The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


The Rosemount Hotel, Perth - June 1 2016


BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

When our editor was young he told me that he once traded The Runaways ‘Live in Japan’ with my Dad for an undisclosed Kiss album and regretted it for the rest of his teens, though that was years after The Runaways had their brief shot at fame between 1975 and 1979, and though she is still very much the quintessential voice of the Runaways for everyone most forget that Cherie Currie only lasted those first two years till she quit the band in 1977. It has as she yells us later only taken her 40 years to get here to see us…

Tonight’s support comes from Perth’s own all-girl’s band Legs Electric who owe a lot to The Runaways themselves, and the girls put on a fine set, adding a great rendition of Deep Purple’s ‘Black Knight’ which has the drums sounding sooo good. There’s also a new song and some smoking blues riffs, great musicianship and sky high confidence which comes from clocking up the miles on the road over the last couple of years. Check them out!

Cherie Currie the object of desire for so many teenage dreams and the love of the whole room judging by the glow coming off the audience takes to the stage with simple style and a distinct lack of ego and opens up with the Runaways classic ‘American Nights’. It’s a start that you can see takes so many in the room back to another time and place, and backed up by a great cover of Velvet Underground’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ – a track that really started things for The Runaways maybe almost as much as Bowie did and also graced that  first album.  

New tracks, the Suzie Quatro inspired ‘Rock N Roll Rosie’ and the Punky ‘Dear Mum’ (which has a cool modern day take on the Runaways sound – grab the ‘Shameless’ album it’s from if you can) go down surprisingly well before another taste of the first album with ‘Is it Day or Night’ gets the crowd back singing word for word.

‘Roxy Roller’ may have hit no 1 in Canada back in the 70’s for Nick Gilder and also have featured in the Runaways movie, but it’s not one of the finest from the era, what makes it memorable tonight though is that the crowd gets their first visit from Cherie as she walks out off the stage and right into the middle of them. It makes more than a few hearts melt before she’s back under the spotlight for the glorious ‘Heartbeat’ and even more wonderful ‘Queens of Noise:’ the song with a chorus any teenager could have written!  Half way through she’s back in the crowd again surveying the band from the audience, boy that’s a song that takes you back! 

It may be 25 years now since original vocalist Hugh Cornwall left the band but in the  live arena, to be honest, no one even notices these days, this tour sadly it’s the absence due to ill health of drummer Jet Black that draws most attention, though his stool-warmer (surely that’s the correct term?)  Jim MacAulay does an amiable job at the back. Tonight we got almost two hours of some of the best music I’ve heard for a long time and played with sure precision, the mix or perspiration, reverence, precision and passion made it a truly memorable gig.

The Stranglers bring it all to the stage and it’s amazing to hear the punk and pub rock roots seamlessly melt into the quirky experimentation that was always a trademark of the band.

The hits are flawless tonight amid the singles and album tracks of the 70’s (a good two thirds of the set) with only two songs from their 80’s catalogue all night: ‘Golden Brown’ from ‘La Folie’ and ‘Always the Sun’ from 1986’s rather underrated ‘Dreamtime’ album.


After the best response of the night and a few shouted compliments and expression of undying love Cherie quips:  “If you tell a fifty six year old she's sexy that's very kind, after all in my mind I'm still 16” before the big drum beat of ‘California Paradise’ kick in and Cherie gets the crowd involved again by holding the mic out to Perth’s finest, the first of whom proves that knowing all the words and loving the band is only part of the story,  questionable crowd singers aside it’s always been one of my favourite Runaways songs.


As we near the half-way point of the set Cherie reminds us that this, the last date of her tour almost forty years in the making is here and that she flies home tomorrow, she has a special love of Australia she tells us and wish she’d made it here sooner after all we were the first country to send the Runaways ‘Gold’ with their first album.

‘Midnight Music’ takes the mood down low and a young girl (presumably from the meet and greet earlier in the day) gets asked to sing onstage. It’s a touching moment and like the crowd singers she knows all the words, but sadly despite the excitement she has a pretty ordinary voice. Still a few moments of pain for the crowd doesn’t diminish the gesture’s power and the fact that the girl will never forget the day she sang with Cherie Currie.


Currie always credited David Bowie with her musical awakenings and after a nice rendition of ‘Believe’ from her latest album you can see the emotion on her face as she introduces the delicate ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ (yes that track from the movie) before celebrating the man with a rocked out ‘Rebel Rebel’ which sees her in the crowd again! There’s a nice breakdown with just drums and voice and a huge crowd singalong. The biggest surprise of the night is perhaps the Kiss cover ‘Do You Love Me’ (always one of my Kiss favorites) which like ‘Rebel Rebel’ the band owns and the party ramps up another notch.


For fans though, it’s the addition of the extra song ‘C’Mon’ from that ‘Live in Japan' album and which she tells us the band has only learned days before that is another moment to remember. It’s a great chugging rocker building further steam before closing track ‘Cherry Bomb’ – the first track on that first album that announced The Runaways arrival to the world.  She invites Laura up from the support act ‘Legs Electric’ to play guitar – and for someone from an all-girl band that shows a clear Runaways influence amongst their Hard Rock stylings it must be another bucket list moment.


Cherie Currie might never be as polished as Joan Jett or Lita Ford, compatriots who never, of course, took a break from the business, but she’s remarkable humble and remarkably real tonight and the Perth crowd loves her. Some reviewers may have stuck in their little barbs amongst the largely positive reviews of the tour but they miss the point entirely, The Runaways were never the best band in the world but they broke ground at a time when anything was possible in music, and like their Mercury label-mates The New York Dolls their legacy is about much, much more than just the songs. Cherie Currie was tonight, in Perth Australia, well worth the wait.


by The Buffman, photos by The Rockpit




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