The Ramonas - Guilfest 2012
'Just the right degree of snarling attitude'
John Bownas - 15 July 2012
Tribute bands don’t always get the exposure they deserve on festival review pages.
Perhaps that’s because with so much good original music around it seems wasteful to give up space to write about copycat acts.
But as The Ramonas hit the Guilfest Vive Le Rock stage at a million miles an hour, it’s suddenly apparent why this all-girl Ramones tribute band has been grabbing more than their fair share of attention over the last few years.
Formed way back in 2004, the founding member of the band was Clare Product, of cult glam-punk outfit, Anti-Product. Although she has handed over the reins since moving to the States, Clare’s connection to the Ramones themselves is that she has played alongside Marky – the oldest living member of the longest-running original band line-up – in his current touring band, Blitzkreig.
And Marky definitely gives the girls (Cloey on vocals, Rhonny on guitar, Pee Pee on bass and Margy on drums) a stamp of approval, having recently joined them to play drums with the band at Camden’s Underworld.
He’s not the only one.
Despite a mid-afternoon set, the tent is bursting at the seams as Cloey delivers solid crowd favourites with just the right degree of snarling attitude.
‘Blitzkreg Bop’, ‘Sheena is a Punk Rocker’ and ‘Rockaway Beach’ are just a small selection of the set, and with the opening bars of each successive song the crowd’s energy levels get notched up higher and higher.
And the great thing about covering Ramones songs is that they are short, sharp and definitely to the point. So in the space of a 30-minute set the audience gets a huge amount of value for its money, with tune after tune reliving the heydays of one of the world’s most iconic punk bands of all time.
So festival bookers take notice – if you want to give your audience what they want, give them The Ramonas.
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