It's about 8:30pm in the Garage in Highbury in London, and the place is filling up nicely. From my seat in the bar area, which is risen slightly above the standing area, the crowd looks odd, approximately half shaggy-haired student types in faded jeans and half middle aged folks in leather jackets,  both groups trying desperately to out compete each other in coolness.

On the stage, opening band the Bristols are belting out their sunny sixties pop, which, when combined with the band's image, makes you feel like you are in an episode of 'Heartbeat'. Nevertheless, they are brilliantly entertaining, their songs are quite good in a cheesy sort of way, and the idiotic antics of their keyboard player are funny to watch. They go down well with the crowd, which, coincidently, contains all the members of headlining band the D4, especially with a comedy sixties-style cover of Dj Otzi's 'classic' tune 'Hey Baby'. So far, a good start.

I unfortunately don’t catch the name of the second support act, but they come across as a good, energetic live punk band.

After what seems like an eternity of soundchecks, the D4 finally take to the stage, and tear into 'Get Loose'. The crowd, naturally, goes berserk. Joint frontmen, Jimmy Christmas and Dion, just can't stop moving throughout the set, balancing on the PA speakers, swapping microphones, getting into every corner of the stage. Add to this the power behind the rhythm section of bassist Vaughan and drummer Beaver especially, and the energy behind their songs is increased by... erm..., lots.

'Rock n roll Motherfucker' is probably the tune of the night, with it's punked up Fu Manchu style riffage and , as it's also one of the singles they are famous for, gets the biggest crowd reaction. The same goes for their subsequent single 'Party',

The band rarely let the pace drop throughout their set, only letting the audience have a proper breather once, when Dion leaps into the crowd, midset, almost losing his hired guitar and his shoe, which eventually rematerialises, to his surprise. The audience get another half-rest about three quarters of the way through their set, when an out-of-rock n roll Jimmy makes a speech that you would usually expect to hear from an Emo band. "I'd just like to say," he says, wiping a tear from his eye (well he probably wanted to) "thank you to all the people who've come out to support us on this tour, and everyone we've met along the way, you're all truly great, thank you!". For a brief moment we get a brief glimpse of the D4's off-stage persona: a bunch of normal, funny, nice guys, but For the best part of the hour that the D4 are on that stage, however, they are rock n roll legends: they rock, therefore they are, and nothing else matters.

As the final chord of the final song drowns in an ocean of feedback, Dion lifts his hired Les Paul above his head, and brings it down hard, effectively smashing it beyond repair. Now we know what happened to their own instruments. Yes that's right, kids, after practically every show, Dion takes the life of another innocent, lovingly crafted guitar. I'd like you all to take a momentto remember all those guitars that have given their lives so that the D4 can rock just that bit better, then you can smile at the poro, deluded fools that let them have the hired instruments in the first place.In the words of Spinal Tap: Rock n roll!


The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Chris Jarvis











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