REVIEW: Ian Prowse at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Ian Prowse celebrated 25 years of his old band Pele's debut album, Fireworks. Picture by John Johnson
Ian Prowse celebrated 25 years of his old band Pele's debut album, Fireworks. Picture by John Johnson

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It seems a life time since I last saw Ian Prowse, and his band Pele, play the Wedge. I was a young Uni student who turned up for many bands at this venue who simply didn’t have the staying power that the Livepudlian musician has shown.

Tonight was ostensibly about celebrating Pele’s criminally underrated debut – Fireworks – which, this year, is 25 years old.

And celebrate we did. Every track from the album was aired (not in order though, who wants that?) and each song was given a rapturous welcome from the sadly, way short of sell-out, crowd.

Those of us who made the effort were rewarded by an ebullient Prowse. Spotting, early on, a couple with their young children, he made an effort to speak to them and play the song they were most desperate to see: Name And Number.

After the joys of Fireworks and Megalomania, we were made to wait for Raid The Palace but it was worth it. Several Amsterdam (Prowse’s post-Pele band) songs made an appearance and there was an excellent cover of the Clash song London Calling cover too. Most poignant was the My Name Is Dessie Warren track documenting the trials of the titular trade unionist.

Prowse has no fear of declaring his left-wing views a (difficult to miss if you listen to the songs) and his audience are definitely on board. I suspect, though, that with killer tunes like these, the fans could care less about politics