Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders, Pryzm Kingston Review

Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders, Pryzm Kingston : Live Review

Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders, Pryzm Kingston, organised by Banquet Records, 27th October 2023

Do the album charts mean anything anymore?

With the move to downloads and streams does getting in the album chart mean anything? With the “resurgence” of vinyl and CDs a band selling 20,000 units can get to number one in the album charts, but so what?

Well, as a band there is still bragging rights, last week the band When Rivers Meet and their album “aces are high” got to number 5, with no record company support, purely off the back of a crowdsourcing campaign, graft in touring and building a fanbase. I guess old school, is the new school.

A band or artist that gets charted, usually gets airplay. As Oscar Wilde said, “they is only one thing worse than being talked about, not being talked about”. More airplay, should mean more sales.

So many bands, independent record shops and venues are starting to create mutual relationships. The band or artist plays in the record shop, signs records and the record shop shift units. In effect, Mutualism where band, night club and record shop have a symbiotic relationship where all parties involved benefit from their interactions.

Don’t underestimate the power of this mutualism, a few weeks back, so the story goes, Ed Sheeran contacted Banquet Records to do an in-store signing, the tickets sold out online in 2 seconds.

Earlier in the year I saw Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs at Chalk night club in Brighton, organised by Resident Records.

Banquet Records, based in Kingston upon Thames has a relationship with the night club Pryzm.

On Friday 27th October 2023 I attended the Pretenders played a 90-minute set.

For Pryzm, they have a double whammy, with Pretenders fans in the club for 19:30 and buying drinks at the bar, only to leave by 21:30 so the club could reopen for the usual Friday night clubbing punters.

The spin off from this is that, Banquet Records should get customers buying physical copies of the new album. Which should generate some money for the band, and push them up the chart. Which should give the band more viability and exposure, which should make more sales.

When we arrived, the merch stand in the lobby had all of The Pretenders albums on vinyl, which attracted the crate shifters like moths to a light.

The Pretenders arrived on stage on time and played a blustering set from the new album and tracks. About a third of the way through somebody from the audience shouted a request for “I got you babe” and Chrissie Hynde looked at her band and said “let’s give it a try”. James Walbourne the guitarist hit a reggae rift and off they went. Chrissie gave it a few verses, which was enough.

Since they were formed in 1978, the band has released 12 albums so they have plenty of material to choose from, I was thinking as I watched the band what an amazing legacy The Ramones left us. 3-minute songs structured around love won or lost. The Pretenders had sold out the 500-person event and they have such a unique sound; Chrissie Hynde even sang a ballad and we applauded party out of the way her voice still hit the notes.

The songs I knew, apart from “I got you babe” were

Talk of the town
Back on the chain gang
Don’t get me wrong

It was amazing how Chrissie still spat the words out on the song “Precious” just like she did on their debut, “The Pretenders” released in 1979.

The Pretenders have a new album out, “Relentless” and the last song of the 3-song encore was the new single, “a love”.

I thought it was 1979 all over again.

Timothy Hughes | Now Spinning Magazine

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