Never Trust a Hippy
Buzzcocks - Shepherds Bush Empire, London 3.1.09So the first gig of 2009 was the Buzzcocks - They were to be supported by the Lurkers at the Shepherds Bush Empire and Steve and I agreed to meet up in London and head over to Shepherds Bush. We arrived rather early and dropped into the pub next door for a spot of liquid refreshment, however we didn't get much drinking done as the service was slower than a well salted snail! We arrived at the venue which seemed large from the outside but was very small once you get in, it used to be a theatre and it had balconies which very soon were packed out, as was downstairs.
First up were the Lurkers they were very good, the lead, Arturo Bassick being the bassist from 999 (We saw them a couple of times last year). They ripped into a number of tracks and did their old ones like 'Shadow' and 'Aint Got a Clue'. It was only when their set finished that I realised I had been to the Empire before ... 40 years ago ... to watch the Sooty Show!! The Buzzcocks came on to rapturous applause and started bashing their way through the first two albums. They were very good and went down very well in the packed venue. They seemed to do the tracks from each album in order, however they on did two of their singles 'What Do I Get' and 'Ever Fallen In Love' .. i do remember more singles than this on the albums. Anyway they came to the encore and that was when we had 'Love You More', 'Promises', 'Everybodys Happy Nowadays', 'Orgasm Addict', 'I Don't Mind', 'Harmony in my Head'. What an encore .. last time i saw the Buzzcocks they did none of their old singles but this time we had them all, and done really well.
Not really sure what's next on the horizon, although the Kelsey Arms, Tunbridge Wells is playing host to the Vibrators, 999 and UK Subs later in the year ... we could be there.
G.B.H - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town, London 9.5.09Our next outing was to see GBH at the Bridgehouse II, Canning Town - The venue itself was on an industrial estate and the only pub we could see was round the corner .. well ... when the owners are sitting pissed, swearing and smoking in front of the bar with only 5 other locals you know it's time to move on, so we downed our pints and headed for the gig. There were three support bands each of whom had a forty minute slot. The evening kicked off with Criminal Class who were by far the best support of the night and were thoroughly enjoyed. They were followed by Left 4 Dead (Who we think were local as they had a lot of support) who were again very good. Lastly were Rebel City Radio who were probably the weakest we heard. As each of the sets were 40 minutes it seemed like an eternity until finally the main band took to the stage. GBH were very good and launched into their hits, 'Give me Fire', 'No Survivors', 'Sick Boy' along with other well known tracks like 'City Baby Attacked by Rats', 'Alcohol', 'Race Against Time' and 'State Executioner'.
In all it was very good evening and as Steve had offered to drive I got shit faced on beer ... which is the reason why he had to remind me of the playlist! ... still that's always the sign of a good evening. I'm not sure what's to come next as it seems to be pretty quiet at the moment.
Elliot to Hong Kong - Plug 'n' Play, Reading 18.7.09We got an invite to attend a gig by my nephew Liam's band, Elliot to Hong Kong - Tom and myself plus Ian and Victoria all drove up to Reading for the gig. We spent the afternoon wandering around town and in the evening it was a meal, pub and then off to the gig. Never having heard anything by the band before I had no idea what to expect. The venue, 'Plug n Play', was very small (made up of a couple of lockup garages!) but there still seemed to be quite a following for the band. The music itself was very raw, but i was very impressed and they banged out the numbers which the crowd all seemed to know and love ... and wasn't it just great to see Liam at the back drumming away? All in all it was a really good evening and we will be attending again if we get the chance. I believe Tom is trying to find a venue in Maidstone to get them to play down here as well.
UPDATE: Elliot to Hong Kong have now become Sister Gracie, you can see them at: http://www.myspace.com/sistergracie
Abrasive Wheels - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town 13.11.09Our next gig was back at the Bridgehouse II in Canning Town to see the Abrasive Wheels - We knew the venue by now and after a bite to eat we headed straight for the Durham Arms pub that we visited last time. What a laugh, this time there was only the old landlady, again pissed, swearing and cursing at everything! Steve made the mistake of asking for Fosters 'Super Chilled' ... obviously this was way out of the range of drinks they had on offer and only solicited a stream of obscenities from the landlady! Sadly this pub is to close (maybe end of the year) as they don't seem to be making money! (Funny that eh?). Hopefully it will still be there next month when we are back again. We had 4 support bands on this night. Danger's Close opened the show (although we missed most of their set) and they seemed ok. Next up were The Jack Brews (Who were standing in for the absent Noise Agents), I was not impressed with them really. Better was to come though as Middle Finger Salute took the stage, they were very good and were followed by Dun 2 Def who were probably the best so far. They then had to announce a raffle!!!! (at a punk gig?) Anyway I won a Drongos for Europe CD and a Demob 7" so that was my evening sorted!. Finally the Abrasive Wheels took to the stage. Unfortunately The Abrasive Wheels were not really as good as I was expecting! They gave us a rendition of their most well known tracks like 'When the Punks Go Marching In', 'Burn 'em Down', 'Banner of Hope' and 'Army Song'. That said we did have a good evening and would more than likely go again. Next up looks to be One Way System and then the Cockney Rejects.
One Way System - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town 12.12.09And it was off to the Bridgehouse II in Canning Town to see One Way System - We did our usual of a bite to eat and then went straight to the Durham Arms for a beer and a giggle ... not this time though, the Landlady had her 60's music on so loud we thought we had hit the gig early. So it was just a pint and then off to the venue. There were meant to be 4 support bands on this night but the drummer for Rage DC apparently caught the wrong train and so they would not be on until after One Way System! The Jack Brews started the gig off and were 100% better than the last time we saw them, so much so we got one of their CD's. Next up were UK Vacant, these were also very good and got the crowd going. Finally the last support, Left for Dead who were excellent last time we saw them, and managed again to steal the show for me this time, they were very good indeed. It would be good to see them headlining their own gig some time. Finally One Way System took to the stage. They were very good and started belting out the hits 'Jerusalem', 'Stab the Judge', 'Just Another Hero', 'Give us a Future', 'Riot Torn City' and 'Victim', they just seemed to get better and better. Neither Steve nor myself had seen them before and so really enjoyed this gig.
Next up is the Cockney Rejects 30th Anniversary gig in Essex.
Lily Allen - Brixton Academy, London 15.12.09Brixton, December and Lily Allen! - Now this was a huge departure from my normal music tastes but it was my Father's day present from the kids and damn it was a good evening! Both Tom and myself attended and after finding a parking space right outside the Academy we queued around the block (Never had to do this before at the Academy!) ready to grab a beer and take our places.
The support band was Example Who, I have to admit, I had never heard of, but Tom had, and really liked them, so he was happy to start with. A few of his mates like them as well so he texted them to say what he was doing. Example seemed to do a good set and crowd warmed to them quite quickly. There was a DJ between sets who was ok, but again the music was not really to my taste.
Finally the lovely Lily Allen came out onto stage. She managed to cover most of her latest album and a few tracks from her first as well. We had all the hits 'Smile', 'The Fear', '22', 'Oh my God', 'F**k You' plus many more. Lily managed to do two dress changes as well during the set. She finally closed with 'Not Fair', which I must say was really very good! and a real blast to end the evening with. Both Tom and I enjoyed the evening, Lily was on-form even though she was still suffering from a throat infection and her encore of 'Not Fair' did steal the show for me. This is not normally my type of music but, funnily enough, I would go and see her again! maybe my music tastes are mellowing?? We'll see after the 19th December though!
Cockney Rejects - Circus Tavern, Purfleet 19.12.09The Cockney Rejects 30th Anniversary at the Circus Tavern, Essex - Oh Wow, the Rejects were the first Punk band I ever saw live, back in the late 70's at Demelza's in Penzance, Cornwall ... the line-up is now a little different but nothing else has changed. The South-East had been blanketed in about 12 inches of snow a couple of days before, so travel from Maidstone was rather treacherous to say the least, but when we got closer to Essex the snow cleared to just a fine dusting but still very icy. we stopped for a Pizza and then headed to the venue.
We arrived quite early and grabbed a beer. The place started to fill and we quickly realised the whole venue was to be wall-to-wall skinheads .... There were 3 support bands for this evenings gig and the first up were The Warriors, we had seen them before and liked them then, but on the larger stage they were much much better. Next up were the East End Badoes. They were good but seemed to set the West Ham Hooligan/Racist theme ready for the last support Super Yob, who were probably the worst of the lot. We had never heard of them before, are probably glad we hadn't and, hopefully, won't again! .. however, they did whip the skinheads into a frenzy ready for the headline act.
The Cockney Rejects came out to massive applause. The two original members, Micky Geggus and 'Stinky' Turner, gave their all and were very very good. They covered all their major hits and much more, 'Flares n Slippers', 'Bad Man', 'The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off', 'We can do Anything', 'I'm not a Fool'. The crowd loved them and it needed six man-mountains to hold them back, even though one did get through, but was promptly ejected head-first off the stage ... luckily the floor broke his fall! The Rejects continued to pump out the tracks and peppered the audience with West Ham chants which they lapped up ... God help any Millwall supporters in the crowd! The encore was predictably 'Bubbles' and sent the skinheads into a real frenzy. All in all the gig was excellent and well worth attending, maybe they'll come back again next year, if so .. so will we!
Well that's the 2009 gig list over, next year we have some more planned and are looking forward to these ... after a well deserved Xmas rest ...