Never Trust a Hippy
Drongos for Europe / Resistance 77 - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town 13.2.10This years gigs have started off in style! - The first of the year has kicked off with a double act from Drongos for Europe & Resistance 77. We arrived late, after having stopped off at the Durham Arms for a quick snifter (It still hasn't closed down!) ... we do love that place! Our late arrival meant we missed all but the last song from Terminal Damage so I can't really comment on what they were like. The next band up were 2 Sick Monkeys, this was a 2 piece (Bass & Drums) from Swindon and were excellent! They even did the worlds fastest version of the Yobs 'Worm Song'. We really enjoyed them and it would be good to see them again sometime. The last of the support bands were The Yalla Yallas from Leeds. Unfortunately they weren't very good! The band itself made good music but they really need to ditch the singer, he was appalling. Finally, the first of the headline bands, Resistance 77, came on. They were very good and had brought a lot of Northern support with them. They blasted out tracks 'Far Away', 'Pass Me the Bottle', 'True Punk & Oi' and 'Nuclear Attack'. They ended their set with the rousing single 'The Spirit of St.George'.
Last up for the evening were the Drongos for Europe, they belted their way through 'Untamed', 'Punk Rock Radio', 'Don't Need a Gun', 'They Lie to Us', 'Whose Army', 'Fight for Your Rights', 'Contaminated', 'Wake Up Call', 'Freakazoid' and 'Who the F?!$ are You'. The Drongos were by far the best band of the night, even though a lot of the support had drifted away after Resistance 77 had left the stage. Still, this did not stop the Drongos from playing to the crowd and made a great end to a really good gig. Next up? .... The Stranglers in Brighton, see you there.
Note: Thanks to Steve, without who, there would be no track listing on this page!!!
The Stranglers - The Dome, Brighton 9.3.10For the second time we have been to see the Stranglers, this time in Brighton - Our little 'gig' band's numbers were swelled by both young Tom and Jonathan (as he enjoyed them so much last time). Jonathan very kindly drove us all there and back, even though it was his birthday! So a big thank you mate, from all of us!
We arrived early and had time to look about and take in a few beers before heading to the Dome for the gig. As things started I had visions of the last time we saw the Stranglers and the support they brought with them then, Starbase 103 .. it did make me shudder that we may have a similar outfit tonight! The support band this time were Max Raptor, they took to the stage and were ok, their songs were all a bit 'samey' but they were a million times better than Starbase 103! We were a bit split over this, Steve & Jon liked them, Tom hated them and I was in-between.
The Stranglers opened their set, with versions of 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' and 'Grip', these were followed by a number of later numbers (much we didn't recognise), but they then moved onto doing the old favourites 'Peaches', 'Something Better Change', 'Duchess', 'In the Sewer', 'Curfew', 'Strange Little Girl', 'Golden Brown' (especially for Steve & Jon!!!), Always the Sun' and '5 Minutes'. The final encore was the best though, it started with 'Hanging Around' and then JJ Burnel started playing around with his bass, this suddenly turned into 'No More Heroes' at which the rest of band came crashing in. This got the whole venue cheering and bouncing.
All in all it was another fantastic gig by the Stranglers, even Tom, who is not really into this type of music, came out of it buzzing and has since grabbed a number of Stranglers tracks from me to listen to.
Rebellion - The Forum, London 27.3.10In 2008 we attended a Rebellion festival at the Forum, Kentish Town, for an all-dayer with round 12 bands. This time there were only 5 bands but it did look to have the makings of a really good evening with bands like The Exposed, UK Subs, Penetration, The Boys and Cock Sparrer. We had decided, again, to stay overnight at Steve's mums house, so we arrived, dropped off our gear and then had a quick look around Croydon before heading into town. We made one more stop at Embankment (For refreshments!) before arriving at Kentish Town. We got into the Forum slightly late, just as the first band, The Exposed, were finishing so unfortunately I can't really comment on what they were like. Next up were the UK Subs, this is the fourth time we've been to see them, unfortunately for me it was not the best! We did have Paul Slack back in the line-up however Charlie Harper was almost static throughout the whole set, in spite of this we did get the usual suspects of 'Warhead', 'Teenage', 'Stranglehold' etc. What did surprise me though, was how far down the line-up the Subs were, maybe that was the reason for Charlie's inactivity? Who knows!
Close on the heels of the Subs came Penetration, the last time we saw them was at the last Rebellion held at the Forum in 2008. They were again very good and Pauline belted out tracks like 'Danger Signs' and my favourite 'Come Into the Open'. As with the last time we saw them, the guitarist nearest to us had his amp turned up so loud it drowned out a lot of Pauline's vocals. The Boys were next up and really launched into their set belting out numbers like 'The First Time', 'Brickfield Nights' and my old favourite 'The Worm Song'. They were very good and, as with Penetration, the last time we saw them was here in 2008 but, they were appearing as 'The Yobs'. Their set was well received by the crowd and on my visit to get a beer I realised just how full the venue had become! The place was wall-to-wall skinheads just waiting for the headlining band. Finally it was time for Cock Sparrer to take to the stage. This was the first time I had ever seen them so I was not sure really what to expect. Unfortunately I was not too impressed, they were ok, but I felt The Boys were better. Cock Sparrer seem to have a huge following, and when they hit the stage the whole place went mental. They did do 'Riot Squad', 'Working', 'Argy Bargy', 'Tough Guys', 'Sunday Stripper' and 'Running Riot'. They finished their set with 'We're Coming Back' and 'England Belongs to Me'.
So, what was the Rebellion gig like ... well, unfortunately it was nowhere near as good as 2008. The Subs seemed too quiet, Pauline of Penetration was drowned out and Cock Sparrer were not really to my liking! The saviours of the night, for me, were The Boys, who I would be happy to see again sometime.
Discharge - Ivy Leaf Club, Sheerness 30.4.10This was very much a last minute gig for us as we only found out a couple of days before and we both had believed the Ivy Leaf had closed down for good.
As usual we arrived a bit early and had a pizza and beer before heading to the gig. The Ivy Leaf has gone through a bit of a transition and had been done up (a bit!), but this has meant that the stage has moved to the other end of the venue and so is quite a bit smaller, not that it made any difference to us really. We had missed the first band who were Naime, and came in with a couple numbers left from Avenge Thee. They were followed by Bender Crack Corn then Denounce and finally The Kick Kick Murder Squad. I have rushed through these as all the support bands were absolute crap! They were all heavy hard-core thrash metal except Bender Crack Corn who advertise themselves as Punk/Skiffle (Whoah!). We had seen Bender Crack Corn and The Kick Kick Murder Squad before .. and didn't like them then either, so we spent the time very usefully .... sitting on a leather sofa drinking beer and preparing for Blackpool later this year!
Finally the support bands finished and on came Discharge, they went through a lot of their old repertoire with 'Fight Back', 'Decontrol', 'State Violence State Control', 'Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing', 'The Blood Runs Red' and ' They Declare It'. Even though there was only an audience of about 40 people, they were still very very good and certainly made up for disappointing support earlier. Steve even managed to join in on Decontrol! (See Pics).
Rebellion Festival - Winter Gardens, Blackpool 5-8.8.10After having waited for so long, finally, Rebellion, the event of the year, had arrived!
Steve and I caught our train a day early and traveled up to Blackpool. On arrival we found our '4 Stain' hotel (Thanks Melinda!), the Brooklyn Hotel, and dropped our gear off. First was a tram ride down to the Pleasure beach for a relaxing afternoon. In the evening was the Rebellion Warm-up at the West Coast Rock Cafe. This was rather good with the likes of Geoffrey Oi!Cott, Chief and ICH .. lots of beer was also consumed which helped make the evening go with a swing.
DAY ONE, and after our breakfast (Which included the unwanted tomato's and hairs), we queued up at the Winter Gardens and swapped our tickets for fancy wristbands and a program, then went to explore. It didn't take long to find a bar, at which point Steve announced 'Beer O'Clock!' ... Band-wise the first day was rather thin but we still had the likes of The Lurkers, Menace, Blitzkrieg and Splodgenessabounds to keep us going. In addition we found some really good smaller bands like The Restarts, No Thrills and Charred Hearts. The Restarts were far and away the best band of the day for us, we would definitely want to see them again.
DAY TWO and we were ready to go for it. Breakfast came without the tomato's ... but still with a hair! After this it was a quick stop for coffee, then 'Beer O'Clock'. Today was the day we hooked up with an old mate of mine, Andy Bimpson, who I had not seen for around 20 years! Day two was a good day for bands and we saw The Vibrators, Stiff Little Fingers, The Varukers, The Rezillos and Hazel O'Connor. There were some real surprises as well, The Cockney Rejects, who we saw recently in Purfleet, were very poor! In contrast The Warriors, Klasse Kriminale and Sensa Yuma were excellent. Still for me the top performing band were The Restarts from day one.
DAY THREE saw a breakfast free from any 'additives' Today was the main day for bands and the place was heaving! Once again Steve and I hooked up with Andy for beers to prepare ourselves for the day ahead. Again there were some tremendous shows from some of the smaller bands like Monica & the Explosion, Dun2def and Tower Blocks. The major bands on show were Red Alert, The Defects, 999, TV Smith, UK Decay and Slaughter & the Dogs, it was a real whirlwind! However, unfortunately, both Vice Squad and The New York Dolls did not live up to expectations and we went away rather disappointed with them. On a positive note though, Peter & the Test Tube Babies were a blast .. Steve managed to hurl himself into the melee at the front and was not seen again until the end of the set.
DAY FOUR seemed like a wind-down day. We all met up, and like previous days, saw some superb small bands, The Angry Agenda, Girlfixer, Septic Psychos and The Valentines (Who had supported TV Smith the day before) also there were Agnostic Front, London and Criminal Class. The whole festival was brought to a close with The Subhumans who were terrific. We closed our proceedings with a few beers in the bar until very late then it was a goodbye to Andy, a visit to the burger shop and then back to the hotel to prepare for our long journey home the following day.
So, to sum up rebellion .. SUPERB! For me, best band went to the Restarts, runners up were Hazel O'Connor, Stiff Little Fingers, Tower Blocks, Klasse Kriminale and 999, but there were so many others that I really liked. Biggest disappointment had to be Vice Squad, after waiting so long to see them as well! Best band name was 'Barnyard Masturbator'! Pictures from all the bands we saw can be found on the Rebellion Blackpool page.
Next Year? I think it's an almost definite we will be there, and hopefully we should have another friend joining us too. Next up ... its the Angelic Upstarts at the Relentless Garage in September.
GutterPunk - Web DevelopmentAfter my experiences at Rebellion this year I have decided now to branch out!
A good many of my fave bands either do not have a website or have a small site that is not updated very often. I have now started offering my services to any and all Punk bands in order to build them a quality website and update it for them.
First to jump on board have been Charred Hearts and The Septic Psychos, there will be more in the pipline so watch this space.
If you are a band and want to find out more about getting a true web presence then you can reach me through this website from my Contact Page.
Angelic Upstarts / Splodgenessabounds - Relentless Garage, London 18.9.10Having now fully recovered from Rebellion, we have hit the gig trail once more.
This time it was the Angelic Upstarts and Splodgenessabounds at the Relentless Garage in Highbury. This was my first visit to this venue and I was quite impressed with it. We had a few drinks and a bite to eat nearby and then queued up outside the venue. The first band were the Skets, they were easily forgettable apart from the fact they seemed to have more band members on stage than there were people in the audience. They did their bit and then left. They were followed by Splodgenessabounds. We had seen and enjoyed them recently at Rebellion and they were once again very good, although they had all smeared white powder over their faces, not sure what they were trying to say (although i think we had a pretty good idea!). They blasted out 'Two Little Boys', 'Two Pints of Lager' much to the pleasure of the audience. As with Rebellion, Max, looked very well plastered before he started but luckily he didn't fall down the stage steps again.
With the support bands over, the Angelic Upstarts took to the stage. Mensi was back and larger than ever. They kicked off with 'Police Oppression' and then cracked on with many of the old hits 'Teenage Warning', 'I'm An Upstart', 'Murder of Liddle Towers', 'Leave Me Alone', 'Last Night Another Soldier', 'Two Million Voices'. I was not expecting much from this gig but I was blown away by the Upstarts ... they were amazing! The longer they went on the better they got and as we were at the front we had a great view. The place was not as packed as we expected but there were still enough people to make the place rock.
Sham 69 / Alternative TV - Relentless Garage, London 20.11.10Next on our list of gigs for this year was Sham 69.
We were back at the Relentless Garage in Highbury, this gig initially had Chelsea as the main support but they were replaced by Alternative TV. We arrived in plenty of time only to find that the Anoraks (who were one of the supporting acts) were not now playing. The place did not seem to be packed to the rafters, but was better attended than the Upstarts gig in September. So first up was a '77 band, Shag Nasty. We had never heard of them before but they turned out to be a really good little 3-piece band. We thoroughly enjoyed their set and they got a resounding cheer when they finished. The main support act then took to the stage, this was Mark Perry's Alternative TV, another '77 band. They were excellent and threw themselves into all their numbers which included 'Action Time Vision' and 'Love Lies Limp'. This was one band I had been wanting to see for a very long and time and I'm happy to say I was not disappointed in the least.
Finally the main band for the night, Sham 69 took to the stage. There was no longer any Jimmy Pursey fronting the band (which did worry us beforehand), however Tim V turned out to be a great successor to the Pursey crown! Sham came out and ran through all their well known hits, 'Sunday Morning Nightmare', 'Hurry Up Harry', 'Tell Us the Truth', 'Angels with Dirty Faces', 'Questions and Answers', 'Borstal Breakout' and 'Ulster'. They saved the best for last and the encore was 'Hersham Boys' and 'If the Kids are United' which sent the crowd into a frenzy. Not knowing what Sham would be like with no Jimmy Pursey, we were a bit worried they would not be very good, but we were rather pleasantly surprised and the whole evening turned out to be one of the better gigs we have been to.
UK Subs - West Coast Bar, Margate 4.12.10The penultimate gig for this year was an old favourite, the UK Subs along with a number of other bands in support .
This time the gig was pretty local and just needed a jaunt down to the coast to the West Coast Bar in Margate. Initially the snow threatened to put paid to us getting there, but luckily, that happened the day before so Margate was clear of any of the white stuff. Even so, the weather managed to deplete the line-up of bands so there were no East End Badoes, Filthy's, London Diehards or Citizen Keyne. We had decided that with a day of bands it would be best book guest house overnight, so Steve had booked us into Margate's equivalent of the Hilton ... sorry .. Bates Motel!. We arrived at the West Coast bar with plenty of time so got straight into the beer. The first band were not on the list but turned out to be local band P.C.F, they had someone's grandmother screeching away on vocals ... we lasted about 2 minutes, then went for another beer. Next up were Crimewave. We had seen them before at the Ivy Leaf in Sheerness, they were quite good then and were even better this time. Next up were Insane Society, we had not heard anything by them before but again they impressed us, so the day was really looking up now. They were followed by another band we had seen in Sheerness, All Flags Burn. As with Crimewave we had liked All Flags Burn last time, but this time they were even better.
The Warriors were up next and again they are a band we have seen a number of times before. They were very good and had quite a large following who all made themselves heard during the set. Last of the support bands were Condition Dead, they were another band I had heard of before, but I was very impressed and would be a band I would like to see again sometime. Finally the UK Subs arrived on stage, as usual they went through the old repertoire of 'Stranglehold', 'CID', 'Party in Paris', 'Keep on Running', 'Warhead' and 'Teenage' among many others. The Subs always put on a great show and this was one more to add to the list, even Charlie was more animated than usual. They managed two encores along with help on the mics from a number of the skinhead residents .. and then it was over.
The whole gig was very very good, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, met some friends, had a chat with the Subs guitarist and ended the evening with a nice large kebab!