Sylvain Sylvain & Don Letts
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Sylvain Sylvain & Don Letts, The Bassment, Chelmsford, 01/11/14.

You can’t put your arms around a memory but you certainly can put them around Sylvain Sylvain. This was a real treat, having 2 legends performing in a club not more than a 10 minute walk from my house, a lot longer walking back though and all for the princely sum of a fiver. This was the first time I had seen Sylvain without a band or the Dolls with him as he did a pure acoustic set.

Watching some of them on Youtube the audiences always seem to be very staid and quiet. Not this time though, from the very start to the finish Chelmo was up for it, I think Sylvain enjoyed it as well as he said that the last one he did was a bit quiet, he went through a set that included Dolls songs “Trash” “Jet Boy,” some songs that the Dolls covered “Give him a great big kiss” Bo Diddleys best song “Pills.” Johnny Thunders “Arms around a memory” I love that song. He also covered “Femme fatale” and some of his own without the Dolls “teenage news” and “14th street” he did more but my memory is not what it was.

The Bassment was just the right place for this gig, small, intimate and close. I think that all the punters enjoyed themselves. Next on was Don Letts, It seems strange to get excited about going to see a DJ but Don Letts is someone who I have remembered for a long time. When we were at the Clash concert in the Chancellor my biggest memory was the heavy Dub reggae booming out between the groups which was supplied by Don. He didn’t disappoint plenty of Reggae from Dave and Ansell Collins to Bob Marley via the Clash and back to the Maytails. Plenty of skanking going on allround. I think I bailed out at about 02.30 knackered but I had a fantastic night.

Well done to the Bassment for putting on such a prestigious gig, next month on the 20th of December Terry Hall is doing a DJ set so I might pop along for that one as well.


Duncan, November 2014.


Photo's, Maurice Hyde .