For once, living in France pays off! A while ago I noticed that those kings of power pop, The Speedways, would be finishing their brief, European jaunt with a gig in Paris. I decided to tie this in with a visit to the UK, catching the band on my way back home. I know, aren’t I exotic?

It’s my first visit to Supersonic, a small but busy club in the Bastille district. With a typically ‘interesting’ hotel room booked a mere 10-minute stroll away, so far, so good. I just caught the end of the opening band’s set, Pink Balls Sister, who had some twin guitar parts to match the singer/guitarist’s Thin Lizzy t-shirt. Next up, The Not (Not) were more interesting. Hard to pin down, their brand of rock was improved by their keyboard player. They certainly held the crowd’s attention.

As for The Speedways, what can you say? Ostensibly touring their ‘Triple Platinum’ compilation album, their set shows that few of their contemporaries have such an arsenal of top pop tunes. I told Mauro Venegas that I was hoping to hear ‘Empty Pages’, which isn’t currently in the set list. No matter, when you have such gems as ‘Seen Better Days’, ‘Shoulda Known’, ‘Kisses Are History’ and ‘The Day I Call You Mine’.

Kris is certainly one very happy drummer, beaming and seemingly indefatigable. Nothing is going to stop the good vibes, not even when Matt breaks two strings near the end of the set. They play some extra songs, including a newie, as the crowd really are loving it. They are that kind of band; if you know their songs, it’s better, but if you don’t, they’ll win you over anyway.

I can’t pick a favourite song, all their albums are great. A rare thing indeed. They’ll be playing the UK again soon, so keep your eyes peeled and they will guarantee you a top night out.

Author: Martin Chamarette

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