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Punk Weekender - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 4.2.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs After a rather abortive start to the years gigging, we are finally out of the blocks and off for the Punk Weekender in Canterbury
This was billed as a 3-dayer but we decided only to attend the Saturday and Sunday ... and once again we were screwed up by the weather! The Saturday was fine but by Sunday it was pretty obvious that due to the snow I was not going anywhere, so we ended up with only a 1-dayer!
The Saturday started well, Steve got us down there with time to spare, as this was billed as an all-dayer the first band weren't due on stage until around 2pm, so that left time for a couple of beers and a catch-up with friends before things really got under way.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Betty Swollox Band - 4.2.12 The Maidens Head, Canterbury First up were the recently reformed Betty Swollox Band with Daz on vocals. They were really good and great fun to listen too as well. They blasted their way through their set and at the end were rewarded with the crowd shouting for 'One More' .... and so they did. A really great set and good bunch of guys, well done lads.
Second band for the day were another new one for us Social Schism, they were more on the Anarcho Punk side but still very very good. They provided a good set and seemed to go down well with the crowd even though it was a rather a thin audience at that time of the day. The next band on were an old favourite Blatoidea, an Italian punk band based in the UK, similar in sound to the Casualties and just as good. We've seen them a few times and I must to being a bit of a fan, although this time they were down to a 3 piece as one of them had to work! They breezed through their set and seemed to go down really well with everyone there. No doubt we will be seeing them again in the near future.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Social Schism - 4.2.12 The Maidens Head, Canterbury Following on from Blatoidea were K.A.D.T, another new band for us, hailing from Essex, this four piece were quite good and got the crowd really going. I wouldn't mind seeing them again some time.
Hard on the heels of K.A.D.T were Hacksaw, now we have seen this 2 piece from Bath once before and were not really very impressed. This time they were marginally better, the high point being a track called 'Bogroll', during which a large number of toilet rolls are launched into the crowd. The pub and most people in it ended wrapped in toilet paper for the next couple of hours, it has to be said it was more fun than the music.
The Short Bus Window Lickers were next to take the stage and this was where the evening really started getting messy with a number people sent crashing into the band or lifted up and squashed against the low ceiling. The Window Lickers got stuck into their set and the mayhem continued until the set ended. As with the other times we have seen them they were a very good band to watch and the crowd loved them.
The evening was getting on now and reports from the smoking brigade were that the snow had started outside, just as The Deathskulls started playing inside. The problem with this band is that they have a habit of not turning up, a fact that Davee never seems to let them forget. They're a good outfit and banged out some pleasing tracks but although I like them, I can't say they are that good and there were a few bands on this bill before them that were far better.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Section 13 - 4.2.12 The Maidens Head, Canterbury We were finally into the home straight and the penultimate band were another new one for us Section 13. These guys were from Leamington Spa and were brilliant. They blew away most of those that had come before them. The singer threw himself into the set and into the crowd as well. They were so good that both Steve and myself bought their CD once they had finished. This is one band I would definitely want to see again.
As usual the best was saved for last ... it was another visit by The Restarts and as we expected they stole the show, even with a dodgy mic they blew away the rest. The Restarts have to be one of the most consistently good bands we have seen, every time they belt out the tracks faultlessly. We got the usual tracks this time 'Fustration', 'Outsider', 'X228' and 'Backwards' to name just a few.
Well, what a day, really really brilliant. Only downside was the snow as it took us a good 2 hours to get home and unfortunately prevented us returning for the Sunday (along with a lot of the publicised bands). So what is next .. well, it's 'Another Winter of Discontent' at the Dome, with the Subhumans and Zounds, this should be a good one.

Another Winter of Discontent - The Boston Arms, London 4.3.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Second gig of the year and we're off to Tufnell Park for the last day of 'Another Winter of Discontent 2012"
This was the last day of the 4 day festival and looked to be a really good line-up, with 5 bands we had never seen before. Steve very kindly offered to drive, even though it was a Sunday night and both of us had early starts the next day. We arrived with enough time for a beer and a bite to eat before getting into the Boston Arms ready for the kick-off.
First up were The Pukes, an all-girl Ukulele band doing punk covers. Now I'm not really one for bands that just do covers and on paper they didn't sound that exciting, however, this bunch blew that theory away! This is one group you need to go and see, they were really good and very professional and just plain great to watch and listen to. There were about 10 members filling the stage and a couple on the floor in front. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Louise Distras - 4.3.12 Another Winter of Discontent - The Boston Arms, London As they were the first band on the place was not very full, but those that were there really got into them. This was just the right start to the evening that we were hoping for, especially as they finished with a resounding version of Holiday in Cambodia by The Dead Kennedys.
Next up was another first for us, Louise Distras. She was on her own and played an acoustic guitar. As with The Pukes she was really good. She rattled her way through her set and it just seemed to get better and better. As Steve pointed out, the only thing missing was a band ... she really needs to have a band around her and that would really improve the performance.
Following close on Louise's heels were the Lost Cherrees. This was one of the bands we missed due to the snowy weather on the Sunday of the Punk Weekender in Canterbury. The band had a female lead and two guitarists from the band Condition Dead. They were very good and we did actually enjoy them, but they were not in the same league as the two previous bands. After a short break Zounds took to the stage. This band I can remember from the early 80's and had bought a lot of their vinyl back then, now it was a chance to see them live. They worked their way through tracks like 'Knife', 'More Trouble Coming Every Day', 'Subvert', 'Did He Jump/My Mummy's Gone' and 'Dirty Squatter' .. all brilliant! Unfortunately the band themselves were boring with no movement, just stood behind the mics ... never mind though, the music itself more than made up for it.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Pukes - 4.3.12 Another Winter of Discontent - The Boston Arms, London After a brief return by Louise Distras (during which a female pyramid was formed in front of us) Hagar the Womb took to the stage. Originally formed and split during the 80's punk revival they had recently reformed and this was their first gig in London for 30 years. They were not half bad either. I've not heard anything by them in the past so they were a blank slate for me, and I was very pleased with them, they are certainly well worth a another viewing some time.
Last up and headlining the final day were the Subhumans. The place was full by this time and the crowd were really up for the headliners. We have seen them a couple of times previously at Rebellion and they have become a must for us each year, so it was good to see them at a smaller venue. This time they were still up to their best and blasted out tracks like 'Religious Wars', 'Work Experience', 'Peroxide', 'Labels', 'Internal Riot' and 'Mickey Mouse is Dead' to the obvious delight of the crowd.
Well this was a really good gig with 5 new bands all of which were superb plus the bonus of having the Subhumans as headline..
So, next up will be Infa Riot & the Warriors at the Garage, this should be excellent.

Infa Riot / The Warriors - Relentless Garage, Highbury, London 31.3.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs The year is looking better and better now, we were back at the Garage again for Infa Riot with support from our local boys, The Warriors
As usual we arrived early ready for beer and food, and met up with the Warriors in the Wetherspoons nearby and had a good catch-up having not seen them for a while and discovered, not only are they about to release a new album, but later this year they are off on a tour in the US as well. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Warriors - 31.4.12 Relentless Garage - Highbury, London After all the chat and food was done, we made our way round to the Garage and I picked up my photo pass ready for the evening ahead.
First up were the Vicious Rumours with the lead singer from Insane Society. They were a cracking band and went down very well with the crowd. There was a good few in now even though we were only on the first band of three. The Vicious Rumours cracked on through their set and finished on a resounding cheer. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Infa Riot - 31.4.12 Relentless Garage - Highbury, London Next up were our local lads, The Warriors and they came on to great applause, throwing themselves immediately into their set with tracks like 'S.N.A.F.U', 'Horror Show', 'John Fila Drug Dealer', 'Buddah of the Backstreets', 'Internet Bullies', and of course 'England'. They even added some tracks from the new album, which is due out later this year, including one called 'Bankrupt Britain'. They ended on 'Eight Pound a Week' during which the mic was passed around to members of the audience to join in. The Warriors were brilliant (as usual) and kept the crowd going throughout their set, as usual they left the stage leaving you wanting more, well done guys.
Headline band for the evening were Infa Riot and they didn't disappoint. Infa Riot ran through their set with 'Still Out of Order', 'The Winner', 'Kids of the 80's, 'Each Dawn I Die', 'In for a Riot', and 'We Outnumber You'. We managed to get an encore out of them before time was called. Infa Riot were brilliant and were so well received by the crowd which had swelled considerably since the Warriors had begun their set, but was still not filled to capacity.
What an evening, all bands brilliant, for me best band at the time was a toss-up between the Warriors and Infa Riot, however in hindsight I must agree with Steve and say that the Warriors pipped it. Next up ... it's Chelsea at the Bridgehouse with The Pukes, London and .

Chelsea - Bridgehouse II, Canning Town, London 21.4.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs The last time I saw Chelsea was back in the 80's in Brixton, now it's the Bridgehouse II in Canning Town. Been a while since we last visited, but well worth coming back again!
After food and a couple of beers in the Durham arms and a quick chat with Simon Copson (The man with the tattooed back!) we made it back to the bridgehouse ready for an evening of entertainment.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Dun2Def - 21.4.12 Bridgehouse II, Canning Town, London First up were The Pukes, a (mostly) girl band with ukelele's covering Punk tracks. We had seeen them earlier this year at AWOD and really liked them then. This time they didn't disappoint either and rocked their way through covers of 'White Riot (Clash)', 'No Room (Demob)', 'Sheena is a Punk (Ramones)', 'Generals (GBH)' and 'Banned from the Pubs (Peter & the Test Tube Babies)'. They were great and very entertaining especially as they ended with a version of the Anti-Nowhere League's 'So What'!! Brilliant!
After a quick change around the next band for the evening were London. This was the second time I've seen them, the first being at Rebellion 2010 where they were very good, but this time they were far far better. I have only one 12" from London and they did 'Summer of Love' and 'Siouxise Sue' from that, along with other tracks like 'No Time', 'Rebecca', 'When the Night Falls', 'Swinging London' and 'Minute Man'. After this performance I am certainly looking forward to seeing them again some time.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Chelsea - 21.4.12 Bridgehouse II, Canning Town, London Third band for the night were Dun2Def, they were good but probably the weakest so far and I put that down to the lead singer still recovering from a bad throat, this meant he had to keep using a throat spray and drink bottles of water through the set. That said they wer still very good and rattled of tracks like 'Riot Torn City' and 'Bargain Booze' and 'Done to Death'.
Finally we were ready for the headline band for the evening, Chelsea. I was slightly worried that they may have loast their edge since 1977 .. but all worried were wiped away as they launched their way into their set. With tracks like 'I'm on Fire', 'The Loner', 'Fools and Soldiers', 'Last Drink' and 'Evacuate', they were superb! and Steve disappeared into the melee at the front to get the full enjoyment of the moment! As was expected the best was left to last and they finished their set with 'Right to Work', definately my favourite and this got crowd really into a frenzy.
It's been a long time since I last saw them and Gene October looks a lot older (Don't we wll now?) but he still has the fire and energy from years back. Will definately see them again ... as they are appearing at Rebellion, I can't wait.
Well another fantastic evening with four bands who all stepped up to the mark, best band .. well, it has to be Chelsea. Next up is Left for Dead at the Maidens Head next week, gonna be a good one also.

Left for Dead - The Maidens Head, Canterbury 28.4.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Wow .. two in gigs in the space of a week. This time it's Left for Dead at the Maidens Head, which is now under new management.
A bit of a question mark was hanging over this gig .. not only was the Maidens Head under new management for this inital gig but also there had been a noise complaint from someone living down the road. So how would it all pan out in the end?
Well actually .. VERY WELL! The new landlord seemed to embrace the evening and was cheered on by each band. The complainant from down the road turned out to be a 'mature student' who unfortunately turned up at the door demanding that the music be stopped, and when it wasn't she called the police! Well, as she lives a distance from the pub, and no-one else closer has complained I think she should just #@!* off! This is live music and there are far too few venues left in the country, so these few should be fully supported in what they do and whatever music they offer. Right, off the soapbox and back on with the review.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Brutal Regime - 28.4.12 The Maidens Head, Canterbury There were five bands on for this evening and the first up were a band we have seen many times here, The Halfwits. Not a lot more really to say about them that I havn't already said, they are young full of energy and pump out their tracks to a very enthusiastic audience, and they now even seem to have a travelling audience who turn up. They are definately getting better and producing a tighter sound and have recently returned from a gig in France supporting The Gonads, so things are looking better and better for them.
After the Halfwits were a new band for us, Brutal Regime. They were very hardcore, which normally I am not a fan of, however this time I was really impressed and enjoyed them immensely. The audience seemed to agree as well and went mad for them.
Next up were another local band, Criminal Brainstorm, Again we have seen them beofre and really liked them. They did not disappoint again and rattled their way through their set to the obvious delight of the crowd. As Noz left after the last time we saw them it was a different line-up, although Noz was lurking in audience.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Left for Dead - 28.4.12 The Maidens Head, Canterbury Penultimate band for the night were Croydon band, K.A.D.T. another hardcore Punk band. We had seem them earlier this year at Davee's brithday bash and liked them then so it was good to see them back again. The lead singer is also in a band called Skets, who we saw support the Angelic Upstarts and The Dickies. They went down very well and has the crowd hurling themsleves all over the place.
Headline band for the night was Left for Dead. Again they are a band we have seen a few times and they just get better and better each time we see them. They did tracks like 'Punk Rock in my Head', 'Fuck Your Authority', ''Aint No Better Than Me, 'Life of Hate', '1984' and 'Hops & Barley', and were really very good. We did get to chat with the lead beofrehand and also Cheryl Barclay from the Pukes (we also got badges, Yipee!).
So, that's April's gigs done now. Next it's gonna be my highlight for the year ... The Buzzcocks at the O2 Brixton, I can't wait.

The Buzzcocks - O2 Brixton Academy, London 26.5.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Now this was a landmark gig. The Buzzcocks doing three sets, and the return of Howard Devoto for the final set.
We arrived a bit early and went to the Prince Albert pub where we met up with Georgina (The Promoter), Fuller and Sam ( from the Charred Hearts) for a few beers and a good chat and a snack before heading off to the Brixton Academy.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Buzzcocks - 26.5.12 O2 Brixton Academy, London On arrival, Georgina got me my photo pass and I headed down to the pit to meet Steve .. and another beer!. The place was packed even for the first set which we thought would be the quietest part of the gig as this was just new and contemporary stuff.
The current line-up of The Buzzocks Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, Chris Remington and Danny Farrant, finally came on to massive applause and burst straight into their first set which included: 'What am I Supposed to Do', 'Totally from the Heart', When Love Turns Around', 'Friends', 'Unthinkable', 'Lester Sands', 'Sell You Everything', 'WIsh I Never Loved You', 'Strange Machines', 'The Way', 'Sound of a Gun', 'Reconciliation', 'Big Brother Wheels', 'Choices', 'Isolation', 'Crystal Night', 'Alive Tonight', 'Innocent' and 'Sick City Sometimes'.
The first set was really good even though a lot of the tracks i did not know, the Buzzcocks threw themselves into it and the crowd really responded, it looked like the evening was off to a good start.
After a very short break the 'United Artists Years' line-up of Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, John Maher and Steve Garvey came out to rapturous applause as the crowd's expectation of what was to come rose. The Buzzcocks did not disappoint either, their second set was: 'Fast Cars', 'I Don't Mind', 'Autonomy', 'Get on our Own', 'Fiction Romance', 'You Say You Don't Love Me', 'Sixteen Again', 'Why She's a Girl from the Chainstore', 'Moving Away from the Pulsebeat', 'Why Can't I Touch It', 'Mad Mad Judy','Everybody's Happy Nowadays', 'Promises', 'Love You More', 'What Do I Get', 'Harmony in my Head', 'Ever Fallen in Love' and 'Orgasm Addict. The Academy had really filled up by now and this set sent the crowd wild as it had all the singles that are known and loved by so many.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Buzzcocks - 26.5.12 O2 Brixton Academy, London Another short break and it was time for the final set of the night. This was the one everyone (including myself) had been waiting for. Out came the original Buzzcocks line-up of Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle and John Maher. Howard Devoto had come back for the first time for only two gigs, the one in Manchester and this one in London, so we expected a bit of a treat.
And a treat it was!! The set was: 'Breakdown', 'Friends of Mine', 'Times Up', 'Boredom' and 'I Can't Control Myself', they were excellent! For me this was proabbly one of the best gigs I've attended and hearing Devoto do Boredom was the icing on the cake for me. There had been a lot of citisism of Steve Diggle from the Manchester gig but in London he seemed fine,
Well that was it, over! But what a gig, this one will stay with me for years. Saw a few friends in the crowd too, and had a chat on the train with another Buzzcocks fan. I have to send out special thanks to Georgina Tilly-Ellery for getting me a photo pass etc, you are a wonderful person, thanks again.
Next ... well it's all a bit blurred until July when we have Sham 69 & Spear of Destiny in Brixton, so that's something to look forward to.

The Commited - The Castle, Sheerness, Kent 3.6.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs As a filler gig we popped over Sheerness to see The Commited reform at the Castle.
We were due to see 999, Lurkers and Refuse/All but unfortunately it was cancelled late in the day. So knowing that Daz has reformed The Commited and they were only a stones throw away in Sheerness it seemed a good excuse for a night out and off we went.
It had been the day of the Jubilee river procession and having been with friends and family who had it blasting away all afternoon it was a big relief to get away from it all and enjoy some good old Punk Rock.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Commited - 3.6.12 The Castle, Sheerness, Kent First up was a guy called Acoustic Al, he was ok but not very exciting, however he went down quite well and was harmless, so it was background noise really while we chatted with mates.
The Commited took to the stage and rattled through their set and were very very good indeed with tracks: 'Dictated Life', 'Outta Your Head', 'Future Shocks', 'Last Night Out', 'Crash Victim', 'Boots in yer Face', 'Law and Order' and 'Joe 90'. As with other groups around us they seem to be made up of members who play in other bands, Noz is ex-Criminal Brainstorm, Daz is Betty Swollox, the drummer is from All Flags Burn and Martin who is also in Betty Swollox, which makes it even harder to believe that these guys have only done a handful of practice sessions recently, it's more like they've been playing solidly together for years.
After a short break and a couple of drinks Kunt & the Gang took the stage. This is one guy singing dirty songs ... a bit like Judge Dread in the 70's, and probably just as unfunny! He was amusing for the first couple of songs and then really just got boring. At one point he did bring out a glove puppet, "Little Kunt", as he called him .. which only served to make it more like the Sooty show .. shame really as the evening did get off to an excellent start.
A really good evening and more than made up for the 999 gig cancellation. next, well, it's a bit of a gap until Sham 69 & Spear of Destiny appear in Brixton.

Sham 69 (1977 Line-up) - Electric, Brixton 14.7.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs A new venue for us and a chance to see the original line-up of Sham 69 plus Spear of Destiny.
Just having recently had knee surgery this was going to be the first test of how long things could hold up ... but surprisingly I managed the whole evening and enjoyed the gig as well. It didn't start well, as Georgina (The promoter) didn't turn up at the pub she had suggested and we ended up walking back to the pub we were at for the Buzzcocks. After a few beers it was time to get in to the venue and catch the first bands.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Spear of Destiny - 14.7.12 Electric, Brixton We only caught the last track of the first support band The Vex so not really enough to comment on. After a short break Spear of Destiny took tot he stage. Not see them before but I had been looking forward to them as I used to really like them back in the 80's. They did not disappoint either, although Kirk Brandon could no longer hit the really high notes it made no difference and they played their way through 'Never Take Me Alive', 'Prisoner of Love', 'Playground of the Rich', 'Liberator' and 'Strangers in our Town'. They went down a storm, which surprised me considering the headline band, and most of the audience, were Punk/Oi .. hopefully we'll be seeing them again later this year as a headline act.
After another break on came Jimmy Pursey and Sham 69 to great applause. We had seen the 'other' Sham 69 back in 2010 and although we enjoyed them, this felt more like the real thing. This was the 1977 line-up and Pursey came out trying to recreate his pouting best.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Sham 69 - 14.7.12 Electric, Brixton The music was brilliant with tracks like 'Tell us the Truth', 'Questions and Answers', 'Hurry up Harry', 'Borstal Breakout', 'Ulster', 'If the Kids are United', 'Cockney Kids are Innocent', 'Rip Off', 'I Don't Wanna' and Hersham Boys'. The whole gig was excellent and so good to see the original Sham back together again (even if the other Sham 69 is still going!), although I did feel that Jimmy Pursey was a little too much trying to act as though he was back in the 70's.
Looks like I'm going to see them again soon, in fact in September down in Swindon, hopefully it'll be just as good.
Well that was that, a very good gig and two bands I'm looking forward to seeing again ... but for now the preparation is underway for this years Rebellion festival .... can't wait!!! so many good small bands this year. See you there.

Rebellion Festival - Winter Gardens, Blackpool 2-5.8.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs It's our third Rebellion outing and this year I have been a bit disappointed with the line-up of headline acts, however there are more bands this year that I have not seen before, so that's a big positive
Steve and I took the usual train up on the Wednesday in preparation for the pre-rebellion at the Tache Club (Used to be the Beat Club). We again booked into the 'Manuela Rose' guest house, and then made our way to the pub for beer, and to meet up with Andy.
The proceedings all kicked off that evening at the Tache club where we met many people from previous years plus a number of bands we know. There were few good bands to be on, but unfortunately the Charred Hearts had to drop out due to the lack of a bassist. Still, we were treated to the likes of Dinosaurs are Shit Dragons and Cyanide Pills, who we had not seen before and were excellent. The evening continued with a couple of old bands, Drongos for Europe and One Way System, both of who were excellent. So a really good evening was had, plus not too much alcohol was consumed so we were ready and raring for the start of Rebellion 2012.

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Rebellion Festival : 4-7.8.12 Winter Gardens, Blackpool DAY ONE: The first day started well with lots of sunshine and a couple of beers while I waiting for Dermot and my AAA wristband. Once we all had our wristbands it was time to see what Rebellion 2012 had to offer. We were not disappointed with the bands: Outl4w, Hi-Fi Spitfires, Rat Attack, Xtract, Screama Ballerina and Acid Drop to name but a few. However here were some bands that really stole the show with the likes of Demob and The Pukes who managed to fill the Bizarre stage with so many that they stopped any more entry! Not seen that before.
Top bands for the opening day had to be Demob & The Pukes.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Rebellion Festival : 4-7.8.12 Winter Gardens, Blackpool DAY TWO: The second day started in similar fashion, lovely weather, Breakfast, Coffee .... pub for beer! When we did finally manage to wobble into the Winter Gardens we were treated to sets from Hotwired and Eastfield, Conflict, Patrol, Hagar the Womb, TV Smith and the Notsensibles all of who were excellent. The highlights of the day had to be Deadline, Loaded 44 and being on the side of the stage to photo One Way System.

DAY THREE: by the third day the mornings were getting a tad difficult, still a few beers and we were raring to go! day 3 offered us the likes of The Fuckwits, Dirtbox Disco, The Agitators, Police Bastard, King Kurt and a reformed Enemy. Bands of the day were Dragster, Vice Squad and of course The Charred Hearts who played a blinding set. There were low points as well, with very poor performances from The Ruts and PIL!

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Rebellion Festival : 4-7.8.12 Winter Gardens, Blackpool DAY FOUR: All too soon the last day of Rebellion 2012 was here! We started in usual fashion then went on to see sets from Rubella Ballet, Red Alert, The Last Resort, Senseless, The Duel and Dun2Def. It was a really good, but rather jaded day. The highlights of day 4 had to be Stiff Little Fingers, Altered Images and of course a brilliant set from The Septic Psychos who managed to pack the Olympia even though they were the first band of the day!
So that was that, Rebellion 2012 over ... time so say goodbye to our friends .. well not quite yet as we popped round the corner to the West Coast Rock Bar to see Wilf & Sam, The Duel and Social Schism.
and how good were they? Great sets from all the bands and a really good way to end our Rebellion weekend. So, that really was it, Rebellion was over for another year. What a good time was had, so many bands I had not seen before and I returned to Maidstone with a case full of CD's to spend the next year listening to!
Next year? .... ah fuck it, of course we will, tickets are already purchased! See you all there.

The Warriors - The Three Tuns, Canterbury, Kent 24.8.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs My first time at the Three Tuns which has now taken over from the Maidens Head as the Punk venue in Canterbury.
As this was a Friday Steve came straight from work while i drove over. We met up at the Three Tuns and went for a bite to eat. After this we returned for a beer and had a chat with friends and bands.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Halfwits - 24.8.12 The Three Tuns, Canterbury, Kent First up for the evening were the strangely named The WOTS .... turned out to be 'Warriors On Tour Secretly' ... as they were about to embark on a trip to the states to do a Last Resort set and they wanted to try it out here first, it was really bloody good! They ran through a number of Last Resort tracks which was very well received.
Next up were an old favourite, The Halfwits who as usual threw themselves into their set with tracks line 'John Fila' and 'Waster', they went down a storm with a crowd of their own followers and the rest of the audience.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Warriors - 24.8.12 The Three Tuns, Canterbury, Kent Last up, after a mass T-shirt change, were The Warriors and they immediately got down t business and blasted out their usual superb set to all who were there with tracks like 'SNAFU', 'Marlon Brando', 'Never Forgive, Never Forget', 'England', 'We are not the Enemy', 'Suburban Shithole', 'Internet Bullies' and 'Bankrupt Britain'. The Warriors were really on form and the crowd were buzzing, everyone seemed to be enjoying the set.
Well, my first time at the Three Tuns, a pretty small stage with railings in front which seems to distance the band from the crowd ... but who cares! The Warriors proved that it was a really good venue by playing one of the best sets I think I've seen them do. With this in mind I think it will be a brilliant new venue for our brand of music to continue in Canterbury, and hopefully lots more gigs to be announced.

Jesus Fix - The Castle, Sheerness, Kent 25.8.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Just me this time, as i was on my own i decided to drop in on the Castle to watch a couple of bands.
I arrived early and settled to down to chat with Chris & Russ from the Warriors about their upcoming trip to the States. The place began to fill and and few well known faces popped in for a chat, then it was time for the festivities to start.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Jesus Fix - 25.8.12 The Castle, Sheerness, Kent First up were the wonderfully named Ted DiBiase & the Million Dollar Punk Band, I've seen them a couple of times before and they've always been really good to watch and this time was no different, unfortunately there was not a huge crowd as they did deserve bigger and better. They started by throwing fake dollar bills and packets of flour (meant to be cocaine) into the crowd which got the crowd going. They blasted their way through quite a long set but still left us wanting a lot more at the end.
After a more of a chatting and drinking, Jesus Fix, took to the stage. Now they, are not really Punk nor Goth either (even though the lead singer does look that way with his long dyed black hair), they just play their own brand of rock which seems to have been born out of the two styles. That said, they are really very very good and with Chris on drums (Drummer from the Warriors) they make an excellent combination. Again they played a quite along set and were very well received by everyone.
A really good evening, especially as it was a last minute decision to attend. Both bands I had seen before and neither were disappointing. What's Next? Well should be the Charred Hearts in Swindon supporting the 1977 line-up of Sham 69.

Sham 69 (1977 Line-up) - The Furnace, Swindon 29.9.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Just me again this time, as Steve was off in Poland taking his wife to see Auchswitz ... he knows how to spoil a woman!
This is a yearly memorial gig in memory of Dermot Fuller's mate, Mick Love, who was killed a few years back, so he always manages to get a decent headline act and pulls in quite a crowd.
Things did not get off to a very good start for me, as the closure of the M25 at Jct 10 on a Saturday afternoon meant it took me 4.5 hours to get to Swindon! Once there I was greeted by Sam & Lee and then I discovered that one of my lenses had packed up! ... so not really the evening I was hoping for.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Charred Hearts - 29.9.12 The Furnace, Swindon Sam bought me a pint and things began to get better and after having a long chat with Sham's photographer it was time for the first band to come on and a chance for me to practice using my other lenses.
First on the bill were a new local band, The Racket, who were surprsingly good. They were not Punk but they made a good sound and had a few followers in the crowd egging them on. As Sham were headlining there were already a few in the venue watching appreciatively and they seemed to go down very well with them as well.
Next up were The Charred Hearts, who in front of their home crowd went down a storm, the whole place was heaving. The Charred Hearts went through thier repertoire with 'Louisiana Calling', 'Persecute Me', 'Fucked' and 'Throwaway Society'. As usual the Charred Hearts were brilliant and had the crowd going from firt to the last track, an excellent set.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Sham 69 (1977 Line-up) - 29.9.12 The Furnace, Swindon The headline act for the night was Sham 69 and by this point the place was full and ready to go mad. Sham came out to massive applause and blasted straight into their set with numbers like 'Angels with Dirty Faces', If the Kids are United', 'Ulster', 'Borstal Breakout', 'Hey Little Rich Boy', 'Hersham Boys', 'Questions and Answers'. They finally finished with a version of 'White Riot and then 'Hurry Up Harry'. Sham were really really good, and I throughly enjoyed watching them and watching Jimmy throw pints over the crowd!
So, the evening came good in the end, with all the bands doing excellent sets and it was good to see frinds again as well. Next up, well I rather think its a two-dayer in Margate, with the UK Subs and Anti-Nowhere League, that should be a blinder!

The Shammed - The Barnaby Rudge, Broadstairs 12.10.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Well this was a first for me, a Punk covers band!
I friend from work approached me to come along an see his mate's band that evening in Broadstairs. He said they were a punk covers band and should appeal to me. I was rather skeptical as I'm not really into covers bands, however as it was his friend and he wanted some snaps taken, i went along ... and I'm really glad I did! They were excellent.
The evening started with trying to find the damn pub using Mike's IPhone Maps ... it led us all over Broadstairs but we couldn't find the pub. We decided to walk back past where we had parked and there on the corner it was!.
We sat ourselves down with a beer and watched a bit of footy until the support act came on. This was a guy named Paul May who was billed as acoustic and doing Paul Weller covers. Well he was ok with a couple of tracks but then digressed from The Jam to all sorts of indie tracks, at which point I completely lost interest. So, a good voice but not my thing I'm afraid.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Shammed - 12.10.12 The Barnaby Rudge, Broadstairs After a short wait The Shammed took to the stage. They were very very good and even better when you consider they had only been together for 5 weeks (and the new lead singer even less). They covered all the old favourites by the Clash, Damned, Pistols etc and really got everyone on their feet ... even me!
I managed to have a chat with them after and promised I would have a word with Davee to get them on the bill at the Three Tuns in Canterury, then a wider audience will be able to see what they're like.
My only criticism of the Shammed was that they tried to look too punk .. they need to lose the dog collars and coloured hair as these seemed only there for the performance, would look much better just being themselves.
Only a few gigs left for the year now, next is off to Margate.

UK Subs / Anti-Nowhere League - A Weekend of Punk, The Westcoast Bar, Margate 9-10.11.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Wow! A Weekend of Punk! The UK Subs & Anti-Nowhere League with an incredibly strong Kent support line-up including the likes of the Warriors and Anthrax!
Steve and I travelled down to Margate and booked into our hotel mid-afternoon and so had time to walk down to the pub and get a bite to eat and a few beers before the Westcoast was due to open. After a good catch up we wandered round to the venue and carried on with the beers until others began arriving and the discussions on how the evening would go started.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Deano's Hose - 10.11.12 The Westcoast Bar, Margate Last time we went to the Westcoast was about 2 years ago and again it was the Subs headlining. The venue looked pretty run down then but when we got in we were greeted by a completely different venue and very much better with a central bar, the stage in the corner and a far superior sound system.
The first day kicked off with Ted Dibiase & the Million Dollar Punk Band who really set the tome for the whole weekend. There were a fair number of people in the venue to enjoy the opening band, which was good to see. Ted Dibiase when through their set and had a rousing cheer at the end.
So, one band down, next up were 7 Day Conspiracy, we had not seen them before and so were eager to hear what they were like as one member of Ted Dibiase was with them. Unfortunately they were not that good, people did start moving back up to the bar, but there were still a few listening. They were not to our taste and tracks did sound a bit samey.
Next up were Daz's band ... The Betty Swollox Band who we had seen once before. They didn't disappoint and roared away on stage. This was back to the good stuff and the crowd loved it all. They rattled off their tracks as the place started to fill up.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: UK Subs - 9.11.12 The Westcoast Bar, Margate Fourth band for the night were Gravesend's finest, Anthrax. We had seen them before at the Maidens Head and were looking forward to seeing them again. As with the others they did not disappoint and the place was getting busy now with only two bands left for the night. The crowd really warmed to them as did we!
Headlining the first night were the UK Subs and as per usual they blew the rest away! The Subs are brilliant whatever venue, stage, sound system they are given and tonight was no exception as they blasted their way through 'I Live in a Car', 'Teenage', 'Warhead', 'CID', 'Stranglehold' and other old favourites. They got the crowd going and kept the fever pitch with the mosh pit going wild ... even Steve was in there bouncing around.
So that was day one over, all the bands were good, some were great, but the sheer brilliance of the UK Subs blew the rest away, nothing more I can say really.
Well Day Two, a slow start to recover from the previous night, which included breakfast in the hotel which was nice, then a walk round town in the rain ... not so nice, then a few hours in the pub and some lunch ... very nice! We then arrived at the Westcoast a bit early so we sat with Daz for a chat and a couple of beers
First up for the second day was Dean Griff's band Deano's Hose, they came on looking and sounding rather quirky which was excellent, they were very different from other bands the previous day and those to come later but it really fitted it, they reeled off track after track and even for the few that had turned up for the first band they went down well. I would really like to see these guys again as its' good to see bands that take their music down different paths.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Commited - 10.11.12 The Westcoast Bar, Margate After Deano's Hose came PCF. Now, the past time we saw them was at the Maidens Head and I wasn't completely convinced by them. This time they were better, maybe my taste has changed slightly, maybe the sound was better this time, I don't know but I do know that they were much more pleasing this time and I really enjoyed the set.
After PCF came another new one for me, Insult. These guys were a bunch of young kids in the same vein as the Halfwits ... but not as good. They seem more immature in their music whereas the Halfwits have now settled to their style. That said, they were still very good and even one of the Halfwits joined them on stage for a number.
Following on from Insult were the Halfwits who just stormed through their set and had the audience up and rocking almost immediately. Their set was one of the best I've seen, they just seem to get better and better each time we see them.
After the Halfwits we had an hour's break while the set was changed o we moved Steve's car and a quick KFC before returning for beer and the next band which was Daz's 'other band' The Commited. I had seen them before at The Castle in Sheeness and liked them then, this time they were just as good and just as raw. They rattled off numbers like 'Free Speech', 'Last Night Out', 'Got it All Wrong', 'Lazy Hacks', 'Law & Order', 'Hate', 'Whose War', and 'Depression'. The crowd had started gathering by this point so they got a rousing reception to each track.
We were now on the last stretch and up on stage came Decadent Few, we had not seen this band before an were surprised to see Kay from PCF fronting them. From what she was saying tis was her original band, and they weren't half good, in fact Kay fitted better with her voice to this band than PCF. They went through their set and got much applause after each track. I hope this band continue to do support slots as they were really good and it would be good to see them again.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Anti-Nowhere League - 10.11.12 The Westcoast Bar, Margate Finally The Warriors took to the stage .. what can you say,they are one of the most consistently good bands we have seen, this must be around 10 times now and we never see a bad set from them. This time they went through tracks like 'Bankrupt Britain', 'SNAFU', 'We are Not the Enemy', 'Horrorshow', 'Predator', 'Never Forgive, Ever Forget', 'Internet Bullies', 'Violence in our Minds' and my favourite 'Marlon Brando'. It was a shame they had to finish but we all knew who was on next.
Last up were one of my favourite bands, The Anti-Nowhere League. They started with a bang and with 'We are the League', after that it was non-stop brilliant tracks rattling out 'Nowhere Man', 'So What', 'Let's Break the Law, 'This is War', 'Pig Iron', 'Woman', 'Streets of London', 'We Will Survive', 'I Hate People', 'Animal' and they finished on 'We are the League' again. The League were absolutely brilliant, they took over the stage and the crowd went mad, forever falling onto the stage, especially when old favourites were played. We have seen the League a few times now, but this had to be their best performance to date. I can't wait now until we get a chance to see them again.
So that was it ... what a fucking excellent weekend! The best ever! Apparently it was such a success that they are looking to put on another in March ... I can't wait. Next up though, is Spear of Destiny and this time I'm taking Melinda with me! See you there.

TV Smith - The Castle, Sheerness, Kent 24.11.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs A bit of a last minute surprise was a quick trip across to Sheppey to see TV Smith!
This one was very very last minute and as such Steve couldn't make it. I was lucky as Melinda was happy to let me out of the night (bless her!). So, a quick, very wet dash off to Sheerness and the Castle for 3 bands. I arrived as the first band, Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Filthy Staypuft Marshmallow Men - 24.11.12 The Castle, Sheerness, Kent The Filthy Staypuft Marshmallow Men, were well into their set. We had seen these guys a couple of years back at the Ivy Leaf in Sheerness and really liked them then, they were still good and very enjoyable to watch. I seem to remember they used to end on a Ramones track, unfortunately not this time. Still they were very good and few that had braved the weather seemed to to enjoy them.
During the break I had a chance to catch up with Daz and few old faces and had a bit of a chin-wag about the last 2 day gig in Margate (Looks like there will be more next year!) until the next band took to the stage.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: TV Smith - 24.11.12 The Castle, Sheerness, Kent Second up for the night were All Flags Burn. I've seen them a few times and always liked them, this was no exception, even though the lead singer was very pissed ... and he kept telling us so! They rattled through their set and got a resounding cheer after each track. Unfortunately there were still very few people attending the gig which seemed to exasperate the lead singer as he kept trying to get people come down the front, all to no avail.
Last up was TV Smith. Now I've seen him a few times lately, in larger venues, but this was something else as it was a very small stage with only 10-15 people watching nearby. Despite this, he was still brilliant and mixed old Adverts tracks with newer stuff and even did some requests from the crowd! During his set he covered tracks like 'The Great British Mistake', 'On Wheels', 'No Time to be 21', 'Christmas Bloody Christmas', 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes, 'Bored Teenagers', and ended on 'One Chord Wonders'.
It was a really excelent evening and all who came along seemed to enjoy themselves. Next gig is to be Spear of Destiny in Islington next Saturday ... and I'm taking Melinda for the first time as she loved SOD back in the 80's, that will be good!

Spear of Destiny - O2 Academy, Islington, London 2.12.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Second time to see Spear of Destiny this year and for the first time I took the wife!
Melinda and I had decided on a day in London so we could bring up all Tom's gear to his new flat, then we could spend some time wandering and finally a bite to eat and a drink before heading off to Islington. We arrived a bit early as it was so bloody freezing we popped into the Premier Inn next door and had ... a cup of tea! Slightly different to the usual gigs with Steve where any old pub will do!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Electric River - 2.12.12 The O2 Academy, Islington, London Once we had warmed up it was time to head into the venue. We had guest passes and there was a slight hiccup as they phoned around to find where my photo pass was. Once that was sorted we were in. This was the first visit to the O2 Academy and it looked quite a good venue.
There were two support slots advertised and the first up were a band called Electric River. They took to the stage and really just blew us away. They were very very good, a kind of New Wave / Rock mix. I always like to be surprised by support bands, and these guys really did that. They worked their way through their set and they really got the small audience going. Melinda loved them as well, which is always a good sign. This is one band I would be more than happy to see again some time.
Second up were Scarlet Soho, these were a three piece rock/electronic outfit. They reminded me of a cross between Depeche Mode, Marc Almond and Heaven 17. That said, they were very good, but not that exciting, and lot of their material was very samey and certainly not in the same league as Electric River. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Spear of Destiny - 2.12.12 The O2 Academy, Islington, London By now the venue had filled quite nicely, and last up for the evening were Spear of Destiny. I saw them recently in Brixton supporting Sham69, but this time they were the headliners, and really really good! We loved them, they went through tracks like 'Mickey', 'Strangers in our Town', 'Come Back', 'Never Take Me Alive', 'The Wheel', 'Rainmaker' and ended on a really brilliant version of 'Liberator'. Kurts voice still has the same sound from years back and hasn't really lost anything. Melinda loved it and was dancing along to the tracks she remembered from years back. The crowd were really into their stride now and enjoying every minute of the set. All in all an excellent gig, really impressed with Electric River and so bought a CD, so we can keep enjoying the music!
Well, that was the first time in years Melinda and I have been to a gig together and maybe next year she will join us for The Stranglers in Folkestone, we will have to wait and see. Next up, Steve and I are back together for The Damned at the Roundhouse .. and hopefully Mr Bimpson will be joining us as well .. you never know, even Tom may meet up with us for a beer or two first.

The Damned / The Dickies - The Roundhouse, London 15.12.12

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Last gig of the year and it's a belter at the Roundhouse with The Damned and The Dickies.
We set off early so as to meet up with Tom and Andy for a few beers and a look round Camden Market before the gig. We met Tom in the World's End pub and Andy arrived a while after. We then spent the afternoon chatting and drinking until Tom had to leave, then, after finally finding Georgina, we headed to the Roundhouse where our tickets and photo pass were waiting.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Dickies - 15.12.12 The Roundhouse, London I always like the Roundhouse as a venue and it was even better to find that the '3 songs only' for photos was not in force, I could stay as long as i liked! Bonus!
The Dickies were first up and threw themselves in with their own version of 'Silent Night' (after all it is Christmas!), which was superb. The place was sold-out so it was rather packed towards the stage. The Dickies continued in the usual vein with 'Gigantor', 'Manny, Moe and Jack', 'Paranoid', 'Got it at the Store', 'Give it Back', 'You Drive me Ape', 'Banana Splits' and many more, they really rocked the Roundhouse. The Dickies were amazing and set the scene for the evening.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Damned - 15.12.12 The Roundhouse, London We had a short break which meant we could wander a bit and we me up with Simon Copson and Wayne Bean for a chat and I even had time to buy a Damned tour t-shirt before we went back in. Once in, I went back to the pit and Steve went to have a look at the view from the balcony.
Finally The Damned took to the stage, now we had seen then a few time and they had not really impressed so I was hoping they would go for it as we could have gone to see Rancid/Cock Sparrer or The Subhumans instead!
Well they came on and their set really blew me away, no more guitar or drum solos or Mr Oxymoron doing his freaky stuff .. it was just straight Punk Rock, and it WAS good!
They just blasted their way through 'New Rose', 'Neat, Neat, Neat', 'There Aint No Sanity Clause', 'Lovely Money', 'History of the World', 'Smash it Up', 'Noise, Noise, Noise', 'Love Song', 'Grimly Fiendish' and 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. They were great and to finish Captain Sensible decided to drop his trousers to flash his arse at the crowd .. thanks.
Both bands went down really well and it was a brilliant day/night, couldn't have asked for a better end to 2012 gigs. Well, we'll see you all in the New Year as we already have a few gigs lined up.