Johnny Warman
and the Screaming Jets

Live at
The Boom Boom Club, Sutton, Friday 7th March 2003

Shock Horror... After many weeks taking the scratches out of an old vinyl copy of 'Walking Into Mirrors', with a view to transferring it to CDR - for personal use your honour - I find out that Angelair are going to bring this fine album back to life without my help!

Following on from that I then find out that... The same 'Mr.Warman' is going to be playing live at the Boom Boom Club in his first solo performance (As Johnny Warman) for about ten years.

With the cries of 'Johnny who?' still ringing in our ears we (the four 30/40 something's) set off on our epic passage through time and space arriving at the Boom Boom Club (Sutton FC).

This was no ordinary journey for me, it was a trip back in time, I had no way of knowing if 'Johnny Warman' would cut the mustard..was it really 22 years since the band I played in (Skavengers the) and Johnny Warman (003minutes) were on the same bill supporting The Vapours?

As it happened ..yes it was, and since most of us have been disappointed by rock stars of yesteryear complete with Zimmer frame and a band that was not even born when the hits were top of the pops or C.O.O.L , I was equally ready to have my fond memories shattered.

Imagine my surprise.. Johnny & band (erm. minus the lead guitarist) took to the stage. What was going on? Don't you just hate it when you have aged 22 years and a bloke who is a good 12 years older than you still looks 20?

Into the first track 'Walking Into Mirrors'...
"Mr.Grey is here to stay, no more time I hear you. say" it's shivers up the spine time folks, just the first few lines of the song and I knew this was going to be a great night.

Time had moved on with the technical side of performing the tracks live now a true possibility, it could have been done back in 1981 but now just one keyboard, mini disc, click track, or sampler can do so much more than was possible then, without spending thousands of pounds or more.

(Now complete with previously absent guitarist.)

The band launch into 'Searchlights'.. this is one of my all time favourites, I remember well the sound man playing a tape of this track at the Stateside Centre Bournemouth gig all those years ago...mmmmm I thought, sounds like the beginning of 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' by the Police, but that was then and this is now. What was on offer was a good rocking rendition of 'Searchlights' admirably kicked along at some pace by some fine guitar and bass work.

Then a monumental moment..My God he's going to do 'Martian Summer'.
Both Johnny and the keyboard player performed the task, with the rest of the band taking a well earned break.

Was it a cool bet your life it was..We really did see them last night (the Martians) and the question was did you ever give Johnny back his records? (I expect Johnny could tell you what this means).

After what seemed like an eternity the band launched into 'Screaming Jets'
It was at this point myself and fellow followers helped Johnny along with our version of the wailing (performed on the original album by Peter Gabriel)..we think we put Peter to shame, but I expect it sounded awful to Johnny and the band. Time will tell because we hope the rendition will come out on the proposed live cd.

Cries for tracks such as 'Automatic Kids' and 'Future Fun' A&B side of the '003 Minutes' single were ignored, but only because the whole band had done enough just learning the selection of songs that were offered up.

It has to be said.... I have no real criticism; maybe a little more movement from the band on stage would be nice.

A few questions were raised... Like how did this guy slip through the net, he should have been a very big star.

If you've never seen Johnny Warman and you like futuristic thoughts put to a rock sound track, then get out and see him live + buy the albums. Becoming a fan will soon'll be wondering how come you never caught it the first time.

Anybody interested in a Skavengers reunion?
£20,000 should buy me but..... I think the original bass player is still playing with a band as the Skavengers in and around London Town.

I think I still may have a copy or two of the single 'Party Girls' on Identity Discs, last listed in Record Collector 2000 Edition but I'm not selling, lol.

David Parsons
Poole. Dorset. UK