#107. The Half Moon, Putney. 30.09.21.

Following the postponed show back in 2020 due to lockdown, the Phantoms were finally back at the Half Moon in Putney after their triumphant appearance in 2019, again raising money for The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). It’s now 12 years since we sadly lost band member Brian who took his own life so this is a charity very dear to our hearts. This time round with support from the fantastic GO GO Juice, whose line-up includes long term Phantom collaborator Sam.


With a sell-out crowd starved of live music, both bands & supporters seemed thrilled to be back in action, and a fantastic evening was to ensue. First up were GOGO Juice who delivered a slick opening set of funk, soul & disco classics that instantly had the crowd up on their feet. How lead singer Sherridan hit some of those high notes I will never know! Fantastic stuff. And for all of you that enjoyed Go Go Juice you can hear more when both bands again join forces at the Hampton Hub on Friday 10th December. See Gig#108 for more details.


Great to see Half Moon resident artist Stella Tooth back dancing in the crowd as well as snapping away feverishly during both sets. Looking forward to seeing what new works of art, depicting some familiar looking faces perhaps, appear on the walls of the pub soon. Watch this space.


So onto the Phantoms. It was like we had never been away & the boys were instantly into their stride, belting out a string of crowd pleasing rock, pop, indie & punk hits. And the crowd were instantly on it too, in fine voice & bopping along from the first note. These nights always seem to pass in a flash & before we knew it, the end of set 1 was rapidly approaching, brought to an epic climax with camp disco hits YMCA & new(ish) cover, Waterloo by ABBA.


Whilst half the band headed for the bar, the rest retired back to the green room (still desperate to find any trace of 80’s legend Toyah Wilcox who had been in the very same spot only days before)!


Set 2 was aptly resumed with the Phantoms playing a song written by our sadly missed ex band member Brian, before getting back to the more well-known, all killer, no filler covers our loyal following have come to expect. More singing & dancing followed until during a brief lull after the epic singalong of ‘Chelsea Dagger’, and with 5 planned songs still to play, the voice of sound engineer Nia was heard in the on stage monitors saying that we only had 10 minutes left! Damn! Why do we always seem to run out of time at this venue? We must spend too much time socialising rather than playing music! Anyhoo, a quick decision was made to launch straight into our planned encore & invite Go Go Juice’s Sam back up onto stage to join the Phantoms on keys for the last two monster sing-along’s of the evening, ‘Sweet Caroline’ & ‘500 Miles’. Whilst most of the throng were far too busy moshing to notice, a few eagled eyed punters may have spotted guitarist Kev departing stage during the final song to get to the bar early before the rush! Job done.


Thanks as ever to Nina & her team at the Half Moon (Nia on sound, Ted on the door, Tania & all the guys behind the bar) who looked after us so well, thanks to Go Go Juice for an amazing start to proceedings, thanks to resident artist Stella Tooth, and most importantly thanks to all of you that came along to help us raise money for this worthy cause. Plans are already afoot to do this all over again, same time (roughly), same place, next year (baring any further global catastrophes)!


Hope you can join both bands again at our next gig on 10th Dec where much of the same is promised, but with added Christmas songs of course! Ho ho ho.


And finally the good news, the count is in & I'm very pleased to announce that with your help the band has passed our previous total, this time round raising an impressive £870 for CALM, the leading movement against male suicide in the UK. Pleasing, as an old friend would once have said.

The Phantoms were: Mark Gibson (lead vocals & keys), Kevin Rogers (guitar), Jason Biggs (guitar & vocals), Jon Novice (bass & vocals), Alun Westoll (drums & vocals), with special guest Sam Wansborough on keys.
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