British band of septuagenarians coming to Greenfield

  • Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center will host the New England 999 show on Sunday. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 10/25/2019 6:07:13 PM
Modified: 10/25/2019 6:07:03 PM

GREENFIELD — With musicians in their 70s, unusually named bands and punk music, Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center is hosting the New England show of the British band 999.

The show will be on Sunday, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the concert starting at 7.

The event’s organizer, Erving resident Cyd Scott, said he used to listen to 999 and bought their records.

“It’s about sharing music and a good time with people who love this music, like me,” he said. “I’m shocked I’m pulling this off.”

The band performed in the Pioneer Valley in 1979 and again in 1981 — but it hasn’t been back since, according to Scott.

“They played at the famous Rahar’s, in Northampton, as well as The Rusty Nail in Sunderland,” Scott said. “The band is one of the original punk rock bands that started the movement in England along with The Sex Pistols, The Clash and others. The band consists of mostly original members all pushing 70 and still playing pretty hard punk rock. I have asked an old valley favorite punk rock band, the Pajama Slave Dancers, to join them along with 999’s touring band, The Clap, and a special local punk band guest.”

To date, the band has completed 16 U.S. tours, 137 London gigs, 54 England tours and 37 European tours, visiting Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Yugoslavia as well as Japan, Argentina and Brazil.

“999 (was) first conceived in late 1976 when Nick Cash (vocals/guitar) and Guy Days (vocals/lead guitar), who were at school together, decided to form a group,” according to a press release about Sunday’s concert. “Within a couple of months, they had teamed up with Jon Watson (bass) and Pablo Labritain (drums), and 999 (was) officially born. ... Interest in the band was immediate and constant gigging around London brought with it critical acclaim and a hardcore following of supporters from Southall, calling themselves ‘The Crew.’”

The band also plans to release another album in 2020.

Scott said he’s excited to bring the event to Greenfield because it’s a way of revisiting fun memories that bring a smile to other faces, too.

“This is an exciting opportunity. There were some folks who saw these guys in 1981 and now they’re back again,” Scott said. “Let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger. I’m glad I could bring a big-name band to the area and meet my teen idol.”

Collector’s tickets, which are large-scale tickets including a picture of the band and the date, can be bought at Platterpus Records in Easthampton or Turn It Up! in Northampton. Tickets are $20 online at bit.ly/344x4fx or $25 at the door.

A signing will be offered at Platterpus Records starting at noon or 1 p.m., dependent on travel times, Scott said. Updates will be posted on the store’s Facebook page.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at 413-772-0261, ext. 263 or mbourdeau@recorder.com.


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