It’s fun when these books turn up in the unlikeliest of places – here, in a review of a live show in Edinburgh, by the Ramonas. (From The Herald newspaper.)
The Ramonas, Studio 24, Edinburgh
May 17 2005
IN HIS excellent extended essay on The Ramones debut album, just published by Continuum as one of their 331/3 pocket books, Nicholas Rombes lucidly deconstructs many of the assumptions about both the band and the punk-rock scene in New York City in the mid 1970s. After reading it, the only thing to do is to catch the all-girl tribute band preserving their legacy. Okay, I was probably the only person at The Mission’s under-18 night who had just read Rombes’s clever little book, but I also didn’t qualify to be let in the door. And then there’s a few things wrong with the Ramonas, too. Singer Chloey moves about far too much and engages with the crowd more than is truly authentic. More obviously, this Dee Dee (usually Pee Pee in Ramonas terminology) is clearly a bloke, denim mini and black tights notwithstanding. Hell, who cares? Although leaning heavily, and rightly, on the band’s earliest work – as well as the microphone stand – Chloey and her cohorts kick off with the pure pop of Rockaway Beach before proving themselves with Blitzkrieg Bop, Beat on the Brat, Judy is a Punk and the rest of the classics. Instrumen-tally it is well sound and Chloey produces a fine approximation of Joey’s peculiar mannered vocals. What is just as important, though, is that this is so self-evidently not an exercise in nostalgia, given the age of the crowd. The Ramonas take the brand that is a T-shirt and belt buckle to a new generation and remind them of the really important bit – the music. The retiring collection for Cancer Research was a nice touch, too.