Last man standing Waldo brings "LAMF" to London
Walter Lure plays LAMF
100 Club, London
August 10, 2019
Walter Lure has had a storied career, duelling with Johnny Thunders in the Heartbreakers, recording with The Ramones, burning up stages with his own Waldos and in working in the markts on Wall Street.
Of the Heartbreakers, Lure is the last man standing after the passing of Thunders and Jerry Nolan in the '90s and the departure of Billy Rath in 2013, and he has done gigs showcasing the Heartbreakers debut "LAMF", most notably in New York City with a fairly stellar cast including Wayne Kramer and Clem Burke.
On a steamy , late summer London evening the legendary (an overused word, but it applies here) 100 Club on Oxford Street is packed to the gunwales. A venue since the 1930s (although since relocated), the club was shoved into the foreground in the punk years with everyone playing there: The Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Buzzcocks etc. And now Lure, ably backed by Mick Rossi of Slaughter and the Dogs and Mark Luff (Gen X), is giving LAMF a reboot.
Luff beats out the urgent tattoo intro to “One Track Mind” and they’re off. Age and lifestyle choices have not wearied Lure and it’s pedal to the metal all the way. “I Wanna Be Loved” is as spiky as an unshaven echinda ,while “Pirate Love” starts with a slow, lazy swagger and caterwauls to a messy conclusion, as the capacity crowd shuffles and bobs (pogoing ruled out on health grounds), necking pints. Thankfully the joys of Responsible Service of Alcohol have not infiltrated the UK.
On the sarcastic “London Boys” , Lure lacks the Thunders venom but still gives it a serious dig. You know the songs, but to hear the Avgas fuelled “Get off the Phone,” shout along to the deadbeat anthem “Born to Lose” and ponder crying girlfriends in the shower-stall on “Chinese Rocks” is to almost reach nirvana.
Lure, eyes narrowed like coin slots, trilby pulled low, relates the tale behind “Too Much Junkie Business” and then clarifies it with a run through “Waiting for the Man”. As Lure points out, there’s a common thread linking the songs and that’s the needle. Hats off to a man who lived the life and is still here to tell the tale.