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Pretenders Day After Day

July 13, 1979 - Sheffield, England - Sheffield University

A review written by Marcus Featherby from an unknown source:

Sheffield University

A sense of occasion prevailed for the Graduation Ball at the university, and with the festive air and a very late bar, it would have been very difficult for any band not to have won over an audience who were determined to make the evening one to remember.

Coming across as a hybrid of Dire Straights and Elvis Costello, Interview were unable to prevent the mass exit towards the bar. Those who did remain were suitable impressed with the bass playing of Phil Crowther and the virtuosity of Peter Allenhand on guitar, but vocalist Jeff Starrs seemed unsure of himself.

Musically they could not be faulted, but well played music I prefer to listen to in the comfort of my home, whereas at the concert I expect some spark from the band to warrant the discomfort of being continually being barged into by beer swilling revellers.

By the time the Pretenders were ready, the more sedate parents had retired and their places had been taken by the smattering of parkas. The group cut a dashing figure as they came on. Baby faced Pete Farndon with the smirk and mean stance that the majority of bass players seem to assume, pretty boy James Honeyman-Scott the guitarist, resplendant in bright red suit, and waist-coated Martin Chambers on drums.

Then of course, the lady herself, in what looked deceptively like a hautecouture jockey outfit in red and purple squares, complete with trousers tucked into boots jodhpur style, and yes, she also sported a riding crop. (We all know what terrible dress sense these American ladies have).

Two numbers into their set and they were falling at the fences. The first noticeable response of the evening came from the mods at the beginning of 'Stop Your Sobbing' when Chrissie mentioned Ray Davies, "Who most of you are too young to remember".

That number, together with their excellent current single 'Kids', and the raunchier 'Tattooed Love Boys', proved that they were capable of lifting themselves above the mediocre, but the rest of their material failed to prevent all but the dedicated few from turning and chatting amongst themselves or shouting "Get 'em off".

During 'Need Somebody', she strutted around like Suzie Quatro; on 'Girl Don't Come', even the intonation was like Sandie Shaw's; with Dio's 'The Wanderer' she imitated Linda Ronstadt. It was all very frustrating. There was never anything to say this is the style of Ms Hynde. Perhaps that is why they call the group the Pretenders?

Poster for show:

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