Just completed a wonderful couple of weeks as Visiting Fellow at The Hong Kong Design Institute. Initiating a cross-departmental...
We have just completed our first UK tour in 40 years, and we were totally blown away by the kindness, the generosity and the loyalty of our fans who came in their droves to the gigs we played in London, Leicester, Stockton, Scarborough, Leeds, Watford, Birmingham, Chadwell St Mary and Brighton. It was such a joy for me and Urban Blitz to play those songs again, with the dynamic powerhouse rhythm section of Susumu (bass) and Mackii (drums) from the brilliant Japanese band Sister Paul driving the music onwards. In the current political climate the sings feel very relevant to me, and I am proud to present them again after so long.
The reviews for the shows, and for the 3 CD boxed set “Perfect Past- The Complete Doctors of Madness” (available now on Cherry Red Records, and from the Mail Order section of this website http://www.richardstrange.com/mail-order/). I attach a number of links here for you to read the reviews and listen to radio broadcasts as well as trades magazines
All About The Rock
Soundblab – Review:
Louder Than War – Review:
Eyeplug.net – Review:
It’s Psych Baby – Interview
The Afterword – Review
Discussions Magazine – Interview
Gonzo Weekly Lexington gig review
Perfect Sounds forever Interview
Morning Star Lexington gig review
Classic Rock Magazine
Advantages of Age
Ian Canty Brighton Review
Just a few thoughts after the Brighton show…
I never thought in my wildest dreams I would ever see the Doctors Of Madness live. I stood in a damp smelling record shop in the early 80s (by which time the band must have been split up for nearly 5 years) staring at the sleeve of “Sons Of Survival” – in the photos they looked “Punk” I suppose and it was going for £1.50, so worth a punt I thought.
When I got home and played it first I didn’t quite understand it. There was a passing resemblance to the Adverts (and even a TV Smith co-write), but something was different about this lot. The songs were deep and the playing by turns furious and delicate. I am one for reference books and so scanned the various “New Wave” encyclopaedias that I had available, but none seemed to feature the Doctors. Information was limited and it seemed rum to me as they certainly sounded like they should be there.
Over the years I managed to hear their previous 2 LPS (now all 3 are boxed together in the essential “Perfect Past” collection) and they served to demonstrate how far ahead of the curve the Doctors were. Little bits of information emerged as time passed, just whispers like Dave Vanian joining the group when the Damned split, or the band mentioned in passing with regard to Richard Strange’s solo career.
In the ensuing years many have spent pages pondering the roots of Punk and its trailblazers, but for some reason no-one ever seemed to put forward their name. How odd! But things are changing, minds are being opened – the Internet age meant it was finally out there – as far as UK Punk went the Doctors set the ball rolling.
The boxset prompted the Doctors Of Madness back into live action and what a brilliant night it was at the Lexington a couple of weeks back when they returned after 40 years. 40 years! Let that sink in – after all that time they had no right to be that brilliant, that exciting, that magical. But they were!
I wanted more and though I sadly couldn’t make the Watford, Reports on the Net praising each show of the tour made my mind up. I wasn’t going to miss the chance of seeing them once more when the show rolled onto Brighton.
After a great supporting bill that set the scene perfectly, the musical explosion that is the Doctors Of Madness arrived in London By The Sea. My word they’re incredible – the two Japanese musicians Susumu (bass) and Mackii (Drums) that fill in for Stoner (RIP) and Pete Dilemma are brilliant and look damn cool into the bargain. Urban Blitz so powerful that I’m surprised he didn’t saw his electric violin in half and of course the master of ceremonies Richard “Kid” Strange, holding forth at the mic before letting rip with one of those explosive guitar lines which blasts the whole thing into the stratosphere.
Though the albums are excellent on the live stage unbelievably these songs are taken up a further notch – though the two original members are now, ahem, a bit older, the energy generated by all four is incredible. Their early calling card “Mainlines” is cut down a fair bit but no less effective and “Waiting” the perfect statement of their Glam Proto-Punk mayhem. They are thrilling despite the passing of the years and as Richard says the songs are revealing themselves to be even more pertinent to the troubled and troubling times we live in.
Simply put they have played the most exciting Rock ‘n’ Roll shows you could imagine right now in 2017! To see the Doctors Of Madness live once was magical. To see them twice was beyond dreams. One can only hope for more.
DOCTORS OF MADNESS/KEVIN HEWICK-Musician/Leicester 24th May 2017
The Musician stands as a lone beacon on the edge of an industrial estate in a decaying part of the city centre,an apt setting…
Richard Strange introduces the evening and Kevin Hewick,in his made for theatre/radio voice and unsurprisingly he has appeared on all those media including film.The baton is handed over to Kevin Hewick another raconteur with a dark sense of the absurd,but first we have serious moment for
Manchester.This highlights his time with Factory records and how Tony Wilson(Factory supremo) met him off the train,he has still got a soft spot for the place…Normally just a solo performer,tonight a rythmn section has been added which gives his songs a widerpallet,playing material from his career via Factory/Cherry Red a Sound cover(dedicated to the late Adrian Borland),but he is always working on new material,another new album…so plenty to choose from.
A lot of time is spent talking including a hilarious anecdote about an encounter with Jeremy Corbyn check out the internet and Have I Got News For You for the full story.
A stirling performance of post punk/folk angst from Kevin sets the scene,he is also a big fan first seeing the Doctors back in 1977…
Well these are the Doctors of Madness first gigs in 40 years in the UK(they have played in Japan) and there is box set available via Cherry Red.
It is obviously time to re-assess,they burnt bright in the mid 70s as a precursor to Punk and even The Sex Pistols supported them.Their mix of Glam/Prog via dystopian future visions of proto-punk contrasts with the Cohen like ballads set them apart then and now.
The guitarist Urban Blitz switches from guitar to electric violin and back again to give the sound a neo-classical edge.Solidly backed by a Japanese rhythm section,on loan from a Doctors of Madness tribute band gives the line-up an exotic twist.
Richard Strange (vocals/guitar) strode the stage like one of the characters from the film Gangs of New York(he is in it) or the Artful Dodger all grown up…engaging and hearfelt sentiments,he was enjoying the moment.
A memorable night for many reasons,they are back to bask in the limelight again,catch them if you can… NOVA