Rockpile: Live At Montreux 1980

Powerful gig by the pub-rock supergroup.

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Although they frequently shone on solo offerings by their dual de facto leaders Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe, Rockpile only released one studio album under their own name.

Seconds Of Pleasure was a disappointing jumble of what sounded, for the most part, like half-baked leftovers from earlier sessions, the adrenaline rush of their live shows all too absent.

Six months previously, however, they were firing on all cylinders at the long-established Swiss music festival. The concert stage presented Rockpile in their natural habitat, Edmunds’ archival rock’n’roll shapes lovingly interwoven with Lowe’s sparking pop sensibilities, resulting in the closest the UK ever came to producing a Creedence Clearwater Revival. Edmunds and fellow guitar-slinger Billy Bremner trade licks with joyous economy (Albert Lee’s Sweet Little Lisa, Don Covay’s Three Time Loser), underpinned by Lowe’s throbbingly melodic bass lines and Terry Williams’ rat-a-tat-tat drumming.

Lowe’s Teacher Teacher is the only track featured from the so-so studio set, battered into submission by Williams’ galloping tom-toms, while Bremner’s rasping lead vocal on Trouble Boys conjures images of Eddie Cochran in a bad lad biker bar.

Listen out too for the most blistering version ever of the cautionary music biz saga They Called It Rock.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.