Rachel Stamp stride into position, raring to go, confident in the knowledge that something special is about to happen. The slick, synth heavy (and unusually guitar light) ‘I Like Girlz’ sets the stage for a gig that’s clearly been lovingly crafted for the dedicated ‘Stamp’ fans.
This audience are primed and ready. They’ve been waiting for two years since the gig was announced and subsequently cancelled due to Robin’s health.
Though most of the crowd are clearly fans from Rachel Stamp’s first time round the block in the late nineties, there is still an infectious starry-eyed wonder that emanates from the audience and informal conversational opening from Laurie Black has them warmed up and chomping at the bit to see their heroes hit the stage.
Heavy, vicious anthems for the ‘strange children’ and beautiful freaks on the fringes of the alternative scene like ‘Monsters of the New Wave’,” ‘I Wanna Be Your Doll’ and ‘Superstars of Heartache’ are rolled out with ease, while catchy and charmingly optimistic tunes ‘Do Me in Once In I’ll Be Sad, Do Me in Twice and I’ll Know Better’ and ‘Stealing Clothes’ give a glimpse of the bands earnest side and some of their more classic roots. The vibe from the stage is captivating. The songs feel fresh, yet infused with the energy and spirit of a group of old friends clearly excited to be sharing a stage together once more.
There’s of course some gems thrown in from the depths of the b-sides collection including ‘Black Tambourine’. It’s easy to forget just how many great tunes Rachel Stamp have under their belt. At the end of the night,as the crowd are left swooning to the enormous chorus of ‘Hey Hey Michael You’re Really Fantastic’, the words “My God, bless my soul! All I wanna do is kiss you baby!” still echoing around the venue as the band depart, I could have left then and there a thoroughly satisfied Stampee. But as David, returns to the stage, one fabulous costume change later, in a Bowie-esque one-piece, followed closely by Will, Robin and Shaheena to open up the dark and brooding ‘My Sweet Rose’ I remember this is the band that keeps on giving! They round off the night with audience-favourite ‘Didn’t I Break My Heart Over You’ complete with epic 3 minute, guitar driven instrumental before turning up 11 for punk n’ roll call to arms, ‘Calling All Destroyers’.
Rachel Stamp have only sharpened their skills as performers and musicians with time, whilst still maintaining all the drive and passion that saw them make their mark twenty years ago, This gig proved once again that glam spirit still lives on and Rachel Stamp are the ones to deliver it to Camden!