Following Duncan Reid’s decision to terminate his band The Big Heads after 13 years for his own personal reasons, the man in the purple suit did one final tour culminating in a sold-out show at The Lexington, which followed hot off the heels of the release of the band’s fifth and final studio album, ‘And It’s Goodbye From Him’. From his beginnings in the music industry in 1976 as a member of punk band The Boys with Matt Dangerfield and Casino Steel (and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mick Jones and Billy Idol) to his present day fun loving pop-punk outfit, he has enjoyed a career spanning almost half a century that it seems reasonable he now wishes to hang up the suit.

The Big Heads performed from their new album release early in their set with ‘Oh My My’ and ‘Lost Again’; the latter featuring psychedelic, moody guitar chords. From the new material, Reid went back to his time in The Boys with their 1977 debut single B-side, ‘Soda Pressing’, for which Sophie Powers (guitar, keyboard) arrived onstage to takeover on guitar duties from Heidi Cotton (guitar, backing vocals) despite sustaining a wrist injury. ‘Baby Doll’ saw her play on the synthesiser and perform a buzzing guitar solo. The band returned to the new album songs with ‘Singing with the Beach Boys’, the latter of which Nick Hughes (guitar) joked he wrote 95 per cent of.

They also played ‘Bombs Away’, the title track from their third studio album, and single ‘Kelly’s Gone Insane’, with its mellow guitar parts, from their release ‘The Difficult Second Album’; guest Ciara Lavers who was in the band at that time joined them on drums for the track. The band performed their brand new apocalyptic party track, the showaddywaddy blues of ‘Funaggedon Time’, with a grungy finish, and Shakespearean rhyme of ‘To Live Or Live Not’ from their last album, ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’.

The Big Heads played again from the same album with ‘Motherfucker’ before inviting surprise guest James Stevenson (Chelsea, Gene Loves Jezebel) onstage to play guitar in debut album track, ‘The One’. They closed their set for the final time on single ‘C’mon Josephine’, with its trademark The Boys’ feel, and ‘C’èst La Vie’ with whirring guitars. They did an encore to end the show with ‘First Time’; The Boys’ single written by Reid’s former bandmate Honest John Plain, which the audience sang-along to with Reid immersing himself in the crowd, after which they finished forever. “Goodnight!”

07/10/23: Duncan Reid + The Big Heads @ The Lexington, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.