Bass solo!

Mick Gallagher thanking the crowd

Derek The Draw wasn't the only one to give the evening the thumbs up. It was a wonderfully entertaining evening, enhanced by the small venue to give the show a really intimate feel.

I'd definitely go and see The Blockheads again, given half the chance. Meanwhile, it's time to dust off some of the old CDs and investigate the newer ones.

Excellent stuff from The Blockheads!

Pop along to their website for further tour dates etc:


Anonymous said...

thanks for the great pics sean looks like a great gig..i am off to see the band on Tuesday at Dingwalls and can,t wait to see and hear perhaps the most unique band in the UK.
Dave Aldershot

Sean Marsh said...

You are very welcome Dave - thanks for the comments.

I knew the show would be good but it was even better than I hoped it would be.

Derek the Draw has done a wonderful job to make the role his own.

Have a great time on Tuesday!