Wax and Beans,
5th December 2023
Billed as an ‘album event’ this was just the ticket for a cold
night in December. Of course it was much more than a mere album event;
it was a Q&A followed by an acoustic set and signing session, all
taking place in a locally run coffee and vinyl record store. The
perfect setting for an intimate couple of hours in the company of Glen.
The compere, Smug Roberts, was a character himself and kept
everything flowing with energy and humour - a stack of cards was passed
around the audience with a different topic written on each one to read
out - a neat way to kick off audience interaction. When the
questions were thrown over to the floor, there was no shortage of eager
punters to cover a vast array of topics. Glen is a seasoned raconteur
himself and never short of an anecdote or witty response. It was
particularly funny when Smug was ready to move on to another question
but Glen insisted on giving a fuller answer!
Some of the more
obvious areas of interest; McLaren, Danny Boyle, Sid ‘a likeable
nitwit’, Pistols reunion and so forth were revisited, but proved no
less interesting. On the Pistol TV series Glen confessed he was “a bit
embarrassed” when he saw it. His son told him; “it’s not that they
dissed you, it's just both you and Paul Cook are two dimensional,
‘didn’t matter’ characters.” Of the numerous inaccuracies in the
series, such as the size of the Denmark Street rehearsal space, Glen
flagged up the scene where John Lydon auditions in front of Steve and
Paul. Glen was omitted from this scene even though not only was he
there, he’d organised it with Malcolm. As he said with a shrug; “in the
scheme of things it doesn’t matter too much, but if it affects you
personally it’s annoying.” Glen did however point out that Talilah
Riley, who played Vivienne Westwood, was married to Elon Musk, twice!
to a question about the one-off gig he played in ‘78 with Sid Vicious,
Rat Scabies and Steve New under the name the Vicious White Kids, Glen
confessed he was later told by Rob Dickins of Warner Chappell Music
Publishing; “you know what your best band was, the Vicious White Kids.
You were so exciting. Unfortunately, you were all too out of it to be
signed!” The affection in which he still holds the late Steve New (“the
younger brother I never had”) was evident and he believes Steve and
Derwood Andrews (Generation X) were the unsung heroes of the latter
part of the punk movement.
It wasn’t all about nostalgia, far from it. Friendships (that
of Clem Burke in particular) and phone calls continue to present new
opportunities for Glen, as he revealed how he became Blondie’s bassist
and his involvement in the Lust For Life tour. What else did we learn?
Way too much to mention, but just to say Peter Bonetti, Stan Bowles
(and his dodgy mates), Simon Dee and Graham Norton all featured. Oh,
and Elton John wasn’t a good footballer.
After a short break Glen returned for a lively acoustic set
celebrating his new album with title track Consequences Coming and the
politically charged Head On A Stick. Keep On Pushing from Glen’s Good
To Go album also hit the spot. Bowie’s John, I’m Only Dancing is a live
staple in Glen’s set and proved another crowd pleaser, although it has
to be said it was Pretty Vacant which rattled this coffee shop’s beans
in spectacular style. Boisterous good natured accompaniment from the
packed throng saw to this, but it may have been topped by Glen’s rebel
rousing rendition of The Small Faces’ All Or Nothing which delivered
serious decibels of its own.
I overheard a punter saying what a cold night it was, he
really didn’t fancy going out, but “how often do you get a Sex Pistol
in Bury?” He made the right call. It was a show to warm the cockles of
your frozen heart. Hats off to the organisers as well. There is a local
music community building around Wax and Beans and it’s fabulous to
discover. More power to them.
pictures by Phil Singleton