Legendary Californian rock outfit The Tubes recently released The A&M Years box set – a collection which includes the group’s groundbreaking first five albums.
The Tubes are currently in the UK in support of their latest release. Tonight the band’s headline tour arrives at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle. This weekend The Tubes will also start an arena run with their long-standing friend Alice Cooper.
In recent times The Tubes have remained focussed on their classic material, having not released a new studio album since 2009.
This evening The Tubes gives their loyal Tyneside following a show packed full of their hits and classics. Over the course of their 90-minute show, the crowd are walked down memory lane, with a set comprising of numbers from their impressive career spanning in excess of 40 years.
The Tubes are well renowned for their dramatic and sometimes controversial stage shows. Back in 1977 when the band first arrived in the UK they caused somewhat of a stir and subsequently, some of their shows were banned. Those theatrical and comical elements largely revolve around the band’s frontman Fee Waybill who portrays a multitude of characters which each, in turn, assist in bringing the band’s music to life.
During the course of the show Waybill depicts a game show host during “What Do You Want From Life”, a prisoner in a straitjacket during “Mr Hate” and a shirtless bondage geek during “Mondo Bondage”. This being just a few of Waybill’s many personas – he is truly an incredible entertainer and frontman.
Before a blues-tinged rendition of “Golden Boy” Waybill rather poignantly discusses the loss of many of our beloved musical legends and the impact they had on the band. He states how back in the day he used to dye his hair red and shave his eyebrows just to look like David Bowie.
Subsequently, The Tubes only recently performed alongside the great Tom Petty at a festival in San Diego. Waybill reminisces about learning of the passing of one of the band’s biggest influences – Jimi Hendrix, whilst travelling on a cruise ship in Japan back in 1970. In recent times the band have also lost two of their own including keyboard player Vince Welnick in 2006 and the band’s second drummer Bob Mcintosh.
The Tubes have always had a strong affiliation with the UK and British culture in particular. Waybill adorning his Beatles t-shirt tells the audience how much The Tubes loves the Geordies and on the strength of the response the band receives this evening, the feeling is most certainly mutual. Following which The Tubes put their own punk-tinged stamp on The Fab Four’s “I Saw Her Standing There”.
The Tubes slow down the proceedings with “Love Is A Mystery” remarking how they have to do a ballad – it’s in their contract. This epic number features some blistering fretwork from guitarist Roger Steen.
As The Tubes lead into the final third of the show they break out a whole raft of their biggest hits. A pounding drum solo from Prairie Prince welcomes the arrival of the beer-quaffing Quay Lewd, who towers over the room in his 18-inch platform boots and tight-fitting silver trousers. A raucous rendition of both “Tubes World Tour” and the classic “White Punks On Dope” follows.
The Tubes bring the evening to a close with a pair of their crowd-pleasing 80’s hit singles in the shape of the incredibly infectious “She’s A Beauty” and “Talk To You Later”, which each in turn transport the Geordie faithful to classic rock heaven. The crowd hangs on every word, they enthusiastically sing the chorus back to the stage much to the pleasing of the band.
Just like a fine wine, The Tubes get better with age, long may they continue.
The Tubes November 2017 UK Tour Dates
Edinburgh, The Liquid Room Friday 10 November
*Leeds, First Direct Arena Saturday 11 November
*Glasgow, The SSE Hydro Sunday 12 November
*Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena Tuesday 14 November
*Manchester Arena Wednesday 15 November
*London, SSE Wembley Arena Thursday 16 November
Norwich, The Waterfront Friday 17 November
*Supporting Alice Cooper
Event Date: 09-Nov-2017