Talking Heads, Southampton

The Professionals

It’s a cold Friday night in Southampton as we head for the “new” Talking Heads. Venue found, parking-well that’s another story!! Anyway, car parked we (eventually) find ourselves at the venue. It’s not a lot different to the old “Heads” – if anything wider, but not as long. Promoter “Jurassic Mark” has once again come up trumps and secured The Professionals for one of only a few dates on their current tour. I’m surprised the room is half empty, with a very cheap entry fee and a Punk “legend” in the house. Anyway, we arrive just in time to catch tonight’s support. “Archive 45” are a band I caught many moons ago at a Dorset festival. Nothing much has changed – they’re still great!

I catch most of “Civilisation” which is hard ‘n’ fast. Despite looking like a bunch of old Rockabilly’s their music is quite simply Punk. It’s fast and immediate, delivered with humour. Mike (guitar/vox) is a fine orator and leads the between-song banter almost throughout. However, it’s Brizzer (drums) who provides the power virtually throughout with some big hitting. “Rocket” is anthemic, while “You’re Not the Man” contains some clangy guitars and a chugging beat. There’s elements here of the Clash – most notably in their stage presence, but this is no tribute show. These (Pompey) Punks have honed their craft over many years and paid their dues.

Archive 45
Archive 45 12

The great titles continue, most notably on “Brixton Riots” which actually reminds me of The Dickies. Influences aside though they get this half full room dancing throughout – the South Coast Punk scene is well represented tonight. “Cheating Thrills” is simply a warm-up for the interestingly titled “C**tstruck” – as Mike says, “we’ve all been C**tstruck at some point haven’t we”? Yes Mike, we probably have!! They depart on “Meant To Be”; a love song apparently, but are vociferously brought back for a one-song encore. They leave us with a “sobering thought” and a killer tune named ‘5 and Drive’ and exit stage right to long, loud applause.

Barely 30 minutes pass before the main event. The Professionals, featuring none other than “Sex Pistol” Paul Cook (drums) take to the stage. The room I genuinely feel would have been full to brimming had a certain Steve Jones been with them, but a decent sized crowd greets them anyway. They start well with “Just Another Dream” and we all sing-along. Tom (guitar/vox) has a gravelly voice which takes 2 or 3 songs for him to find his range, but he is an enigmatic frontman with all the right moves. Ray (rhythm guitar) however is chief shapeshifter almost throughout, using every inch afforded him on this small stage. “Payola” is another singalong tune that finds us all in good voice. The cameras are out early as many try to get the perfect shot of ‘Cookie’-he nonchalantly looks on while hitting with the same power we are used to. “New Generation” is a new song and Tom announces that they will be sending the tapes to “Jonesy” for his opinion on a possible future release. “1 2 3” follows and is an early set highlight and brings a few more punters nearer the stage, reliving their youth!

The Professional
The Professional 12345678

This crowd are really warmed up now, responding to the more familiar songs, including the anthemic “Join the Professionals”; another good excuse for a big singalong. “Kick down the Doors” sounds better than ever while penultimate song “Madhouse” is the perfect warm-up to “Silly Thing”. The crowd go a bit wild at this point, singing and dancing in unison. And that is the end of the main set.

They return after moderate calls for an encore for a quite entertaining cover of Presley’s “Suspicious Minds”. Tom calls for backing singers but instead gets a stage invasion. It’s good natured and ultimately hilarious. Again Paul (lead) gurns away while joining in the raucous behaviour, while Paul Myers (bass) is hidden somewhat behind the throng of ‘backing singers’. Quite simply it was one of those “you had to be there” moments that will live long in the memory. Order is restored as the band leave us with “Little Boys in Blue”. The band depart to great applause and a buzz in the room. Great gig, great sound, all round great night at an affordable price and another venue right in the centre of town-Bournemouth take note!

Set Lists
Archive 45
Archive 45
You’re Not the Man
Diamond Stylus
Brixton Riots
Cheating Thrills
Meant To Be


5 and Drive

The Professionals
Just another Dream
Northern Slide
Too Far To Fall
New Generation
1 2 3
Friday Night
Join the Professionals
Kick down The Doors
Silly Thing


Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley cover)
Little Boys in Blue



Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone

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