Mr Kyps, Poole

Peter & The Test Tube Babies

Anyone in Ashley Cross in Parkstone on Saturday night may have been forgiven in thinking that they were in a time warp and gone back to the classic punk days of 1977, as seen walking the streets were punks sporting all various styles of unique coloured Mohicans along with the customary 18 hole Dr Marten boots.

The reason was that “Peter & The Test Tube Babies” were in town a band definitely not for the faint hearted after they showed with their last very hectic performance here at Mr Kyps in January 2012. This time they have bought fellow punk survivors The Vibrators, and revivalists Toxic Fruitcake with them to make for a very entertaining lively evening.

Local gents Toxic Fruitcake step out on to the Mr Kyps stage first, they do best to warm up the crowd as the majority of people enter the venue and get themselves settled for the night ahead. The band perform a decent set of mainly covers from a wide spectrum of genres, with all the songs given the punked up “Toxic” treatment, we get treated to “Fascist Disco” and “Evil” which gets the 1st mosh pit of the night going by a few aged punks spilling precious beer on the dance floor in they wake. Things start to get more interesting with Stirling versions of “Paranoid”, “Ace Of Spades” and the Levellers “15 Years”, while the music is great the band fail to get involved with any audience interaction, with a bit of gentle persuasion from the apparently “shy” front man Neal Russell things could have been so much livelier. Toxic Fruitcake ended on a version of John Lennon’s “Stand By Me” which sounded like the band were on “speed” they chopped and changed the pace of the song in a mad reworking.

Toxic Fruitcake
Toxic Fruitcake 12

The Vibrators are next up and they make every effort from the start to get the crowd on their side by drawing them in closer, closing up the gap between the band, the audience and the stage. The powerful three piece play more Rock’n’ Roll sounding tunes that 2 minute punk songs with lots of creative work on all drums, bass and guitar. The vast majority of the audience despite not knowing a lot of the tunes seem to be really into their performance with plenty of positive reactions made towards the stage. The band power through a great version of “Have Love Will Travel” made famous recently by the LV= car insurance advert, as well as a few new tracks from their soon to be released new album “On The Guest List”. The album is being prepared in America by Cleopatra records and will include a few famous guests performing with the band. The almost prog/punk tune called “Truce” is an absolute killer and shows the three members of the band working together perfectly impressing the socks off all on lookers. The band end after an impressive 40 minute set which included “Amphetamine Blue” and the classic “Sweet Sweet Heart” from the band’s 1977 “Pure Mania” which leaves the Kyps crowd well and truly warmed up for the headliners.

The Vibrators
The Vibrators 

So with the audience revved up and 10 pints of lager delivered to the stage for the band, we are ready for the onslaught of the Peter And The Test Tube Babies, within moments of playing the 1st note of the 1st song “Moped Lads” there is a rowdy bunch of punks young and old were energetically bouncing around the beer splattered dance floor. The songs are mostly all unoffensively funny, with each number Peter tells some funny background story raising laughs all round, songs such as “Shit Stirrer” and “Up Yer Bum” keep the hectic momentum up. The thing you notice about the band is that they are really tight especially guitarist Del Strangefish who effortlessly produces a great sound from his guitar. The momentum came to a complete stop towards the end of the band’s set as drummer Dave O’Brien’s bass pedal suffered a terminal malfunction, with the venue’s staff searching for 10 minutes, the audience were not sure whether to stay or leave as the band thought that was it, the search however was successful and the band returned for a two song encore of “Banned From Pubs” and the fantastic “Blown Out Again”. The punks of Poole came and were entertained thoroughly with three great but very different bands who all provided some great entertainment, punk is most certainly not dead just dormant until nights like tonight.

Peter And The Test Tube Babies
Peter And The Test Tube Babies 

Set List
Moped Lads
Run Like Hell
Never Made It
My Unlucky Day
Shit Stirrer
Up Yer Bum
Keith Moon
When Girlfriends Attack
Keep Britain Untidy
Shake My World
Elvis Is Dead
Banned From The Pubs
Blown Out Again


More Videos from this gig can be found on our You Tube page.

Band Links

Review, Videos, & Words By Dave Chinery (Chinners)