At The Boiler Shop, Newcastle, U.K., November 9, 2017

THE TUBES (Live at The Boiler Shop, Newcastle, U.K., November 9, 2017)
Photo: Mick Burgess

On the eve of an arena tour as special guest with everyone’s favourite nightmare, Alice Cooper and what a pairing that is, The Tubes decided to make the most of their time in the UK by booking a few headlining shows themselves and Newcastle was one of those lucky places.

Last year the show at the Sage in Gateshead was their first in the region since their heyday in the ’70s so a quick return was in order to strike while the iron was hot and they certainly wasted no time in getting things fired up in the aptly chosen Boiler Shop.

With a show heavy on visuals, master of disguise, lead singer Fee Waybill had an innate skill to transform into the part he plays in each song as the theatrics of a Tubes show create a unique, visual experience as he flits between a Marlon Brando motorcycle rebel, cheesy gameshow host, a straitjacket wearing madman and washed up Glam Rocker in a multi coloured collision of shock Rock meets vaudeville.

All of the theatre and bizarre stage props would count for nothing without the songs to back them up and The Tubes have these by the bucketful from the jungle rhythms of Monkey Time to the super Funk of Tip of My Tongue at one end of the spectrum to the spit and snarl Punk of Prime Time to the Glam sleaze of the ubiquitous White Punks On Dope featuring Waybill as the has-been beer swilling Quay Lewd all blond curls and towering silver platform boots. What a sight.

For a band with their roots in the ’70s it’s quite incredible that four of the five members up on stage are from the original line up who cut the debut album back in ’75 while new boy, keyboardist David Medd, is well into his second decade with the band. Few bands from those times can make such a claim.

Drummer Prairie Prince may well have the coolest name in Rock and a CV of collaborations that has seen him work with everyone from Journey and Jefferson Starship to Michael Jackson, Billy Joel and George Harrison. Impressive stuff.

She’s A Beauty and Talk To Ya Later, the big hits from the days when MTV was a mere baby, where choruses were big and shoulder pads even bigger, brought the scintillating show to an end.

The Tubes are one of those rare bands who really must be seen at least once in a lifetime.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.