The International Swingers at the Lexington
The International Swingers came to King’s Cross to play their first UK show on 19th July. The group of veteran rockers, Clem Burke, Glen Matlock, James Stevenson and Gary Twinn, played a mixture of old covers and new songs, putting on a great show and enjoying themselves just as much as the crowd.
They have an instantly recognisable tone that’s straight out of the 80s rock and roll scene. Songs like Gun Control and FBI are entrenched in old school rock and roll but deal with modern political subjects. Played very well, it was interesting to hear that politicised but accessible tone return and deal with subjects that more modern music is far more aggressive about. That said, the atmosphere was slightly flatter with their newer tracks: the crowd visibly enjoyed themselves, but the feeling that a good percentage of the audience were there to hear rehashes of old songs persisted throughout the night.
Naturally, they played a variety of covers, ranging from Bowie’s All the Young Dudes to the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant, which had the audience chanting the chorus. The band had a great time playing these classics and the positive reaction from the crowd again raised the question as to whether people were there for the new or the old records. On the other hand, the new songs are not well known and running up against rose tinted glasses and nostalgia is not an easy obstacle to overcome.
The show was great fun and the band were all clearly very comfortable on stage as you’d expect, thoroughly enjoying the night. They didn’t hold back from demonstrating their considerable skills, keeping up a good back and forth with the crowd and one other. It remains to be seen whether they are in danger of becoming a glorified cover band, but it would be a real waste if they were treated as such because none of them have slowed down.
For further information and future events visit The International Swingers’ website here.