The Cramps Newcastle Mayfair March 1986

The Cramps Newcastle Mayfair March 1986
When I was very young, around 10 years old, I discovered horror movies and a magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland. I loved the classic 30s horror movies: Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, and was fascinated by zombies, ghouls, the creature from the black lagoon. Through my teens I bought Famous Monsters from Filmland regularly, and saw as many 30s, 40s, and 50s horror and scifi films as I could on TV or at the cinema (which was sometimes difficult as many were X rated, which meant that you had to be 16 to see them). Why I am telling you this in a post about The Cramps? Simple. The Cramps blended together several of my favourite things: a love of gothic horror, the bizarre, scifi, surf music, garage, and rockabilly. They came out of the New York punk scene, and are often credited with starting the psychobilly genre. Looking through the pages of the programme from this gig reminds me how great this band were. The programme is crammed with images taken from B movies and features the 1985 movie Return of the Living Dead, for which The Cramps wrote a song “Surfing Dead”. The Cramps were at their peak of popularity on this, their 1986 world tour. The tour took in several nights at Hammersmith Palais and a few nights at Hammersmith Odeon, as well as gigs around the country, including this North East gig at Newcastle Mayfair. They were fronted by singer Lux Interior and guitarist Poison Ivy. I went to the gig with my mate Dave, and it was a load of fun. The show was totally wild and wacky, quite similar in many ways to The B-52s, but much crazier. Lux Interior was totally wild on stage; I can picture him now, crawling all over the top of the speaker cabs, stripping off at the same time. The guy had no fear; think of Iggy Pop at his wildest times 10. The place was packed, and the crowd lapped it up. The Cramps continued throughout the 90s, and split only when Luz Interior passed away in 2009.

2 responses to this post.

  1. I saw them at Middlesbrough Rock Garden in 1979 in front of around 50 people. They were totally unique and sounded like nobody I had ever heard before. I was 18. They had Bryan Gregory in the band back then and he walked on stage wearing a gothic coat and his hair swept to one side like Phil Oakey of the Human League. He looked much older than the rest of the band and had cigarettes sticking out the end of his guitar. Lux was climbing everywhere there was to climb and even joined in the sparse audience. It is one of my favourite gigs ever. I saw them at Leeds University in 1982 and in a bigger venue some of the intensity I had witnessed in Middlesbrough had gone but he was still doing his Iggy Pop routine – splendid!

    Reply

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