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The Tubes at Robin 2, Bilston

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event: -
Anniversary celebrated with British tour
Cult American band The Tubes are marking their 40th anniversary with a UK tour that plays Robin 2 in Bilston on August 13.

The Tubes
Reunited: The Tubes (pic: Janice Kang)

The San Francisco-based outfit, whose 1975 debut album included the controversial rock anthem White Punks on Dope, are known for their over-the-top theatrical visual live performances. Their 1977 British tour was beset with censorship issues, often because of the outrageous on-stage antics of lead singer Fee Waybill.

The Tubes, Robin 2 Bilston
As they were: The Tubes

The current five-man line-up of The Tubes features four original members - Waybill, Roger Steen (guitar), Rick Anderson (bass) and Prairie Prince (drums). They are joined by keyboardist David Medd.

The Tubes
Current line-up: The Tubes(pic: Juergen Spachmann)

After signing to A&M Records in 1975, The Tubes released their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, followed a year later by Young and Rich. The albums failed to translate the manic energy and theatrical power of their live shows but White Punks on Dope became a minor hit and a radio staple and went on to be covered by Motley Crue and Nina Hagen.

In February 1978 they released the ground-breaking live album, What Do You Want From Live, recorded at London's Hammersmith Apollo in November 1977, and also made their UK television debut on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Returning to America, they recruited producer Todd Rundgren and recorded 1979′s Remote Control, a concept album exploring the influence of television. When it met a similar commercial fate as its predecessors, The Tubes were dropped by A&M.

The Tubes
Back on stage: The Tubes (pic: Janice Kang)

After signing to Capitol, they recorded 1981′s Completion Backwards Principle, an album based on an actual sales training instruction manual. Both Talk To Ya Later and Don't Want to Wait Anymore earned significant radio play and the LP became band's first Top 40 hit.

With its provocative video, the single She's A Beauty reached the Top Ten, and pushed the 1983 album Outside/ Inside, into the Top 20 Albums chart. But when 1985′s Love Bomb stiffed, The Tubes split.

In 1993 Waybill, Steen, Anderson and Prince reunited, recruiting David Medd as their new keyboardist. In 1996 they toured America and Europe before releasing a new LP, Genius of America. In 2000, The Tubes embarked on another extensive tour, issuing the live greatest hits album Tubes World Tour to commemorate the event. The band appeared at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire in December 2004, and the show was documented on the CD Wild in London, released the following year.

The Tubes August 2015 UK tour dates:

7th: London Clapham Grand;
8th: Manchester Club Academy;
9th: Glasgow, The Art School;
11th: Leeds Brudenell Arts Club;
12th: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms;
13th: Bilston Robin 2.

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Why? Controversial band The Tubes, 40 years on.
When: August 13, 2015
Phone: 01902 401211
Where: Robin 2, Bilston
Cost: 22.50 (advance); 25 (on the door)
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