Surreal Entertainment The Tubes at a Globe Full House
The Globe, Cardiff was packed to the rafters with fans of The Tubes, delighted they had crossed the border into Wales on the Mondo Pulp Tour. The San Francisco-based rock band are a mix of art, vaudeville, satire and above all rock tonight the set included old favourites and songs not heard live since the last century. Joining Fee Waybill, lead singer were three other original members having played together for forty years, Roger Steen, guitar, Praire Prince, drums and bassist Rick Anderson, plus tonight on keys David Medd.
Describing The Tubes in words is going to be a challenge. The set was a spectacle of visual and aural enchantments that challenge and paint a sound and landscape that is a mix of theatre and gig. They opened with an overture introducing everyone to the quality of the musicianship that enables Fee to fly. As we waited to see which persona Fee would be introducing, he appearing in a pin stripped outfit it was Monkey Time in Cardiff tonight. The Tubes played one of the most varied sets I have seen going through the rainbow lexicon of styles and tempos that The Tubes have explored for over two hours of live music that grabs your attention. This is punk meets everyone on the train and has a party with no holds barred. This approach works thanks to the innovative instrumental breaks from Roger’s guitar through to David’s keys that bring a hidden depth to the sound. The atmosphere was electric and Fee realised quickly a Welsh audience never needs to be asked to sing-a-long and added layers of harmonies tonight at the Globe. The audience were a mix of locals and those who travelled from far and wide to see The Tubes including a group who are seeing their musical heroes every night of the UK leg of the Mondo Tour.
The highlights of a jammed pack set were Stella, Street Car Called Desire – Marlon Brando mode as Fee in a ripped white T –shirt shredded his shirt in anguish as his raw vocals sang “ I wake up screaming at the moon” but Stella doesn’t hear from the Love Bomb Album. We had a chap wearing cowboy for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with a brief synopsis of the power of cowboy films as the Gene Pitney hit was re-styled The Tubes way. With a night celebrating the depth of popular music/rock genres we had a medley of soulful James Brown meets rock n roll Chuck Berry.
The Fee rant was pertinent for changing times of health delivery in the UK with a warning of what could be coming to a British T.V. soon drug companies advertising drugs we haven’t heard of for syndromes and disease that are terrifying and often caused by other prescribed drugs so Fee had then to be a TV head cover with tablets and the screen full of pill bottles. Political, entertaining and powerful moving statement as Turn Me On poured through the speakers.
The characters we wanted to see were present We had the sleazy Quiz Master, with shiny Red shoes and bright tight-fitting jacket as he sang Want Do You Want From Life and closing the set was Quay Lewd and the chorus we all wanted to sing White Punks On Dope.
We all wanted more a quick stage change and the encore ensued with three tracks including women joining Fee on stage for a dance. Opening the encore was She’s A Beauty Then delivered I Saw Her Standing There with a growl of punk infused Beatles like you have not heard before once again demonstrating the influence of the fab four on modern rock music. Closing with Talk Ta Ya Later; we certainly want to hear The Tubes in Cardiff again.
What to expect from the Tubes? Expect the Unexpected, they will challenge, make you laugh and sing along, every tour is different this was a technicolour delight with references to the movies Tarantino meets Brando. Till the next time, you come to entertain us. Thank you for the music and fun.
You Never Can Tell Chuck Berry
The Monkey Time
Tip Of My Tongue
James Brown Medley
Turn Me On
Why I Can’t Walk Away
What Do you Want from Life
Gimme at Harp(Captain Beefhart & His Magic Cover Band)
Why Can’t I Walk Away
What Do You Want From Life?
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Gene Pitney )
Love’s A Mystery
Tubes World Tour
White Punks On Dope
She’s A Beauty
I Saw Her Standing There (Beatles Cover)
Talk To Ya Later