I KID YOU NOT...Holton refuses safety net


 


 

The drummer is pretty, in an upper-class style, and the keyboardist has a blond version of the Freddie Mercury - type "dangerous" prettiness; but they are all a bit static, and don't play up to Holton enough.


Of course, that just makes him shine more brightly. From the top of his top hat to the tip of his plastic dildo, hanging from the cord slung round his red tights, the Kid entering for "Squaliday Inn" stinks of the real showbiz thing. And also of energy, and intelligence: every word, every move, every bit of gear is chosen for effect, from the biker boy break in "The cops are coming" for the voluminous old tramp's raincoat he wears to debunk the glamour of the encore.


Holton has snapping brown eyes and the sort of layered bee-hive hair do that was all the rage (for ladies) in 1964. He has skinny little legs in drainpipes. He makes girls feel warm and rumpy inside.


The Welsh, however take these pleasures quietly. It seems appropriate, therefore when Holton sings "I don't need you/ Don't need you/ for my crisis..."


Against all odds, he manages to keep the show speedy. Often though, the sound is too ragged for the lyrics to be distinguishable, so the question of whether The Kids are into deep social comment or simple rock 'n' roll becomes irrelevant.


It's not the lyrics that threaten anarchy, it's the way Holton uses the stage, ranging uncontrollably beyond the confines of the band's circle, appearing suddenly and unexpected in odd corners, and finally diving, like a man who leaps from a burning ship off that amp stack to disappear in the crowd below.
 

Review by Kate Phillips


*Many thanks to Thomas Robinson for sending me this article.

 

The lead guitarist seems unhappy in his work.


It's not easy, kicking Gary Holton while he's down and keeping your riff clean at the same time. In fact, it's probably against Union rules.


But the Kid Terrible needs encouragement. He needs to be persecuted by the solemn guitarist and the huge, cheerful, Bolanoid bass player; he needs to be jostled away from the mike, and thrown to the ground, and duffed over a little. Cos that's his cue for the grand finale: the bit where he climbs the tallest of the PA system, and sways about with convincing unsteadiness, plucks bits of the lighting system off the ceiling, and hurls defiance at the renegades.

Who look a bit silly without him, you might say: because Gary Holton is The Heavy Metal Kids (OK?). The backing the others provide for his antics is strong enough in it's rough and ready way, to keep things going even when he slides off the stage for one of his many image changes, but even so they don't really seem like Kids to me.

Dedicated to keeping Gary Holton's memory alive since 2003.