Sunday 15th April 2012 at 9.30pm
at “Tropic” Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip, West London
Yes, everyone I do think its time I did another “Non-Football” entry, but there is a football angle on this one….just!
Its been around 10 years since I last visited Grosvenor Vale, back then it was home to Isthmian League outfit Ruislip Manor. Since then, the stadium has been bought by Wealdstone FC and the Manor are now defunct after spending an unhappy spell at the former Viking Greenford ground, a mile or two down the A40.
The Social club’s blurb says that the clubhouse is “transformed” into the “Tropic club,” although the only change from normal that I could see was the banner behind the stage! I’d only decided to take my camera at the last minute, when I decided there was real potential in this gig.
For a start there’s the “Stadium Rock” play on words, there’s also the “Phoenix Nights” element to the whole place. The whole angle of this little project changed as soon as Willie Nile came on stage, he lit up the place. I got the impression he plays everywhere as if it were a huge stadium, such is his passion. And when you think that he has played Giants stadium, sharing the stage with the E Street band, you wonder what he must think when his changing room door has “Store Room” on it.
For this tour, on its last night, the guitarist was James Stevenson, formerly of Generation X, The Alarm and The Cult. I suspect though, that you’ll recognise his face more from the video for Kim Wilde’s “Kids In America,” although he didn’t play on the recording!
There was another bonus when former Sex Pistol Glenn Matlock turned up for an encore, he seemed to be hiding in the audience somewhere! All in all a quite wonderful gig from one of Rock & Roll’s under-appreciated talents. He’s now back in New York, but keep an eye out for when he’s next over here. You won’t be disappointed.