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   The Men They Couldn't Hang: Newcastle 13-May-2000

'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

"Who?" or
"Do they still exist?"

These are the 2 standard replies I usually get whenever I mention TMTCH. Something told me that this gig was going to be a good one. For a start I was going to meet some other people who had actually heard of the band and their attendance meant that knew TMTCH were still alive and gigging!

The Good
So what made it a good gig? Well, there was a great atmosphere from the start - in a brilliant venue - I met some fantastic people - and had an amazing time. I danced and cheered and jumped and sang and cheered some more. (Reliving my youth? No, I never grew up!)

The set list - it was mainly a re-jig of 'Majestic' with a couple of additions. But to be honest - these are the songs I want to hear. Yes, it would be nice to hear one or two others. Off to a great start with 'Ghosts....', 'The Eye', 'Dog's Eyes...', I'm not on my own dancin' and singin' , the audience are on side. 'Scarlet Ribbons' - echoed around the small but packed room. 'Nightbird' - love it.

Then came the most memorable part of the gig - the highlight. I stood watching and listening to a solitary Swill singing 'Barrett's Privateers'. It is a rather - special moving song and Swill excels in the vocals. Perhaps I oughta make it to one of the 'Odgers and Simmonds' gigs - afterall.

Tempo increases again with 'Shirt o' Blue' being belted out by Cush. It may be because I play the MP3 whilst I work - but I do miss the monarchic laughter. This is followed by 'Greenback dollar', 'Our Day', - I remember this sounding good - 'The Crest', The Colours' and a rousing finish with 'Ironmasters'. - 2 encores later with a 'Born to be Wild' finish - the audience looked and sounded very happy.

Paul Simmonds writes such clever, meaningful lyrics about a wide variety of events. I will never tire of listening to them on cd/vinyl, but a well performed 'live' gig - is something rather special.

The Bad
Okay - I didn't get a set list -this time - and I do so want a signed one for my wall! :o)

The Ugly
Hee hee - as if I would let on ........... only joking! Or am I?

The trip lived up to all expectations - the anticipation of a good gig was not misplaced.

Thanks to all those I met - and as Chris stated 'when The Men .... return to Newcastle so will I!'

Thanks to TMTCH - you've still got it - go for it!

To any others - don't think about going to a TMTCH gig - just GO! - you wont be disappointed!

Sarah Eames