The Paddingtons - London Central St Martins - 6/11/05

12 Nov 2005

mcgee's youthfuls plough their trade on the anniversary of the legendary pistols show at st martin's school of art. glen matlock joins in, too.
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The PaddingtonsWhat could be better for the career of young punk upstarts The Paddingtons than dueting with an ex-Pistol?

F**k-all, is the considered answer. Faves of Pete Doherty, these Hull jokers headlined the 30th anniversary debut gig of the Sex Pistols' 'performing' at Central St Martins.

Back in those spitting days, four street punks marched their way across the Charing Cross Road to St Martins College, clambered on stage and played a shambolic twenty minute set, before the promoter pulled the plug. On the same bill that night on November 6th 1975, was 'Bazooka Joe' featuring Stuart Goddard, who later split from 'Bazooka Joe' and became Adam Ant. Memories of the evening were hazy for all who those present.

Jeremy Diggle, a student and a co-promoter who was there on that legendary night (and who unveiled a commemorative blue plaque of the event tonight), recounts: 'The whole band had a presence. Glen was in a little pink number; I seem to remember Lydon was in a ripped jumper. But enough was enough and I unplugged them.'

Diggle adds: 'They were bloody awful and untogether. It was something different but they were too loud and the space was not big enough. I'm not being wimpish when I say they were over-amplified; that's why I switched them off.'

Well, we wished someone had switched off the first support band Battant - but no such luck; all pose and little substance, and unnecessarily loud. Lead-singer Chloe postured on-stage

Without shame - a young Siousxie meets Justine Frischmann, but, sadly, with none of the vocal charisma.

Japanese-punk duo Comanechi followed, before the arrival of the pork-pie hatted, braces-wearing, five-piece Paddingtons. Swaggering on stage, like a youthful John Lydon, ginger lead singer Tom Atkins and co. launched into 'songs' - we use the term lightly - from debut

album 'First Comes First'. Walloping guitar from the spiky and spindly Josh Hubbard and Marv Hines on numbers like 'Tommy's Disease' and '21' knocks us into shape, as well as the extreme hairy-ness of drummer Grant Dobbs, whose drumming was on par with Moon (sort of). But did anyone not think to tell him to keep his shirt on throughout the set?

Shadows of Ramones, New York Dolls, Babyshambles, even the Strokes can all be made. But it wasn't until the weeny Glen Matlock, with his peroxide locks, popped on stage to sing 'Pretty Vacant' that the band proved why they were on the bill tonight; a genuinely scintillating cover. Imbued by the punk spirit the obligatory pogoing began. Those in the crowd were all privileged enough to have beer hurled at them.

After a few tussles, and luckily no gobbing, the Paddingtons threw

themselves off stage at the song's end. Glen on the other hand, rather gracefully just exited stage left, with his coiffed hair in tact. How times change.

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