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The band of Gypsies left Chelmsford for the promised land of Walthamstow after a couple of pints in the Plough. We was off to see Essex’s finest, The Hamsters doing their Jimmy Hendrix set. I have seen this one before in the dim and distant and as far as I can recall, enjoyed it immensley. As we pulled into Liverpool St, the smell of Cornish pasties was too much to resist, so I had one of these and then went to the Hamilton Hall to partake of some fine IPA for £1.49 a pint. Who says London is expensive. We was reminded by Jimmy (hightower) Beaver, that we was running a bit late. On his first night out with us to a gig for years, he kept us on our toes and on time. Good job too as we would have missed half the set for the sake of another pint. The Standard can be reached by Blackhorse Rd underground station and is about 35 minutes from Liverpool St. The venue is an old established place and has all the attributes to prove it. It is dark, dingy and has plenty of atmosphere. The other proof if you needed it, was that it serves awful bitter. I think that it must be hard to keep a decent drop if ale, so the easy option is always taken, Therefore Guiness all round.


We arrived 5 minutes before the gig started and I was reminsing when I saw them for the first time. I have a ticket at home for the Town and Country Club, when they supported Dr feelgood which is 1990 and I saw them 4 or 5 times in the 2 years before that when they used to do Snifters Wine Bar (now the Bassment) on a Sunday night. I was amazed to get a flyer handed to me to say they was in their 21st year, so I must have seen them at some of their fledgeling gigs. The gig started and was in 2 parts, I can’t remember the set list but suffice to say they played all the hits and best album tracks. I do enjoy the Hamsters and they played great versions of “ If 6 was 9” “3rd rock from the sun” “ Little wing” and “Room full of mirrors”. There was also the stuff that was to be expected “Voodoo Chile” “All along the watchtower” “Hey joe” and all the other singles that the great man released. The encore was my favourite Hendrix track “Angel”. Another heartening thing that I saw there was that unlike a lot of the other gigs I go to there was a lot of youngsters at the front. It’s good good to see the younger generation enjoying all this old music. They was all at the front with some old geezer who gave a clenched fist salute all the way through Star Spangled Banner, strange.

The Hamsters are a great band who play rock music well. I have always liked Jimi’s music, but even though I look it, I was not old enough to see him. The Hamsters don’t have the man’s charisma and style but they do try to play the music with the same heart and look as though they enjoy it, so it’s probably the nearest I will ever get to it. Anyway we had a great night again and another pasty on the way home. On the train home we also found out that Maurice is a bigger Rush fan than Rat, which surprised the rodent one.

Duncan Feb 09


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