Live Review: The Grip, The Astoria, 1990

Hold Tight

Undaunted by the lack of followers William leads the Grip charge across the Astoria stage. Coming on like you're playing Wembley when the truth is slightly different leaves ample opportunity for egg on face, but our heroes come out of it with their usual aplomb. The merry band of men that are the Grip have never been quitters, and tonight as usual they give the full 110%.

Despite giving the Quireboys the showstopper on their album, Willie, the crafty old bugger, has saved the best songs for himself. Long established faves such as Crush On You and Vera Daydream sit comfortably alongside newer material like the single American Dream. I hope the latter isn't added to the long list of classic Grip singles that not enough of us have gone out and purchased.

The sound tonight isn't as good as it could be, and as I pointed out earlier the place isn't as full as it could be so those here to see the boys for the first time might be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. They'll just have to take my word for it that the glimpses of brilliance we got tonight usually shine throughout the set.

Despite the handicap of a blouse that your mother would have killed for in her youth (sorry, Willie, that was no shirt), Willie is as professional and entertaining as ever, and, dare I say it, a tad more intelligent and articulate than most of his competitors. A novel by this man would be a book worth reading. Along with the support of you and I, British rock n’ roll needs more original characters like Willie, not just another carbon copy of Spike/ Tyla/ Dickinson/ Monroe (delete where applicable).

The contribution of the rest if the band should never be ignored. Willie is the celebrity (stop tittering at the back) but the Grip are a team and they will conquer both Britain and the States. Let's make sure it's in that order shall we. That's all I've got to say really. Oh yeah, can we have a little more of the vicars please?

Simon Robinson
Rif Raff
July 1990

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