Editor's Choice

Chasing After One of “The Runaways”

By Deborah Chatham

On a recent trip to London, The Southland Music Line had an opportunity to experience some live music. Although the annual concert season had not yet officially kicked off in the UK, there were still some interesting venues and concerts to enjoy. One such venue has been highlighted in the Simon Pegg movie trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. The final movie takes place in a fictitious town with four friends trying to recreate a pub crawl they once attempted in their youth. The town may be imaginary, but The World’s End is a real pub in Camden, London, UK.

The real World’s End hosts a 1,000-seat capacity for patrons to socialize, eat, and drink. The basement, known as the Underground, serves as the concert venue with a standing capacity of 500 patrons. Although the seating is limited, the stage and auditorium provide an intimate concert experience. On this night, the featured artist was Cherie Currie, billed as the “Voice of the Runaways” with opening acts Loz Campbell and Blue Ruin.

Top photo: The Underground at The World’s End; Above photos from left: The World’s End in Camden, London, UK; Cherie Currie live at The Underground. (Photos by Deborah Chatham)

Many of you may remember the Runaways as one of the original all-girl bands from the 1970s. The Runaways consisted of founding members Jackie Fox, Sandy West, Lita Ford, Joan Jett, and Cherie Currie. The Runaways were produced and managed by the legendary Kim Fowley, a colorful character who specialized in novelty and hard-rock acts. Cherie Currie was with the band from the beginning but left a year before they broke up citing constant arguments and the inability of the band members to get along as the reason. This is not hard to understand when you realize the girls were all in their teens. The members went on to pursue solo careers, joined other bands, or left music altogether.

Cherie Currie’s “On the Road to Ruin” is a limited spring tour throughout parts of the UK and Europe. Cherie has been performing for over five decades and still performs with the exuberance of her youth. She introduced many new songs from her latest album Boulevards of Splendor. Throughout the concert, Cherie told stories of her relationships and experiences with members of the Runaways. She reluctantly noted that The Runaways would not be having a reunion tour. Cherie did convey a message of positivity and hope. She dedicated a song to her brother who had died in recent years and talked about the importance of enjoying life in the present moment. Gretchen Bonaduce, the ex-wife of Danny Bonduce of The Partridge Family fame, was a guest performer on several songs. The hour-and-a-half set concluded with Cherie’s performance of her signature song, the Runaways’ hit “Cherry Bomb.”

The original Runaways (from left): guitarist Lita Ford, songwriter/guitarist Joan Jett, bassist Jackie Fox, drummer Sandy West and vocalist Cherie Currie.  Courtesy of blogs.sun.com

The first opener, Loz Campbell, is the lead singer/guitarist of a girl-fronted band whose music can best be described as alternative, punk-rock sounds. Hailing from Yorkshire, UK this high-spirited musician performs original music that invites the audience to engage with the songs. The second opener was Blue Ruin, an all-girl punk rock band formed in Auckland, New Zealand. This high energy group emulated girl power and the sheer fun of making music. Both bands were the perfect introduction to the headliner, who they referred to as The Queen – Cherie Currie.

It is always fascinating to see and hear how artists change over the years. Cherie Currie, besides continuing to write and perform on small limited tours, has gained international acclaim as a chainsaw artist. You read that right. Cherie creates carved art from massive logs using a large chainsaw and has won multiple competitions for her intricate work.

This trip to The World’s End ended much more smoothly than the film version, which concluded with the apocalypse. Instead, on this evening these concertgoers took the tube back to Kensington and discussed enjoying the excellent music on the ride.

Blue Ruin – Facebook page; blueruinband, UK
Cherie Currie- US website
Gretchen Bonaduce – US website
Loz Campbell – UK website
Wikipedia – website for Three Flavours Cornetto (Simon Pegg Trilogy)

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