The Rezillos - The Echo - 11/18/12
...When Fife belted out a version of the old Ike & Tina Turner classic "River Deep, Mountain High" near the end of the set, her vocals were stirringly soulful as she wailed her fierce romantic declarations with surprisingly intense passion and sincerity. And the Rezillos are far more than an oldies revue, proffering catchy new songs like "Out of This World" that rank alongside their best early tracks.
Another highlight last night was an ebullient, celebratory version of their U.K. hit "Top of the Pops," a self-fulfilling pop prophecy that, indeed, once landed these Scots on the venerable British pop television program. Written by Callis, the song remains a pure-pop gem, with angelic harmonies ascending alongside fuzzed-out punk chords. One fan was so moved, she leaped on to the stage and made a point of kissing both Fife and Reynolds before stepping back into the crowd.
The Rezillos' Faye Fife & Eugene Reynolds
You could hardly blame her. Some people have been waiting to see the Rezillos in the flesh for decades, and there was an almost messianic fervor as kids in front of the stage tried to touch their heroes. It seems like practically every British band except for the Rezillos has reunited and dutifully toured these shores annually to rake in every last bit of cash from us gullible and naive Angelenos. With the Rezillos, though, you never know when or if they'll ever return. The band appeared to be having a lot of fun onstage, but they don't exude the careerist cynicism of so many surviving early punk groups.
The Rezillos' Faye Fife
The night closed with a rambunctious version of Jeremy Spencer's "Somebody Got Their Head Kicked in Tonight." The song was once recorded by, of all people, Fleetwood Mac, but that was in the pre-Stevie Nicks days when the British warhorses were still a legitimate blues band. After being sped up and brutalized by the Rezillos, the song has become a punk classic, although the group has reportedly avoided playing the song at some concerts out of fear that it causes too much violence in the pit.
The Rezillos' Eugene Reynolds
But there was no disharmony on the dance floor at the Echo. The prospect of getting one's head kicked in last night seemed like it might be fun, as fans pumped their fists and Reynolds and Fife beamed and looked on approvingly.
Rezillos guitarist Jim Brady and singer Faye Fife
The crowd: Although there were a few scattered folks in their 40s and beyond, most of the crowd was composed of kids far too young to have seen the Rezillos in their heyday. Most people were seeing the group for the first time.
Random notebook dump: How does Faye Fife manage to look so young and effervescent after all of these years?
Set list below