Live: Peter Perrett

He’s still the One and Only…

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The Peter Perrett up on stage tonight is not the decrepit, drug-addled shell of a man that rock mythology would have us assume.

He’s no strapping, Springsteen-like dynamo either, but for his 63 years, bantam spec and colourful history of substance abuse, Perrett seems to have a lucid, gimlet eye on his future.

It helps that he’s flanked by sons Peter Jr (bass) and Jamie (guitar) – “Family is everything,” he says, in praise of his remarkably well-adjusted bandmates, and manager-wife Xena.

Beneath a trademark brunet tangle and dressed in a cap-sleeved top, his pipe-cleaner embrace clamps his Fender tightly for a 90-minute set that includes (Oh Lucinda)…, Prisoners and the inevitable Another Girl, Another Planet. “Some of my songs aren’t about drugs… but this is about drugs,” he announces in familiar like-it-or-loathe-it Estuary Dylanese before particularly autobiographical rocker The Beast is Chinese-lanterned by Jamie’s psychedelically stirring solo.

New songs Living In My Head and An Epic Story show his “therapy sessions” with Primal Scream’s Douglas Hart (present tonight with Bobby Gillespie) are bearing tentative, but listenable, fruit. However, it’s in the spotlight, encoring alone for Is This How Much You Care and C Voyager, that the audience swoon most to his bittersweet bedsit romancing.

Life is Perrett’s hardest habit to break; the end’s not so predictable.

Classic Rock 214: Lives

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.