The Tubes in Manchester: ‘Glam bam, thank you ma’am!’

The Tubes

By Desh Kapur, Photographer/Journalist and Lloyd Wakeling, Journalist–Manchester

Venue: Manchester Club Academy- 8th October 2016–The Tubes ‘Mondo Pulp’ Tour

The great torrid ocean of rock and roll is littered with the shipwrecks of many a stricken band who had gone to sea with the hopes and dreams of the young and angst filled only to flounder upon the jagged rocks of ego, drugs and the odd plane crash. Yet with this in mind, it was refreshing to be asked to be in the same room as a band who had weathered the storms that inevitably came and went and who had come through it all relatively unscathed apart from a wrinkle or three.

I was here, along with a very healthy, if not sold-out crowd to see The Tubes, a band from San Francisco, born in 1973 and raised in the theaters of punk, rock and art. Those around me were seasoned fans, some having seen them more than 30 times and I felt comfortable knowing that their inevitable excitement would help me get to know this band and their infamous ways.

Without a support act and fronted by the irrepressible and chameleon like Fee Waybill, a man whose CV boasts many a song and performance with the likes of Richard Marx, Toto, Vixen and the Foo Fighters, the band soon gave us a performance blessed with a capital ‘B’. Two and more hours of costume changes, Zoot suits, straight jackets, Marlon Brando, cowboys and my personal favorite Drug Box Head. The set finished with a glam transvestite punk wearing the tallest platform shoes I had ever seen, associated with the anthem ‘White Punks on Dope’. What a show! The crowd were rewarded with song after memorable song, like ‘Don’t Touch Me There’, ‘Prime Time’, ‘Don’ t Want to Wait Anymore’ ‘Talk to Ya’ Later’ and the classics ‘Never Can Tell’, ‘ James Brown Medley’ and ‘Who Shot Liberty Valance’.

As nights go, this was amongst the best of them and filled with a renewed sense of ‘Wow, what was I just a part of?’ I could not have been happier. The Tubes are what Rock and Roll should be and hopefully will always be–timeless, brilliant and forever young. So please , if you ever get the chance, do yourselves a favour and go and visit, nay embrace a Tubes performance. You will not regret a single moment and if you like, tell them I sent you!

Photo Gallery


The Tubes – Mondo Pulp October 2016 UK Tour
London, Under The Bridge                  Friday 7 October
Manchester Club Academy                Saturday 8 October
Great British Alt Music Festival          Sunday 9 October
Bristol, The Fleece                              Tuesday 11 October
Plymouth, The Hub                             Wednesday 12 October
Cardiff The Globe                               Friday 14 October
Brighton Concorde 2                           Saturday 15 October
Southampton, The Brook                    Sunday 16 October
Wolverhampton Robin 2                     Tuesday 18 October  
Holmfirth Picturedrome                     Thursday 20 October
Sage Gateshead                                  Friday 21 October
Glasgow, The Art School                     Saturday 22 October



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