The Professionals’ October 2015 reunion gig at the 100 Club on London’s busy Oxford Street sold out in minutes, and as we approached the venue we could already tell from the crowd smoking and catching up outside that there was excitement in the atmosphere – we were all lucky to be there!
At the door, I noticed that the hand stamp was not only the biggest I’d ever seen, I’ve also never had someone so thoroughly enjoy stamping my hand! Every detail of that large, round stamp was firmly and carefully applied. After copping a couple of giant plastic cups of beer, we staked out spots near the front to watch Ed Tudor Pole take the stage.
It’s always amazing to see one man with a guitar grab the audience’s attention like he does. Ed’s verve is truly infectious! He doesn’t need any bandmates to keep the energy up on stage or even distract the crowd while he changes a guitar string.
Besides anecdotes and banter in between songs, he invited us to shout along to “You’re Not a Punk” with its cathartic refrain of “Fuck off you cunt!”
No encouragement was needed when the audience spontaneously sang along to old favorites, knowing every word of the lyrics to “Who Killed Bambi” and his big closing number, “Swords of a Thousand Men”.
“You’re about to witness something London has not seen in 33 fucking years!” Ed told us, and indeed this show marked the first time in that long since The Professionals’ original members Paul Cook, Ray McVeigh and Paul Myers had last played on stage together. Tom Spencer fronted the band, brilliantly filling in for Steve Jones.
These guys made it all look effortless, but anyone who plays in bands or even regularly goes out to see bands knows just how much talent and experience it takes to put on such a tight, consistently high-energy performance.
The crowd loved every minute of the set, which lasted just over and hour and was photographed from every angle by dozens of punters with smartphones. Here’s a clip of The Professionals playing “Just Another Dream” that I found on YouTube, not entirely terrible quality considering it was taken with a mobile phone.
* See the entire set list below.
Even the guy who kept leaning over to me with comments like “It’s not loud enough!” and “They sound a bit out of tune!” seemed to be enjoying himself the most.
[Sorry for that grainy photo of Paul Cook… here’s what he actually looks like.]
For long-time punk fans, getting to see The Professionals and Ed Tudor Pole play live is kind of a big deal. After all, Paul Cook was drummer in the Sex Pistols and Ed Tudor Pole was also briefly in the band! But anyone who came just for the thrill of seeing these legendary musicians in person was treated to living proof that their days as rock stars are far from being confined to the past.
The Professionals 3-CD album, The Complete Professionals, was released by Universal Music in October 2015.
Special thanks to Ed Tudor Pole!
— Miss Psychobilly Bass
*The Professionals Set List, 100 Club, London, 16 Oct 2015
Just Another Dream
Too Far To Fall
Friday Night Square
Has Anybody Got An Alibi?
Join The Professionals
Kick Down The Doors
White Light White Heat
Little Boys In Blue