Never Trust a Hippy
GBH / Charred Hearts - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town 15.1.11It's 2011 ... it's the Bridgehouse ... it's the first gig of the new year!
We set off quite early and after food, headed to the Durham Arms .. what a disappointment, there's new owners! We had a couple of beers then made a move to the Bridgehouse so we could meet up with the Charred Hearts. We finally got to meet up with the guys (Minus their Bassist as he had apparently gone off for a walk!) and then ended up back down the Durham Arms with them for a few more beers. Once we got back, the first band Hushwhore, were already on stage. They were very good and banged out their tracks which got the audience going. Next up were the Charred Hearts (www.charredhearts.co.uk ) .. they were excellent! All the known tracks were done 'Persecute Me', 'Beggar on the Underground', 'Louisiana Calling', 'Nowhere Town', 'You're Bringing Me Down' and 'Fucked'. A lot of the time I was trying to get photos of the band and was concentrating so hard that I missed much of the set, but they did go down a storm. After Charred Hearts, Segismundo Toxicomano took to the stage. They are a Spanish band and had brought quite a following with them, however I was not entirely impressed with them, each of their tracks seemed almost the same as the last. We did get given a free CD of theirs, so it wasn't all bad.
The headline band, GBH finally took to the stage and were brilliant. It's been a year of so since we last saw them here and they were just as good. They did 'Give Me Fire', 'Freak', 'Generals, 'Sick Boy', 'I Am the Hunted' and 'Race Against Time' to name but a few. The Bridgehouse was a sell-out even though GBH were doing Sunday night as well and the crowd lapped them up.
The whole evening was one of the best, including having a chat with Micky Geggus (Cockney Rejects) and the guys from the Restarts. we had a bit of a laugh with the guys from Charred Hearts and a few of their mates who had come down also. A couple of thankyou's .. firstly Steve who did the driving and bag holding while I drank myself stupid, the Charred Hearts for making us welcome and buying beer! and Gemma for helping me understand how to take a picture!
Next up is the Restarts at Canterbury .. looking forward to that as well.
Punk All-Dayer - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 5.2.11What a gig ... 9 bands, 10 hours of Punk music with the Restarts top billing!
We had never been to the Miadens Head, however its only a short drive to Canterbury for us. We arrived quite early, parked up and went to check out the pub. The Maidens Head is very small, there is no stage, just an area where the band play. We met Davee who had organised the whole day and had a quick chat before the first band took to the stage. First up were Crimewave who we had seen on a number of occasions, the last being December in Margate, each time we see them they just keep getting better. Next up were a new one for us Surgery Without Research who were really very good, so much so we both got their CD afterwards! Third band up were the bizarrely named Ted DiBiase & the Million Dollar Punk Band, they were again very good, but not quite in the league of the previous bands. They were followed closely by The Griswalds. I believe they came from North London somewhere and seemed to have brought a bus load of support with them. Last band before the break were Criminal Brainstorm, we had heard about this band having met the guitarist at the UK Subs gig in Margate at the end of last year, so we were looking forward to seeing them and we weren't disappointed, they were excellent.
At this point there was a break in the proceedings so we shot across the road for a pie & chips, then back to the pub again ready for the next band. After the break the advertised band, the Deathskulls, did not turn up (Not sure why) so we went straight in with the Short Bus Window Lickers, this seemed to signal the start of the bigger bands to hit the stage and the crowd went for it also. The SBWL were easily the best so far, very heavy and very fast with Robin, from the Restarts, as guitarist with them. They were cosely followed by Left for Dead who we had a seen a couple of times before. Steve was looking forward to them and rightly so as they were another really good band. Next up were Defcon Zero, again another very heavy, very fast band, the crowd went wild and kept falling into the band as the stage was so small. Finally the headline band were on. This was what I had been waiting for, The Restarts. I had seen them only once before, at Rebellion in Blackpool and was blown away by them then ... this was no different! they were amazing. They rattled off the tracks like, 'Outsider', 'X228', 'Timewaster', 'Running out of Time', 'Legacy of Bigotry', 'Fustration' and many many more! They really went for it and even Steve disappeared into the scrum at the front for most of their set.
So ... what can I say .. the whole day was bloody brilliant, we had so many real quality bands playing, topped off with the Restarts which was really the icing on the cake, thanks for organising a great day Davee! Now we get a few weeks break, the next gig will be the English Dogs at the Bridgehouse II next month.
English Dogs - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town 19.3.11Back to the Bridgehouse to see the English Dogs plus a very strong support line-up
My turn to drive this time, and we got to Canning Town in time for a quick KFC then it was off to the Bridgehouse. We met up with Davee (who organises the gigs at the Maidens Head) who told us he was getting The Subhumans, Gonads and Anthrax for the near future in Canterbury (Should be excellent!). First band up were, Kent based, Surgery Without Research . We had seen them last month in Canturbury and found them to be really good, but here on the larger stage they were excellent. Next up were Hacksaw, they were just a guitarist and drummer from the West Country, very much like 2 Sick Monkeys ... that was where the similarity ended, we liked 2 Sick Monkeys, Hacksaw were not very good at all ... although they did end their set with a track titled 'Bog-roll' to which they threw bog-rolls into the crowd until the whole floor was covered in it! The next band were Sick on the Bus, Steve and I had been waiting for this bunch as we havd not seen them yet .. we were not disappointed, they were really good and the crowd loved them.
Finally the English Dogs took to the stage, they were very good, but not as good as Sick on the Bus earlier. They rattled through most of their old numbers including Left me for Dead, Psycho Killer, Fall of Max, Free to Kill and World War II. During their set they added to the layers of toilet paper on the floor by throwing bags of crisps into the crowd, which were immediately burst and poured over everyone!
The late set was another band we had heard of but, as yet, not seen. These were Blatoidea, these guys were the typical punk image, long spiked hair or large coloured mohicans. They were actually very good and we stayed around for a few numbers to listen to them, it was a shame as the place had pretty much cleared out when they came on, but I would be happy to see them again. The evening was a huge success and a great time was had by both of us, we watched some good bands and had a chat with some of them after. Next weekend is Charred Hearts again! This time supporting Menace at the 12 Bar in Soho ...
Menace / Charred Hearts - 12 Bar Club, Denmark St, London 26.3.11Our first trip to the 12 Bar Club in London .. and what a day to pick!
Well, the day for our first trip to the 12 Bar Club coincided with the huge Anti-Cuts March that was snaking its way through London for most of the day and night. We stayed at Steve's mum's place, so we travelled from Croydon into London with no hitches at all. There were still masses of people milling around with flags and benners or sitting outside pubs and cafe's but that was all really. We finally found the 12 Bar Club and after grabbing a bite at the Burger King, we settled down to a few beers in the Intrepid Fox next door. Finally the Charred Hearts guys arrived, slightly delayed as some of them were on the march, and the others had to find their way through with the minibus. We met up with Dale and Sue again .. and it was back to the Intrepid Fox for a couple more and a good chinwag before the gig started. We were on the guest list for the gig this time .. and Steve is now officially branded as a +1 !!!
Unfortunately the first band, The Sweinz, had not made it for whatever reasons, so first up on stage were 16 Guns. We had not come across them before and were looking forward seeing them, we were not disappointed either, they were really good and pounded out their numbers to a very willing audience! I think the agreement was that we wouldn't mind seeing them again after this performance.
Next up were the Charred Hearts (www.charredhearts.co.uk ) and they were again on form! The stage is quite small so Fuller seemed to spend most of the time off it and in with the audience. They had quite a long set with tracks "Louisiana Calling", "Fucked", "Nowhere Town", "Crash", "Persecute Me", "You're Bringing Me Down", and "Always Beside Me". They were excellent, the crowd loved them and I got to take a number of good shots during their set. The Charred Hearts always seem to go down well and are a very popular band on the circuit.
The headline band, Menace were last on. We had only seen them once before and that was last year at Rebellion in Blackpool, and they were very good then. Once again they did not disappoint, they ran through their tracks "Insane Society", "Screwed Up", "Party Animal", "I'm Civilised", "Rocks n Dust", "2 Many Punks", "Banner", "G.L.C" and "Last Years Youth". The crowd loved them and the small venue was packed to the rafters.
All the bands that had played were excellent, it was a shame the Sweinz had not made it, but apart from that it was a fantastic evening with excellent music and catching up with other friends like Gemma, Robert and Christine and the Charred Hearts mob. With the gig over we had to wend our weary way back to Steve's Mums house in Croydon ... easier said than done! No buses, cabs etc ... we finally got back at 4:30am! ... bugger! Still after such a brilliant gig it wasn't too much of a hardship.
Well, next up will hopefully be Anthrax in Canturbury, followed closely by the Dome for Oi Polloi, Restarts and Refuse/All.
Anthrax - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 16.4.11A short hop to Canterbury to see Gravesend punks, Anthrax for the first time.
We arrived quite early and settled to a couple of pints and a bite to eat while we watched Davee and the bands arrive.
The first band up were The Halfwits, a local four piece who were very good .. even considering it was only their 3rd ever gig! They were followed by another bunch of locals, Crimewave, as with the previous times we've seen them they were getting better and better. They banged their way through their usual repertoire and were very well recieved. Next up were the headline act Anthrax. This is not the US Metal band but the 80's Punk band from Gravesend. I only have one single by them and had not heard anything else from them so we hoped they would be good ... we were not disappointed, they were really good. They played their way through their set including their single 'Capitalism is Cannibalism' and went down extremely well with everyone, and it was very busy by this point.
Last up were a Southend band, The Deathskulls. They were meant to have been playing at the all-dayer last time we were at the Maidens Head, but they did not turn up for that gig, and there was talk that they may not turn up to this one either. They launched into their set, and as with the other bands, they were really very good. The crowd loved them and really got into it.
What a great evening, four bands all very good, and all topped off with a kebab! It really was very good and I'd be happy to see any of these bands again.
Later this month we will be at the Dome for Oi Polloi, Restarts and Refuse/All.
R.I.P - Poly Styrene: 1957 - 201125th April 2011: A very sad day for us all, Poly Styrene lost her battle with breast cancer.
Poly and X-Ray Spex were one of the truely original iconic 70's Punk bands with releases like 'Oh Bondage Up Yours', 'Germ Free Adolescents', 'Warrior in Woolworths' and 'Identity'. Poly will be sorely missed and I'm pleased that Steve and myself managed to get to see her return for a one-off gig with X-Ray Spex in 2008 at the Roundhouse. Her music was inspirational and her voice unique, something the current crop of talentless, 'X-Factor' trash could only hope to emulate. Sleep peacefully Poly, your music will always live with us ... your work here is done!
..... "Oh Cancer! Up Yours!"
Restarts / Oi Polloi - The Dome, Tufnell Park, London 29.4.11This time it was a new venue for us, The Dome, in Tufnell Park, and on the day of the Royal Wedding!
Well, this gig was billed as 'F**k the Royal Wedding' and it did give us an excuse to get away from all the days nonsense and get down to some good old Punk music. As we were not sure when the gig would finish we drove up and stayed at Steve's mum's in Croydon for the night. We managed to battle through the Union Jacks on the tubes and arrived at the gig with enough time for a beer or two and a pizza. After that we bumped into Davee and Gemma and saw a number of other old faces. First band up for the evening were The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. We had not seen heard of them before and they were very good. The lead singer decided to celebrate the day's wedding by wearing a white dress, and as the set progressed he had both the dress and his underwear torn off him. They had brought their own following and went down very well pounding out their set as the room began to fill. We enjoyed them so much that we bought one of their CD's. Next up were a band I have been waiting a long long time to see, Refuse/All. I was not disappointed either, they were brilliant and did tracks including 'Refuse/All', 'Rise Non-Believer' and a version of the Pistols 'God Save the Queen'. The venue was getting very packed at this point and the crowd were getting into their stride so it was all a bit hectic trying to take photos at the front.
Third band for the night were an old favoutite, The Restarts and as usual they stole the show. They were on fine form (having just finished touring Canada and USA) and started pounding out the tracks which was sending the crowd wild. They went through 'Time Waster', 'X228', 'Outsider', 'Enemies', 'Thin Ice', 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' and 'Pied Piper'. The Restarts were outstanding, now I can't wait until we see them again, which will more than likely be Rebellion in August ... so, roll on August.
The headline band was another first for us, Oi Polloi. I had not heard anything except a couple of singles from this Scottish band, so I wasn't sure what to expect. They started off very brightly and belted out a few numbers to the obvious enjoyment of the crowd, they also offered whiskey ... which obviously also went down well. They banged out quite a few tracks before they decided to burn a Union Jack ... now I may not be the most patriotic person, and I also do not hold much care for the Royal Wedding, however to burn the national flag, and I maybe wrong here, but it does not have much to do with the wedding ... it seems to have more to do with the band's dislike of the UK. This unfortunately was enough for us and it was decided to call it a day go in search of a train to Croydon and a kebab.
So, a really great gig, the Restarts easily stole the show, Refuse/All were amazing also, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Even Oi Polloi were good up until the flag incident, so probably wont want to see them again as that did put a bit of a spoiler on the evening. Anyway, next up will be the Vaurkers at the Bridgehouse, it should be a good one.
Varukers - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town, London 21.5.11The last time we saw the Varukers was at last years Rebellion, this time it was back to the Bridgehouse.
It was my turn to drive this time and we arrived in Canning Town at around 6pm for our usual KFC. Most of the talk was of this years Rebellion as we now finally have our rail tickets which completes the set and so we are all set for August. We stopped for a quick beer in the Durham Arms and then made it to the Bridgehouse just after 7pm. The place was dead! This really surprised us as there are normally quite a few people milling around at this time. So we had a long chat with Rat (Varukers & Discharge) about his new band 'The Vile' and listened to Chaos:Baby's soundcheck.
The first band to take the stage were Chaos:Baby. The band were on quite late as only a handful of people had turned up to watch. We had never heard of Chaos:Baby but were really impressed with them as they were an excellent outfit. On some of the tracks the singer sounded very similar to an early Nina Hagen, it was a very good start to the evening.
Next up were Blatoidea who managed to increase the crowd numbers by bringing along a lot of their own support. We have seen Blatoidea at the Bridgehouse before and I quite liked them then, this time they were even better, as they blasted their way through a thoroughly enjoyable set.
The penultimate band were Left for Dead, who again we have seen a few times and just seem to get better and better. They were excellent this time, even though the lead singer admitted to us afterwards that he had been knocking back very strong Cider and was rather out of it, although he was still able to sell me and Steve a CD each!
Last up were the Varukers. There was a good crowd by now (not packed though) and Rat played to the audience like a true showman. They went through their set with tracks like 'All Systems Fail', 'March of the SAS', 'Die for Your Government', 'I Don't Wanna be a Victim', 'Massacred Millions' and 'Protest & Survive'. They were brilliant and really sealed off a excellent evening at the Bridgehouse. Our next venture out will be to see the Gonads in Canterbury .. that should be a night not to be missed!
UK Subs - The Castle, Sheerness 4.6.11Hey Hey .... it's Charlie and the Subs again !!!
A new venue this time, The Castle in Sheerness. We had frequented the Ivy Leaf before but this was a new one and a bloody good line-up to go with it. We arrived with time to spare and were very surprised at the small size of the stage. We had a chat with two guys we had met on the way back from Rebellion last year. After that it was a quick pizza then back ready for the first band. First up were The Halfwits, we saw them at the Maidens Head in April on only their third gig and they were very good then, now with a few more gigs under their belt, they were excellent and 100% better than before. They rattled off their set which included covers of 'England Belongs to Me' and 'Yesterday Heroes' with a real confidence and were spurred on by an enthusiastic audience. At this point the flash on camera packed up for good! So, the rest of the evening I had to use the internal flash, which sort of spoilt a lot of the photos. Second on the evenings bill were The Warriors who we had seen a number of times and always put on a cracking show, again the audience was behind them as they blasted through their set which included 'England' and a couple of new tracks.
Next up were All Flags Burn, again they were a band we had seen a couple of times before. They were very good, but this time the quality of the first two bands made them look very mediocre. They were well received and had brought a few followers with them.
Last up were the UK Subs, and as always they were excellent. The crowd was going wild at this point as the Subs blasted their way through 'Stranglehold', 'Teenage', 'CID', 'Party in Paris', 'B1C', 'Left for Dead', 'Emotional Blackmail' and many others. The Subs just bulldozed their way through their set as the crowd got wilder and wilder, it was a really fantastic evening.
The evening was really good ... food, beer and music! What more could you ask for? Next week we are at the Maidens Head in Canterbury for the Gonads. In addition the Halfwits and the Warriors will be supporting so it should be another memorable evening.
The Gonads - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 11.6.11June saw our return to the Maidens Head with a couple of new bands this time ... plus a couple of old friends!
We arrived quite early and so were able to grab a bite to eat and a couple of drinks before people started arriving. As the usual suspects arrived we spent our time chatting and caught up with a few people until the 8:30 kick-off.
First up were some old friends, The Halfwits .. well we've seen them three times now anyway, and they've only done a handful of gigs so far. The Halfwits once again proved that they just keep improving each time we see them as they breezed their way through their Ska/Punk set. We had chatted earlier to them and they admitted they were nervous, but none of this showed once they took to the stage. The crowd really warmed to them and joined in their final track, a cover of Cock Sparrer's 'England Belongs to Me'. These guys are part of the the future face of Punk, as the names get older it needs new blood like The Halfwits to keep the flag flying, Russ from the Warriors joked, "next year the Warriors will be supporting them", if they keep going like this then it's more than likely to happen!
Next up were a band we hadn't seen before, Booze & Glory, well ... how did this bunch drop through our net? They were brilliant! Each track was pounded out and the audience lapped it up, especially 'Swinging F**king Hammers' which lit up the whole venue and set the pace for the next band.
The third band on were The Warriors, worryingly they had to follow both the Halfwits and Booze & Glory, who had set the bar so high! Well they hit back in style, this was probably one of the best Warriors performances I've seen, they were excellent. It helped that the crowd, quite rightly, seemed to be 100% behind them and many had turned up really to see them. The place was very soon full of Punks and Skins crashing into each other and the band. The Warriors pounded out track after track as the crowd lapped up each and got more and more frenzied. There were tracks like 'Horrorshow', 'Gary Bushell', 'The Last Resort', 'Eight Pound a Week' and 'John Fila Drug Dealer'. They finished on 'England' to rousing applause. After this performance I think Russ's comment about the Halfwits may be very premature, these guys are gonna be stealing the show for a good few years to come.
Last up were The Gonads, with Gary Bushell on vocals. After the Warriors everyone disappeared outside into the cool, when the Gonads kicked off we expected everyone back but only a handful filtered back in! Whilst this did give me a better opportunity to take pictures it was a bit of a shock that no-one seemed very interested in the headline band!
Once the Gonads got going I realised very quickly why people hadn't bothered to come back .. they weren't very good! The band were fine but Gary Bushell just seemed to be going through motions and there was no passion in his performance at all, this meant he was upstaged by the energy and enthusiasm of the younger bands that preceded the Gonads. It was a shame as I was looking forward to a good show. They did cover their tracks like 'I Lost my Love to a UK Sub', 'Tuckers Ruckers aint no Suckers', 'Punk Rock will Never Die', 'Grant Mitchell' and 'Is it Infected' and more.
Well, another fantastic evening, thanks to Davee for putting on such a good show. Top band .. well, I think it has to go to The Warriors they were awesome, but snapping at their heels were both the Halfwits and Booze & Glory. Sorry Gary, but you weren't even in the running!
OK, it's now a two week wait until we are back at the Maidens Head for Poundaflesh. Andy & Russ will be back too in Surgery Without Research, it should be another great evening.
Poundaflesh - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 25.6.11And once again we were back at our new spiritual home, The Maidens Head, with another new band, Poundaflesh
It was Steve's turn to drive this time and it was such a hot day that, when we arrived we just sat outside in the sun with a few beers and chatted with one of the bands, Condition Dead, as they had arrived quite early as well. As we drank, other faces turned up including Davee, sporting a new mohican, and all of the Warriors (two of who were playing in Surgery Without Research later).
First band up were, P.C.F. We thought that we hadn't seen them before, until we remembered they had stepped in at the last minute at the UK Subs gig in Margate last December. They went through their repertoire but were not really to my taste and the singer did just seem to screech though a number of the tracks. They went down ok with the crowd and got the applause when they were done.
Second band on were an old favourite Surgery Without Research with Andy and Russ from The Warriors. A couple of the old members had returned so they were now a 5 piece which left Andy free to do vocals without his guitar. He threw himself into it so much that it was rather difficult to get photos, as the bugger wouldn't keep still! They were excellent though and covered tracks like "Woman Beater", "We are the Punks", "The Model", " Like Winter" and "Police are Liars".
Next up were a London band, Condition Dead, who we had seen at last years UK Subs gig in Margate and really liked. Once again they were superb, and they blasted their way through their set to rapturous applause. We must see these guys again as they do an excellent set, and they were great to chat with beforehand.
Last up were the headline band, Poundaflesh , who we had never seen before but we had heard, and liked, a couple of their tracks. They were the last piece in a really great evening and they threw themselves into their set with tracks like "Crucify", "Big Brother", "Manifesto" and "Shut the Fuck Up". Part of the way through their set, Shaun the lead singer, managed to split his head on the microphone .. but, in true Punk fashion, he soldiered on! Poundaflesh went down really well and their set climaxed with a couple of encores which were requested by the crowd.
Rebellion is now looming closer than ever, but before that next month, its the Casualties at Underworld and the Dickies at the Relentless Garage.
The Dickies - Relentless Garage, Highbury, London 16.7.11Off to the Relentless Garage again, this time to see the Dickies before their appearance at this years Rebellion festival
it was a pretty shitty day weather-wise but we made the journey to Highbury and arrived in time for a couple of pints and a bite to eat before making our way to the Garage. This gig was a first for me as I was to pick up a press pass in order to do a bit of photography. Unfortunately Even before the gig had started we discovered that Mike TV had pulled out and there was to be no replacement, so only two bands were on for the evening. While we were at the bar & checking out the merchandise stand, we met some guys from Leicester & Milton Keynes and had a good chat with them about the Dickies and Punk gigs in general, which passed the time until things kicked off.
First up were The Skets , we had seen them once before when the supported Sham 69 and then we were not impressed at all. This time things were very different, they were excellent. They are a cross between Ska and Punk, and last time I think they did mostly Ska which was why were not impressed with them then, this time they seemed more Punk influenced and reeled off many heavy tracks which went down very well.
The Garage was filling nicely and after a short break it was time for The Dickies to take to the stage. There are only two remaining original members (Guitarist & Vocalist) and age didn't look to be on their side either, but this didn't seem to make any difference they were really excellent and the tracks brought back many memories. They stormed through 'Fan Mail', 'Bowling With Bedrock Barney', 'Stukas Over Disneyland', 'Manny Moe & Jack', 'Give it Back', 'Nights in White Satin' and of course finished with 'Banana Splits' which sent the crowd wild.
It was a really great evening, my press pass meant I got some good close shots throughout both bands sets (although I was not allowed to use my flash which hampered things a bit). The Dickies were really very good and numbers like 'Manny Moe & Jack' and 'Banana Splits' were fantastic to finally hear live after all these years, so it was definitely another cracking evening.
Next up is the last gig before Rebellion and it's The Casualties and Refuse/All at the Underground in Camden ... that should be mental.
The Casualties - Underworld, Camden, London 24.7.11Last gig before Rebellion and it finds us, for the first time, at Underworld in Camden to see the Casualties and Refuse/All.
Steve drove (again!) however the traffic was appalling for a Sunday evening and it took a good couple of hours or so to get to Camden. The up-side was that we got a parking spot right outside the venue. Once parked up there was time to get in and sink a couple of beers before the proceedings got under way.
The evening's line-up was excellent on paper and to kick it all off were Refuse/All. We had seen them once before at the Dome and I do admit to having a bit of a soft spot for them. They were just as good as last time and went through their set to the few who were congregated around the stage. The problem here was they were on first and most of the crowd had either not arrived yet or had congregated at the bar, still, this didn't make much difference to the set as they were still superb.
Second up were Girlfixer who we had seen last year at Rebellion. This time the lead singer seemed much more confident and their set was really very good, in fact they were so good we bought their CD afterwards. So that was two bands down and so far things were really looking up for an all-round superb evening.
Third up were Moral Dilemma who were a new band for us, although we had heard some tracks from them, which we liked, and so were looking forward to seeing them live. The crowd by this point had grown considerably and really got into it now. Moral Dilemma blasted their way through their set to the obvious appreciation of the crowd and they certainly lived up to our expectation.
Last up were The Casualties a US hardcore Punk band with obviously a large and dedicated following. As with Moral Dilemma we had not seen The Casualties before but have listened to enough of their stuff to know we were in for a good evening. As soon as the band started people were rushing the stage, singing along with the band and then jumping back into the crowd to be carried around on everyone's heads. It was brilliant, and the longer the band were on, the more people rushed the stage. In the end the guys who were trying to push them back, gave up and just concentrated on picking the mic stands back up and ignoring the multitude on the stage. The Casualties themselves were excellent and their set was delivered at 100mph. About 3 songs from the end they split the crowd down the middle, like the Red Sea, then made everyone just run at each other ... carnage. Their final track had everyone piling onto the stage until there was no room left, and still they managed to compete the encore!
what an evening, all bands were worth seeing and I'm looking forward to seeing them again sometime. Moral Dilemma and Girlfixer will be at Rebellion so we'll get to see them again there. That was our last gig before Rebellion so now there's just time to recover, cut hair, pack clothes, check tickets .. then Blackpool here we come!!!!!!
Rebellion Festival - Winter Gardens, Blackpool 4-7.8.11It's finally that time of the year again ... Rebellion is upon us .. 4 days of Beer & Music .. and more Beer!
Steve and I took the train up on the Wednesday in order to settle in and and take in the pre-rebellion at the Beat Club. We booked into the 'Manuela Rose' guest house, which was far closer than last years 1 mile marathon, and also seemed a lot friendlier, then it was off for a beer or two and a bite to eat.
Later that evening we headed for the Beat Club and met up with with the likes of Charred Hearts, Russ (Warriors), The Halfwits, Dale & Sue, Gemma and many many more. There were few bands on and we got to see 2 Sick Monkeys & Drongos for Europe, who were both excellent, plus a couple of new ones, Stand Out Riot and Throw Rocks at Cops. Unfortunately due to having consumed a vast quantity of alcohol, I cannot remember what these two were like!
DAY ONE: The first day started well ... very tired after the previous night's festivities, still a quick beer made everything right again. We met back up again with Andy Bimpson who arrived part way through the day .. and then he went off to photo women's backsides! Thursday was not a really strong day for bands, however we did see the likes of Booze & Glory, The Fiend, Girlfixer, Short Bus Window Lickers, Fire Exit and Menace to name but a few.
Top bands for the opening day for me were Booze & Glory and The Fiend.
DAY TWO: Surprisingly we were up and ready in time for a lovely full english breakfast then it was a quick coffee stop before arriving at the Winter Gardens for a second day of bands. Day two looked on paper to be a superb line-up and it didn't disappoint, we started with Dun2Def and Pink Hearse, then it was an Aussie band Rust and from the USA, Choking Susan. Finally one of our local Kent bands, The Warriors took to the stage in the Arena, they were brilliant and they managed to pack the venue, well done lads!. They were followed closely by the The Restarts who as usual stole the show in the Empress Ballroom. Later we had a string of fine bands, Drongos for Europe, Anti-Nowhere League, The Business, Infa Riot and the Exploited to finish. What a day! Although the Warriors were on top form they were just overshadowed as the day's best band by The Restarts and the Anti-Nowhere League.
DAY THREE: Another busy day band-wise. Once beer o'clock had passed we were off to see The Septic Psychos (www.septicpsychos.co.uk) who were really on-form and we had a good chat with them before and after. After this we saw the likes of 999, Tower Blocks, The Defects, Major Accident, Newtown Neurotics, Vice Squad and the Subhumans. We also saw a Folk/Punk mix band , The Surfin' Turnips who were great fun!
Band of the day? Well it has to be the Septic Psychos, although 999 came very close as well.
DAY FOUR: The last day of Rebellion and again a lot of very good bands were playing. We saw Barnyard Masturbator again and Mangled plus Atheist Rap before the Charred Hearts (www.charredhearts.co.uk ) took to the Olympia 1 stage. They were really very good (as usual) even though Lee had only had a couple of hours kip and Fuller was knackered as well. After this we saw the A-Heads (who were brilliant!), Eastfield, Demob, Sensa Yuma, The Outcasts and Disruptors. Later we had Slaughter & the Dogs and finally the evening ended with a very hollywood-esque set from The Adicts.
All in all a great day and although The Adicts and Demob were excellent, the day belonged to the A-Heads and Charred Hearts.
So, that was that, Rebellion over for another year. It was a brilliant festival this year, loads of really really good bands and I can't think of any disappointments this year! We met up with many good firends like the Warriors, Charred Hearts, Septic Psychos, The Halfwits, Andy, Gemma, Daveee, Dale & Sue & Charlie, Harry & Lucy, Robert & Christine and many others as well .. and if you check closely on facebook you may even catch a glimpse of a picture of Russ's twin brother!. In the end we said our goodbyes .. Andy showed us his backside photo collection (!!!!) and it was back to the guest house ready for the trip home the next day.
Next year? .... yeah, lets do it again! We'll probably use the same guest house and one of the girls who served on our table has promised to come along for a day as well. We hope to see you all again at Rebellion 2012 ... in the meantime we have GBH & Charred Hearts in September to look forward to, plus some others in the pipeline.
G.B.H / Charred Hearts - The Furnace, Swindon 10.9.11Our first gig since Rebellion and it's a trip to the West Country ... down to Swindon to see our old friends the Charred Hearts support G.B.H again.
This gig was a memorial for Mike Love who was a friend of Dermot Fuller (Charred Hearts) and was murdered in Swindon. Dermot organises this memorial punk gig in Swindon yearly. Steve picked me up at midday and off we went down the M4 to Swindon. An uneventful drive got us there in around 2 hours, so there was time for a bite to eat then it was into the Rolleston pub for a few hours. We were joined later by Sam and Fuller from the Charred Hearts so we had few beers and a catch up with them. Later Fuller took us into the Furnace to watch all three bands go through their sound checks which was great. I was able to take a few pics, had a chat with a guy from Foreign Legion and sink a few beers before the festivities began.
First band on for the evening were Foreign Legion. I had not heard or seen them before although I understand they have been around for a good few years. They have a 70's punk band sound and are quite similar to Major Accident on certain tracks, they were really very good, we both enjoyed their set.
Next up were Charred Hearts (www.charredhearts.co.uk ), they were the main reason for us being so far from home and they didn't let us down. Their set was brilliant and included tracks 'Louisiana Calling', 'Fucked', 'Persecute Me', 'Amnesia', 'Throwaway Society', 'Nowhere Town', 'You're Bringing Me Down' and 'Ronald Reagan' all played to their home crowd.
The headline band for the evening were G.B.H who really finished the evening off well,. Not only were the excellent on stage but also they many of the old tracks as well like 'Alcohol', 'No Survivors', 'Sick Boy', 'City Baby Attacked by Rats', 'Give me Fire', 'Generals', 'Lycanthropy', 'Freak' and 'I am the Hunted'.
What an evening, all the bands were excellent and we had a great time, maybe we'll be back for next years gig as well. Special thanks go out to the Charred Hearts for making us so welcome and their hospitality throughout the evening, and to Steve who drove all the way there and back and still had to be up at 5:30am on Sunday for cricket. Only downside of the night was eating a dodgy roll from Reading services on the way home ... very very sick!
So that's the jaunt to Swindon over and done with, next gig is back on home turf and will see us return to the Bridgehouse for The Restarts and Septic Psychos.
The Restarts - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town, London 24.9.11It's been a while since our last visit but we're back at the Bridgehouse for the Restarts.
It was my turn to drive this time, so after a short trip to Canning Town we stopped for a quick KFC then off to the venue. Outside we bumped into Russ (Warriors, Surgery Without Research, War Crime .. etc etc etc ..) and had a long chat with him and were then joined by Andy (Surgery Without Research & The Warriors) who dropped off a couple of pieces of vinyl for me. One inside we carried on the converations while watching the Restarts then Surgery go through their soundchecks. Surgery Without Research were up first and they threw themselves into their set. As they are local Kent boys we've seen them a few times, and now Andy is purely vocals they just seem to go from strength to strength. Their set included 'Woman Beater', 'We are the Punks', 'Police are Liars' and a brilliant version of Kraftwerk's 'The Model'.
Next up turned out to be the Yalla Yallas. We had seen them once before and didn't really enjoy their blend of Punk & Rock 'n' Roll or their lead singer, so I was not really that excited to be seeing them again. As with a few other bands a second viewing of the Yalla Yallas proved to be much better. They were still the same blend but seemed to be more energetic and much more listenable. While I would not go as far as to say they were brilliant, they are now growing on me .. maybe one more visit may change my opinion completely.
Third band up were old favourites The Septic Psychos (www.septicpsychos.co.uk), they should have been on before the Yalla Yallas, but first they got stuck in traffic on the M1, then got lost trying to find the Bridgehouse! Anyway they stormed their set with tracks like 'The Thatcher', 'Im Not Racist, Im Just Bald', 'More Beer', 'Psycho Vigilante', 'Buy Some Shit' and 'Worship My Way'. This was the third time we've seen them and so far have never been disappointed, they've always been excellent.
Last up were the Restarts, as usual they were superb .. they always are! They blasted their way through 'Big Rock Candy Mountain', 'Outsider', 'Fustration', 'X228', 'Timewaster', 'Legacy of Bigotry', and 'System Error' ... heavy, loud and faultless.
What an evening .. Restarts, Septic Psychos and Surgery Without Research all brilliant and also the Yalla Yallas now growing on me, couldn't have been better. After the Restarts I had to take some group photos of the Septic Psychos for the website then it was back to Maidstone for a Kebab then home. Next up is Discharge at the Maidens Head, unfortunately this one will only be me as Steve is away.
Discharge - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 15.10.11Just me this time as was Steve away on holiday, it was off to the Maidens Head for headliners, Discharge and whole host of others.
I arrived quite early as Davee had put about that it was starting at 6pm .. I should have known better! After about an hour Daz turned up and we had a chat until finally poeple started arriving. It was a really good atmosphere and there was quite a large crowd gathering. First up was billed as The Warriors but at this point Saxby was still on his way back from football, so the Halfwits took to the stage. Once again these kids were excellent apart from Jake having to borrow a guitar and they breaking a string just as they were into their first number. After the brief stop they were off again and really got the place going.
As Saxby had arrived The Warriors were next up. They did a bunch of new tracks to promote a new album due to be released very soon. That still didn't stop them dropping in 'England' early on in the set. As usual the Warriors were punchy and professional, much to the delight of all those in the Maidens Head.
Third band for the evening were Jesus Fix and were one I had not seen before, although they had the drummer from The Warriors playing. I was quite impressed with them, although the vocalist looked like Robert Smith meets Ozzy Osbourne. The crowd was now heaving in the pub and Jesus Fix went down really well.
Next up was Andy and his Surgery Without Research, this seemed to be the trigger for everyone to go wild, as Andy threw himself about, so the crowd threw themselves at the band, which made for a number of stops while the drumkit/mics were set back up again. Surgery were really on fire and went through tracks like 'The Model', 'Police are Liars' and 'Woman Beater', the evening was just getting better and better
Last up were Discharge who were really the icing on the cake for most people in the venue. Rat launched into his set and again the crowd just went wild as they did tracks 'Decontrol', 'The Beginning of the End', 'State Violence, State Control', 'Fight Back' and 'They Declare It'. Discharge were brilliant and what an end to truly fantastic evening. It was Spence's (Surgery Without Research) birthday bash and what a great way to celebrate it.
Next up looks to be the Damned at the Roundhouse next month, Steve will be back and hopefully we'll meet up with Andy Bimpson as well, it should be a blast.
The Damned - The Roundhouse, London 12.11.11With both of us back from our holidays it was time to head to the Roundhouse to see The Damned.
We arrived in London quite early as we wanted to meet up with Andy who had travelled down from Ormskirk earlier that day. We stopped for a bite to eat then met up with him and his brother plus a friend in a pub across the road from the venue. I wasn't really sure about the evening as the last time I saw the Damned I was really disappointed due to the fact that they had updated all their original tracks and had lost that edge that they used to have. Still, this evening would be the decider as to whether I would go back and see them again. We got into the Roundhouse and had a beer before the support started. Viv Albertine formerly of the Slits was the support for this evening. She was alone on stage with an acoustic guitar this time and unfortunately she was not very good at all. I think we lasted for a couple of tracks before deciding that another beer was in order. At this point we bumped into Dale & Sue from Swindon and spent the rest of the Viv's set chatting with them. After a short break The Damned took to the stage. They were meant to be playing tracks from Damned, Damned, Damned and the Black Album, so initially all the tracks they did were from the 1st album. As I said earlier I was very disappointed last time I saw them ... this time they were outstanding! Tracks like 'New Rose', 'Neat Neat Neat', 'Stab Yor Back' and 'Fish' all done at 100mph (as they should be played!). There was then a short break in order for a change of set and album. When The Damned came back out it was now the 'Black Album' they were playing. This unfortunately was not as good, although 'History of the World' was ok, when they got into 'Curtain Call' we went for a beer or two. This was the worst part of their set and I was getting to a point where I was debating whether to call it a day and go home. Luckily I didn't as their encore brought out 'Love Song' and 'Eloise' which were brilliant and so lifted things again.
Well, a bit of an up-and-down gig really, Viv was bad and the middle section of the Damned's set was also very poor, but this was more than made up for by the first and last sections of the Damned's set which were brilliant. So, I think that I would give the Damned another chance and go see them again. Viv, I'm afraid, I would not.
Next up it will be my nephews band Sister Gracie in Canterbury, then next month its a chance to celebrate the festive season with the UK Subs, Defects and Charred Hearts at the Garage.
Sister Gracie - Caseys Bar, Canterbury 15.11.11Going to see an Indie band was bit of a departure from the norm, but this was a a one-off as the band contained my nephew on drums and it was local, so I couldn't really miss it.
I picked up Steve and also another friend, Ian, joined us for this jaunt back to Canterbury. The venue was very central in Canterbury so was not very difficult to find. Caseys is quite a small pub and the stage area is not the most accessible to be able to see the bands playing. We arrived quite early and chatted for a while with Liam & Max (Sister Gracie) before the fist band took to the stage. The first band up were a group of rappers called Humble Pious ... white guys singing with ghetto voices (I really dislike that) .. so for me they were appalling! They brought some followers with them and seemed to go down very well with them at least, so who am I to criticise. It was quite amusing later to hear one of the band speaking with the promoter with a south east accent ...
The second band to play were Fish Tank, they were more in the indie vein and seemed not so bad. They did quite a short set (as opposed to the first bunch) and didn't have much support. They seemed to go down well with those who were watching, but weren't really anything special. Last up were Sister Gracie, now while their music is not really to my taste I did find them rather good and their tracks were cetainly quite catchy. Sister Gracie are a two piece with Max doing vocals/guitar and Liam on drums, they also have a laptop providing the electronic background tracks. They did have quite a stage presence and watching the small crowd that had gathered they seemed to have positive effect on them as well as new people arriving were getting into the tracks being played. They went through a very good set and did an encore as well.
It was a fubn evening, although if it had not been for Liam playing I don't think we woudl have been there. But that said, I'm glad we were as it's always good to see young new talent playing. From what I hear they will based mostly in Eastern Europe from next year, starting with a European tour, so good luck to you guys and I hope we get to see you again sometime. Next up it's off to the Relentless Garage for the UK Subs, Defects and Charred Hearts for a bit of Christmas cheer.
Hardskin - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 10.12.11A quick trip over to Canterbury to see Hardskin & The Warriors at the Maidens Head.
This looked to be an excellent evening as this included two bands we had not seen before, Hardskin and Bottlejob, in additon to this two members of The Warriors were celebrating their birthdays as well, so all in all quite a good mix for a saturday night! After a quick bite to eat we settled ourselves in ready for the festivities to begin.
First band on were Ted DiBiase & the Million Dollar Punk Band these were a three piece who we had seen once before at the Maidens Head. First time we saw them they were quite good and this time they didn't disappoint either, although a lot of the crowd seemed to be waiting for other bands and didn't pay them a lot of attention, this didn't stop them storming through their set. The Warriors were next up and blasted their way through a very very good set, the crowd lapped them up as usual. They did numbers like "John Fila Drug Dealer", "Horrorshow" and the now obligatory "England". They seemed really on fire even though Russ would rather not have been there as a close friend of his had died earlier in the week, that said their set was a little shorter than usual anyway.
After a quick chnage of kit Bottlejob took to the stage. These were a four piece from Hackney and had played beore with The Restarts, hence Robin being their driver for the night. They were very good and had the crowd going from the first track to the last. We really enjoyed them and hopefully will get the chance to see them again sometime. After their set we had a good chat with them and Robin outside.
Last up were Hardskin and the place went mad! This seemd to be what most of the crowd were waiting for and they let loose... mics and speakers had to be re-arranged again and again as the melee at the front surged into them scattering people and equipment each time. Hardskin were very good, but as with The Warriors, their set seemed somewhat short and the cries for an encore fell on deaf ears.
Next up it's the last gig of the year and we're off to the Relentless Garage to see the UK Subs, Defects and Charred Hearts and get ourselves a bit of Christmas cheer.
UK Subs / Defects / Charred Hearts - Relentless Garage, London 17.12.11Last gig for 2012 and it's a big one .. the UK Subs, Defects and Charred Hearts all playing at the Garage.
Now this is the way to end a year of gigs ... three bloody fine bands and a press pass, all my Christmas presents come early. We arrived in North London with plenty of time to spare and so hit the closest pub. We bumped briefly into Sam & Eamon (Charred Hearts) who told us they were all in next door, so we drank up quickly but on the way out bumped into Georgina (the promotor) and I now have press passes for both Infa Riot and the Buzzcocks next year!!! We then met up with everybody in the pub next door and had a chat, a couple of beers and a bite to eat before finally heading to the venue.
Once inside we met some old faces and made some new friends before finally the Charred Hearts (www.charredhearts.co.uk ) took to the stage. They were really up for it and just went to town on all their tracks 'Fucked', 'Roanld Reagan', 'Louisiana Calling', 'Persecute Me', 'You're Bringing Me Down' and 'Throwaway Society'. This was probably one of the best gigs I've seen them do so far and they really lit the place up.
After a brief break, The Defects took center stage. This was apparently the first time they had played London since 1983 and they certainly didn't disappoint with numbers like 'Brutality', '20th Century', 'Dance Till You Drop', 'Revelator' and 'Survival' plus cover versions of 'In a Rut' and 'Janie Jones' which were superb. The crowd by this point were getting into the evening and really enjoying themselves. The Defects were really very very good and continued
Headline for the evening were the UK Subs and by this point the crowd were really up for it. Charlie and the Subs blasted their way through 'I Live in a Car', 'CID', 'Warhead', 'Party in Paris', 'Teenage', 'Stranglehold' and 'Tomorrows Girls'.
The Subs were brilliant and as with the Charred Hearts and the Defects this was one of the best gigs I've seen them do, there was nothing I could fault and to top it off we even got three encores!
Well that's it for another year. 2011 has been one of my best years for gigs, with more and more old and new names appearing on the scene. Next year we already have Rebellion, 999, Infa Riot, Buzzcocks and Daveee's Punk Weekender lined up, but there looks to be so much more in the pipeline. It's now time for me and Steve to have a little break so have a good Christmas and we'll be seeing old friends again next year.