T. Rextasy - Marc Bolan 36th Commemorative Concert
added: 20 Sep 2013
// gig date: 14 Sep 2013
reviewer: Claudia A
Yes, it’s that time of year again (September, to be precise) when Bolanites the world over pay tribute to the undisputed king of glam – Marc Bolan
! However, none other then T.Rextasy
, the only official tribute band to T.Rex
, will do when it comes to the ultimate commemorative experience to Bolan!
Bolan, who died on Sept 16th 1977, following a car crash, has left a legacy of unforgettable tunes behind – many of which were revived last Saturday when Bolan-lookalike Danielz
and his band paid their own tribute to their hero in a venue that was packed to the rafters. With his trademark corkscrew hair and armed with his Les Paul guitar, the elfin T.Rextasy frontman didn’t waste much time with exchanging pleasantries. Instead, he, Neil Cross
(rhythm guitar), Paul Marks
(bass), and John Skelton
(drums) blasted straight into a riveting version of ‘Telegram Sam’, which swiftly was followed by ‘Children Of The Revolution’. Only two songs in, and the audience had already got two of Bolan’s greatest hits… clearly, Danielz knows how to wow his many fans!
And now it was time to greet them too, while at the same time reflecting on how quickly times passes… “It’s hard to believe that Marc died 36 years ago… time seems to pass more quickly all the time. Great to see you all here tonight, it’s like a big Bolan family - familiar faces and new ones. Thank you all for coming along to help commemorate the anniversary of Marc’s death, but also to celebrate what would have been his 66th birthday coming up.”
Speaking of new faces, a new T.Rextasy fan was cheering in the front row – young Grace Clarke from Lincolnshire, who tells me that she has been a huge fan of the band ever since she discovered their music while researching a 70’s arts project.
Once again greeting the fans – this time emphasized with a firm rock god stance – Danielz pointed out that while many well known T.Rex numbers would be part of tonight’s repertoire, some lesser known songs will also be played, and promptly hooked into the groove with a rocking and punchy rendition of ‘Visions Of Domino’. Love might be a freak that moves fast, but T.Rextasy’s take on the song moved faster still!“Were any of you at the Rainbow in 1977?”
asked Danielz, “because they would have heard the next song this way, as opposed to that way”
he teased, before the first chords of an upbeat ‘Deborah’ rang through the hall.
Then it was time to welcome the evening’s special guest, Marc Almond
, to the stage. With his black leather jacket and ‘Dandy In The Underworld’ t-shirt, he cut a contrasting figure to Danielz’ zig-zag sequined jacket and über-cool ‘Save The Badger’ t-shirt. Mr. Almond had the honour of taking over vocal duties on ‘Ballrooms Of Mars’ – a rock ballad that proved to be the perfect vehicle for the crooner with the big voice, capturing all the shifting nuances just so. It takes someone of Almond’s calibre to infuse lyrics like “You talk about day / I'm talking 'bout nighttime / when the monsters call out / the names of men Bob Dylan knows” with panache and melodrama! To do his t-shirt justice, next he performed ‘Dandy In The Underworld’ though this time, Danielz joined in the singing. “Whatever DID happen to the teenage dream?”
wondered Marc Almond, before delivering, beautifully of course, the very same song (‘Whatever Happened To The Teenage Dream?’) accompanied by Danielz and Co. It was an utter joy to watch, not least because each artist gave the impression that they really enjoyed being at the O2 for the concert. Actually, on this occasion the song should have been called ‘Whatever happened to the mic’ courtesy of a minor microphone malfunction.
Then Almond handed over the stage to Danielz and band again, who promptly delighted the many fans with T.Rex staples ‘Born To Boogie’ and, for all the people who came from afar, ‘Ride A White Swan’! Next, Danielz announced a personal favorite of his, namely ‘Sunken Rags’ (the B-side of ‘Children Of The Revolution’), during which he lay down a mean beat indeed.
He then was particularly proud to announce a song which had been a favorite and an inspiration to Joey Ramone
– namely ‘Solid Gold Easy Action’.
Cue for the return of Mr. Almond, and after the exquisite ‘Baby Boomerang’ came one of my own personal favorites, the wonderfully blues-hued ‘Lean Woman Blues’ (ok, so the hint is in the title) from the ‘Electric Warrior’ album. It sounded as it should sound – killer riffs spiced with the right dose of sleaze around the edges. Danielz, Neil, and Paul gave it their all, while Almond contributed with his confident vocal harmonies. A true highlight of the evening!
Lots of requests were shouted from the venue direction stage, but Danielz rightly pointed out that the night simply isn’t long enough to play all of them. However, fans were happy to get treated to ‘One Inch Rock’, with Danielz inviting everyone with the words, “C’mon on, I wanna see you move to this – can you do that for us all?”
and they sure could! The intro was comprised of a stonkin’ hot and fast guitar intro by the frontman, which contrasted with the slow guitar intro of ‘Metal Guru’ before things got very speedy indeed.
‘New York City’ bewitched not just with a frog coming out of a woman’s hand, but with crunchy and up-temp chords that scrabbled straight for ‘here’s to another crowd pleaser’ number.
A teasing guitar solo by Danielz marked the start of ‘20th Century Boy’, followed by a truly electrifying ‘Jeepster’, during which he encouraged the audience to participate… “C’mon on, I can’t see you clapping!”
If punters thought that all the aforementioned gems were mini-highlights of sorts (and they were), then now it was time for the absolute highlight: a truly orgasmic version of ‘Get It On’, which Danielz jokingly introduced as “Quite Noel Gallagher, but it really is Chuck Berry!”
Enforced by a tireless pace, and a high-octane instrumental mid-song during which Danielz exchanged his instrument for a Fender, the sheer energy on stage was transmitted through the entire venue. There wasn’t a second left for catching any breath, the raw energy and scintillating playfulness of one of Bolan’s ultimate hits here received a makeover he would have been more than proud of. T.Rextasy blasted across stage, churning out heaps of fierce chords while John Skelton’s eardrum-pounding sticks-work did the rest. The number went on forever, during which the various musicians had ample opportunity to show off just how masterfully they can handle their instruments. The crowd were ecstatic, and rightly so!
Time passed all too quickly, and just as T.Rextasy fever had kicked in it was already time for the encore. One fan – hysterically shouting – demanded ‘Spaceball Ricochet’ but it was ‘I Love To Boogie’ which she and the other fans got. For the grand finale, Marc Almond took to the stage once more – this time taking photos of the audience with his Apple laptop! ‘Hot Love’ was the final song of the night, with everyone joining in and demonstrating that the spirit of Marc Bolan lives on forever. Once again, it was a fitting tribute and a glam-tastic night out for all the many devotees of T.Rextasy and T.Rex!Last but not least: please don’t forget to keep a little Danielz (and Marc) in your heart… and to save the badger!
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