||LIVING OUT ROCK N' ROLL. THE STORY OF THE BABYSITTERS AND THE LAST OF THE TEENAGE IDOLS
Some of our most famous rock and pop stars are associated with North Kensington and have lived, posed, played and died in the area.
So how fitting it is to be watching a film at the Portobello Pop Up Theatre at the heart of the Portobello Counter Culture scene watching Livin' Out Rock n' Roll about London's Babysitters and the Last of the Teenage Idols.
This is a rockumentary that perfectly encapsulates a time in the 80s when rock bands purposely chose to tart themselves up, and deliver hard rock with a self-conscious wit.
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The Babysitters were formed in the spring of 82 by a chance meeting in Carnaby Street which was also a local hang out for Hanoi Rocks and other such luminaries. Fed on a diet of various Dolls and Heartbreakers numbers the band established itself on the London music scene playing with Marionette, Hanoi Rocks and others at places like Dingwalls and The Marquee, resulting in a support on Hanoi Rocks' UK tour.
The film traces the development of the band, showcases their live appearances and highlights the ups and downs of their career. They had everything to play for with regular appearances in the music press such as Sounds, Melody Maker and Kerrang.
We hear about the hilarious antics of the band supporting Hawkwind on their UK tour including incidents involving effect pedals and stink bombs, manure on stage and other startling tales.
Among the interviewees are Buttz, Shuff, Vom Ritchie (Die Toten Hosen) and journalists Ben Marshall and David Stubbs. Charlie Harper, Captain Sensible and Mike Read also make cameo appearances. There is also a section on the London rock scene below the offices of Melody Maker.
The film aptly displays the impressive energy with which they pushed themselves, against impossible odds at times. It's heart-warming to see how they overcame adversity with such great sense of humour.
As is often the case with bands who burn so brightly in their early years the in-fighting and last minute line-up changes proved to be this band's final undoing.
Buttz talks about forming his new band, 'Last Of The Teenage Idols', releasing one album. Boo went on to play in T-Rextasy, Jimbo went off to America and did actually form a Babysitters 2 for a short time and Stick returned to civilian life.
We are left in no doubt at the end of the film that these four blokes on stage clearly had the time of their lives just by being themselves, laughing and enjoying the rock n' roll lifestyle with no external outside influences and expectations.
We share the roller coaster ride with them, and it's a real and genuine account of the lifestyle. Living Out Rock N' Roll is fun, entertaining and insightful.
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