Review | The Punk'n'Roll Garden Party, The Queens Hotel, Southsea: 'Life doesn't get much better than this'

Can you believe it is day 437 since the lockdown began?

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:59 am
King Salami and The Cumberland Three at The Punk'n'Roll Garden Party, The Queens Hotel, Southsea, May 31, 2021. Picture by Paul Windsor

Thankfully the sun is out and there is a gentle sea breeze as we start to see the green shoots of normality and witness our first gig for months in the agreeable surroundings of The Queens Hotel garden.

The Pompey punk glitterati are out in force, most probably haven’t seen each other since last summer – it’s fist-bumps all round, many still not sure if we are allowed to hug each other.

There is an emotional tribute to former Portsmouth-based Blur/Duran Duran tour manager Craig Duffy who tragically died recently in a car crash, along with his partner Sue Parmiter.

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King Salami at The Punk'n'Roll Garden Party. Picture by Paul Windsor

Portsmouth band Gary 7 kick off the afternoon with an infectious brand of surf/Duane Eddy-inspired instrumentals.

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They are followed by London-based garage-rock band The Mudd Clubb with lead singer Sadie Capps providing some glamour to the day – and in drummer Julian West, someone who seemed barely old enough to get in to the venue.

Like a lot of shows, this one was rescheduled from last year, so there was an air of expectation when King Salami and The Cumberland 3 took to the stage.

KIng Salami, resplendent in suede-fringed waistcoat and turban is a consummate showman, prowling the stage, maracas permanently shaking like a demented shaman.

His vocals take a hint of Screaming Jay Hawkins and Tom Waits.

The band dish up a platter of Bo Diddley/garage-punk anthems and if the crowd were allowed they would have been up and dancing.

Indeed, the large crowd, unlike at the Fleetingwood Mac gig from last summer, stay respectfully seated due to current regulations – strange times indeed.

But with temperatures rising, a perfect sea breeze, live music in the sunshine and a cold pitcher of beer, life doesn't get much better than this.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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