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Roky Erickson - Festival Hall, London, 18/6/2007

  by Jon Rogers

published: 16 / 6 / 2007

Roky Erickson - Festival Hall, London, 18/6/2007


The legendary leader of 60's psychedelic pioneers 13th Floor Elevators , Roky Erickson recently played his first ever British gig at the London Royal Festival Hall as part of Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown Festival. Jon Rogers, however, finds it all rather ordinary

Waiting for the former leader of psychedelic pioneers 13th Floor Elevators to play on these shores has been longer than waiting around for the second Stone Roses album. Far, far longer in fact. At the time when most pop music was about love and peace and going to San Francisco to wear flowers in your hair Roky Erickson and co. were exploring much darker aspects of the psyche. Erickson has since moved into the exalted realm of being described as “legendary” and name-checked by a host of hip, young guitar-slingers. Even Meltdown curator Jarvis Cocker, who provides an introduction, tells the audience that Erickson really is worthy of the label. Unfortunately though on this performance there is no evidence that proves the epithet. Erickson and his backing trio the Explosives shamble on and then proceed to deliver something like a hour-long set of bog standard pub rock of no real outstanding merit at all. In fact, they sound no better than your average local amateur band cranking out rock standards at the annual village fete. That’s not to say that it is particularly terrible, just ordinary and mundane. Nothing of note and certainly not worth the £25 asking price for a ticket. Erickson’s performance lacks sparkle and vitality and clearly the Explosives need to change their name as they only really manage to do nothing more than fizz every now and again. While there are some die-hard fans in the audience who clearly whoop up everything, large swathes of the crowd seem positively indifferent and there are definitely fewer people in the hall at the end than at the start. It’s on the only 13th Floor Elevators’ debut single 'You’re Gonna Miss Me' that the band comes alive and the devotees bother to rush down to the front. The standing ovation at the end though feels much more a recognition of Erickson’s past achievements rather than the present situation.

Picture Gallery:-
Roky Erickson - Festival Hall, London, 18/6/2007

Roky Erickson - Festival Hall, London, 18/6/2007

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