Never mind the lockdown, here’s the Healthy Junkies!
So it has been over 5 months since my last gig and I am truly excited to be going out into the world, watching live music and seeing a bunch of fellow gig goers who have also of course been locked down since early March.
The venue is The Post bar in Tottenham, near Seven Sister’s tube station. I have never set foot in this place before so do not really know what to expect. Well, it was easy to find with the help of Google maps and as I walked in the door I immediately felt both at home and welcome. The place has an old school seventies vibe about it with sofas, coffee tables, soft lighting ropes hanging from wall to wall, multi coloured beams and patchwork type ceilings. There is a long art deco bar to the left as you walk in then an another room adjoins this with more chairs, sofas and tables but this second room has a stage and a decent sized area for folks to watch the bands. People are already milling around, chatting, and sharing their lockdown stories with one another with a pint in hand. They are very excited about actually being out of an evening to watch one of their favourite bands, Healthy Junkies.
Healthy Junkies have a reputation already with nearly all the folks here as they, prior to lockdown, had been running their successful monthly night ‘Punk and Roll Rendezvous’ for 9 years already. Many people here told me that the last gig they saw before lockdown was indeed Healthy Junkies and so it is fitting that the return to live music involves the Punk and rendezvous misfits themselves. There was a concern with some people before tonight about social distancing and the safety aspect of the gig. The answer to that being that the gig was deliberately booked last minute with an absolute minimum of promotion. The numbers attending came to under 30 so spacing apart for those concerned was possible. I will go back to this point later, but for now let us talk about the music itself. First on was Andy Hepburn playing his unique set of folk style punk edged songs. He managed to get a few people singing along for his last couple of numbers. A great set by him which certainly managed to warm the audience up for what was to follow. After Andy’s set many people drifted outside to the smoking area at the back. Another stylish area with a multitude of many coloured umbrellas hanging seemingly from thin air although I am sure there is a perfectly good scientific explanation for this. There is also a Barbeque which serves delicious veggie and non-veggie options. As is often case the smoking area is the most vibrant area of the venue.
Next up were the headliners Healthy Junkies. Only 2 acts were booked for tonight thus minimizing near contact with bands with equipment changeover etc. ‘So the lights go down and the first chord is struck by guitarist Phil Honey-Jones. He lets it ring for what seems like an eternity, in a dramatic gesture very fitting for the band’s much awaited return, before going into the now familiar opening riff of their last single “Some Kind of Girl’’ . The small crowd fills the room but not to such an extent where people are pushed together against their will but enough to fill the room with electric ambience. This is it! This is what the people came here for. Loud, explosive, dynamic live music.
Healthy Junkies deliver, playing a bunch of their old favourite tracks like “No Control” and “This Is Not A Suicide” along with brand new tracks from their much awaited new album Forever on the road. The show is exhilarating for all and rounded off in spectacular style with guest vocal appearances from friends Frog and Tom Ruddock. Lead singer Nina Courson owns the stage throughout. In fact she owns the room. The queen of the underground has returned and her friends/supporters are satiated. On sound tonight was Joe, an old pal of the band’s from the punk and roll rendezvous shows. Great job by him.
After the gig everyone was in high spirits. Band members chatting to audience members as is always the case at a Healthy Junkies gig. They are authentic punk rockers and do not play the rock star ‘I’m mysterious and so will hang back stage all night’ game. Not that there was a back stage at this venue.
So all in all it was a splendid night out, every one left on a high and we all hope to back out again soon sharing ideas, socializing and listening to live rock music.
Words by William Greville
Photos by Eric Duvet Photography
Event Date: 27-Aug-2020