Thomas Tripp, Lymington

The Last Of The Mohicans!

A big night for Lymington tonight, as it’s favourite punk sons play their final gig at the last night of the townís premier music venue, the Thomas Tripp. Unsurprisingly for such a momentous night, the pub is packed to the rafters and the queue at the bar is slowing down the thirsty crowd’s alcohol intakeÖ..a little. The Toms would have played some of their earliest gigs gobbing distance from the Tripp’s bar, in Ye Olde English Gentleman pub, just across Queen Street. That much-missed watering hole has gone through a few changes since then, much like the Peeping Toms. Original 1982 line up members Shaun and Roger are joined by Spike, Jon and Mikey from the 2000’s incarnation of the band and following an intro dedicated to their drummer they launch into Peeping Toms followed by “She’s Not Like That” and “Big Nose”, a song from those early days.

Many of my favourite bands, especially the punks, have a touch of vaudeville about them. It’s not hard to imagine the bawdy story of the “Sunday Stripper” being relayed by a music hall star, the crowd awaiting the climax of the tale to find out how it all plays out. And it’s these local vignettes that are the appeal of the Tomís stories, the lyrics taking us from the paddy fields of Vietnam to the Pampas grass of Shrubbs Avenue, SO41.

Peeping Toms
Peeping Toms 12345678

The older participants in the mosh pit are glad of the relatively sedate keyboard intro to “Model Village”, telling us of the facade of a “normal” life behind the picket fences of “little England”, but it’s soon back to 150%, with flying lager and flailing Pampas grass the only hope to cool down the sweaty throng! One more song and we’re at the end of a nearly 40 year stretch of Lymington’s musical history. Fortunately, the band has it in them to deliver a 4 song encore and give it their all after a change into some special t-shirts! “Million Dong” is followed by “Underachiever” – dedicated to Shaun’s wife Michaela because it is her favourite Tom’s song (I hope that’s the reason, for his sake!). We then get treated to the classic seafaring flattie fisherman’s tale, “The Ballad Of Nogger Sprockett”. Nirvana famously borrowed the slow/fast/slow verse/chorus technique from Pixies, but possibly Boston’s Frank Black visited “The Olde E” back in the early 80’s and picked up the idea from the Toms!

It’s impossible to sign off without paying tribute to tonight’s host, the affable landlord of the Thomas Tripp for the last 21 years, Mr. Jon Burdge. Jon has made the Tripp a community hub and top music venue for so many local bands over the last two decades. It is a testament to the high esteem that he is held in that he is asked to join the band for the last song, a Tom’s favourite punk rocking version of Enrique Iglesias’s “Hero”. He perfectly times a dive from the stage and the crowd carry him high from hand to hand the length of the room like the hero he truly is! Shaun and Jon continue the lineage with the Bamboo Vipers, so hopefully the punk rock madness will continue at other venues. But tonight is the end of the Peeping Toms and the Thomas Tripp chapter. Don’t miss your water “till your well runs dry”.

Set List
She’s Not Like That
Big Nose
You Wanna Hope
Sunday Stripper
Model Village
As Missile

Million Dong
The Ballad of Nogger Sprockett
Hero (Enrique Iglesias)


Words & Video by Adrian Saunders.
Pictures by Paddy Covey.