The Rems, Milton Barn, review: ‘A joy to see’

The Rems were at Milton Barn. Picture: Paul Windsor
The Rems were at Milton Barn. Picture: Paul Windsor

Winter may have arrived on Saturday night, but it was warming up nicely with a packed crowd at The Barn for the return of The Mild Mannered Janitors after 25 years, now reformed as The Rems.

From the opening chords, it was like they had never been away.

The band played with a zest and drive that was a joy to see. Lead singer Steve Lympany has the air of James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers these days, lyrically more mature and wiser, but his guitar is as hell-raising as ever.

The set was rounded off nicely with a fine Hendrix cover which couldn't have been any better.

The self-proclaimed ‘gentleman of punk rock’, promised 'no jeans, no T-shirts or cover versions' – they are the words of The Fallen Leaves, who made a welcome return to Portsmouth.

Lead singer the Rob Green, cut a curiously quintessential English figure on stage, resplendent in a fine tweed jacket and black shades – imagine actor Bill Nighy fronting a rock'n'roll band.

Taking a sip from a cup of tea, Green informs the crowd 'it's the only drug for me'.

Musically taking their cues based on a strong lineage – such as the Small Faces – the band are tightly formed around the sound of the guitar and Green's observational lyrics.

A great evening with two wonderful bands and a packed room – what more can you ask for?