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The Commited - The Castle, Sheerness, Kent 1.2.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Finally 2014 kicks off ... It's the Commited's album launch at the Castle.
Still being on my crutches, Steve drove us both over to Sheerness for the evening. This looked to be a really good gig with The Commited's official album launch. As per usual we arrived far to early, but it gave us some time for a couple of beers and a chat with the usual crowd before it all kicked off.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Russ Crimewave - 1.2.14 The Castle, Sheerness First up for the evening was Russ Crimewave with his debut as a solo acoustic artist. He was really impressive! Yeah there were a few mistakes, probably because he was a bit nervous, but he really impressed the crowd and has massive cheers after each track. He was even asked to do an encore, a request that he gratefully received! Well, Russ will just get better and better and it's so good to see him back on stage again after his break. I have heard that he maybe re-joining Surgery Without Research ... now that would be good news!
Next up were Swampstomper, now these guys I've seen a number of times now and although they are more a rock band, their roots are firmly embedded in Punk. That said, this was probably the best I've seen them. They were rough and raw and really went for it. The crowd really go going as the lasted out the tracks 'No Justice', 'Shame', 'Too Tall for Tommy', 'Subtract & Divide', 'Pick Yourself Up', 'Not the One' and 'Dirty Black Boots'. They finished off with a well deserved encore of two Macc Lads tracks 'Blackpool' and 'Julie the Schooly'.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Commited - 1.2.14 The Castle, Sheerness Headlining the night were The Commited as it was their album release gig .. even though the album had been out for a while now. Still they managed to pack the place and it was good see members from Anthrax, Criminal Brainstorm and Snide in the crowd to cheer them on. The Commited put together one hell of a performance, the best I've ever seen them, with Daz twisting and wheeling around the stage (although that may due to the alcohol consumed). The Commited rattled their way through 'Mental', 'Lazy Hacks', 'Wake Up! Get Up! Play Up!', 'Got it All Wrong', 'Free Speech', 'Fuck Conscription', 'Whose War?', 'Brezhnevs to You' and 'Depression'.
Well, first time back after my knee op and what a way to start! The bands were all amazing and certainly blew the cobwebs away, so glad I was able to make it. Recently I joined GIGgle Pics as a volunteer photographer and this was my first piece of work for them, so it was good to be among friends for the night. Next gig is two weeks time, It's Stop! Stop! Start Again at the Water Rats, really looking forward to that.

Stop! Stop! Start Again - The Pavilion, Brick Lane, London 15.2.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs At BBA in Bangor last year I saw a band that really blew me away ... finally I get to see them again in London at the Pavilion in Brick Lane.
I arrived early and had a couple of drinks and a chat with the SSSA guys be of re heading into the venue. The venue itself is almost impossible to find as there is signage to say there is a venue there and no flyers of any bands playing, luckily the band already knew where to go, so I followed them. The venue itself was a small size and rather crap lighting, but the sound was fairly good.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Phobics - 15.2.14 The Water Rats, London The first surprise was that another band had been added to the line-up, the second was quite how good the opening band The Phobics were! They were like a young buzzcocks and full of energy! They were thoroughly enjoyable. It's always nice to have a surprise with a new band. Hopefully I'll see more of these in the future.
Second up were the new addition Seek Destroy. They were quite a surprise as the lead singer had long brown hair, a gold sequined dress and high heeled boots and a very loud voice! Give her her due, she belted out the tracks, but unfortunately they weren't really my cup of tea, especially following on from the superb Phobics.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Stop! Stop! Start Again - 15.2.14 The Water Rats, London Penultimate band were the Shangrilads who had supported SSSA a couple of times in the past and had family connections. They again were a very good tight band, and pumped out some really decent tracks. The crowd by this point had grown and were really enjoying The Shangrilads. My only criticism was that their set seemed to be cut short due to late running. That's said, they were very enjoyable to watch and listen to.
Finally Stop! Stop! Start Again took to the stage. Well, what can I say ... the last time I saw them they were excellent, this time they were even better! They blasted straight into 'Stop Stop Start Again' with a vengeance and followed this up with 'Better Days', 'Banging on Your Back Door', 'Plastic Fantastic', 'Large Hadron Collider', 'Serge', 'Believe' and 'Denim Boys', and these went down perfectly with the crowd. These guys are a superb band and Paul, the real showman with his posturing around the stage. Excellent gig and excellent night all round. Can't wait now until June and BBA, as these guys are playing there again, it's all stacking up to be another superb night.
So, next up is a gig for GIGgle Pics and is Electric River in Canterbury, so should be another good one.

Electric River - The Penny Theatre, Canterbury, Kent 28.2.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs So, back to Canterbury again, this time to see Electric River, a superb Ashford based band who I've seen just a few times before!
Well, this was all new ground for me, never been to the Penny Theatre before and it was my first real assignment for GIGgle Pics. In addition Melinda accompanied me as she saw Electric River a while back and liked them. So, after a quick Japanese meal we headed into the venue.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Vivid Nation - 28.2.14 The Penny Theatre, Canterbury The Penny Theatre is very, very small and there was really a huge crowd to start with but a couple of people had come along to see the first band, Chasing Cadence. These guys were not really my cup of tea but as I was doing some shots of them I stayed a while to listen. They came over as quite inexperienced and seemed to try too hard to be a rock band ... and didn't really pull it off, they would have been better just to play and enjoy it. We disappeared back to the bar for another drink halfway through their set feeling quite disappointed.
Next up were Vivid Nation who, although still not to my taste, made a better attempt on stage than their predecessors. They were not bad and certainly the crowd was beginning to get behind the music as more people arrived. Unfortunately Melinda did not join me for this band, she back at the bar and listened from there.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Electric River - 28.2.14 The Penny Theatre, Canterbury By the time Electric River came on, the crowd has swelled considerably but was still not packed. This didn't deter Electric River and flew straight into their set pounding out tracks like 'Happy', 'Hold Your Nerve', 'Still' and the superb 'In Your Name'. These guys really showed the gulf in talent between them and the previous acts, they were so good and the way the audience responded proved that! Electric River are off on a tour and this was the first date, based on their performance here it will be a sell out.
Next up is a long awaiting chance to see the Partisans at AWOD ....

Another Winter of Discontent - The Boston Arms, London 2.3.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Once again the Boston Arms was hosting the annual AWOD 4 day festival. We attended on the Sunday just so we could see The Partisans ..
STEVE (Had to mention Steve as he's been moaning that his name isn't appearing here in recent reviews!) and I made our way up to London for a beer and a bite to eat, then it was round the corner to the Boston Arms for the last day of AWOD.
As we (Steve) arrived the first band, Brocker were in full flight. They looked more like a metal band, but the sound was really good and the few that that had arrived early were really into them. I would be happy to see these guys again some time.
Next up was Sarah Pink, now I had seen her before, where she stepped in as part of the Crows at the 3 Chords Festival. This time she had her own band. She was good but had not really enough gig practice, once she has more time to get sorted I think she will become a regular thing around the scene. She still seemed to go down well so not all bad I suppose.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Reverends - 28.2.13 Another Winter of Discontent - The Boston Arms, London Next up, The Reverends, wow ..... not heard anything by them before, but bloody hell they were good! A real mixture of sounds and one evil looking vocalist! The sound they made was superb and the crowd really got behind them.
The half way mark passed, and on came The Duel. They seemed to have got a mixed report from people at AWOD, but I must say I'm a fan, and really enjoyed their mix of styles. I have seen them a few times, the last being at Rebellion, so it was good to see them again on stage, and set bar for the bands to follow.
16 Guns were next on the bill ... well, what can you say about these guys? They were their usual excellent selves, no frills just pure punk rock, loved them. The crowd responded too with Conor jumping on stage and dropping his trousers before hugging Tom! All great fun. They powered their way through 'Evil Man', 'Killer', 'Sod the Neighbours', 'Friend or Foe', 'Can't Pay, Won't Pay', 'Chaild Batterer', 'Psycho', 'Punk Rock Stardom' and 'Private 999' ... but no 'Roy Cropper' .. very sad!. 16 Guns really set the place alight and were perfect to set the stage for the final band.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Partisans - 28.2.13 Another Winter of Discontent - The Boston Arms, London Last up were what we had been waiting for, The Partisans, and they didn't disappoint! Their set was '17 Years of Hell', 'Killing Machine', 'Arms Race', 'So Neat', 'Overdose', 'Time Was Right', 'No U Turns', 'Don't Blame Us', 'Blind Ambition', 'Only 21', 'I Never Needed You' and 'Police Story' .. sooo good! By this time the place was packed and the Partisans really got the place rocking! At one point I lost Steve, only to see him in the mosh at the front of the stage, so suffice to say he enjoyed them too, apart from a few bruised ribs!
Well what a superb evening, really couldn't have asked for better, 5 excellent bands and topped off with the Partisans.
Next ... The Stranglers and the Lees Cliff in Folkestone! Can't wait.

The Stranglers - Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone, Kent 7.3.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs A group outing! all off to Folkestone to see one of my faves, The Stranglers.
In addition to STEVE and myself, Melinda joined us too as she quite likes a lot of Stranglers tracks. So Melinda and I drove down to the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone to meet Sarah from GIGgle Pics to get my photo pass. Once sorted we went in to try and find any others we knew. STEVE and I had seen the Stranglers in Folkestone a few years back and really enjoyed it, Melinda had never seen them before, so this was a first for her.
The support for the evening were Nine Below Zero a 70's funk band ... they were very professional and the already huge crowd seemed to like them too, however they were not to my taste at all, although Melinda did enjoy them. It was during their slot that I found STEVE! he was way over the other side to us, so he moved round and joined us. Just after that another friend of ours, Ian, turned up too, quite a little gathering.
Finally the moment arrived and on came The Stranglers to massive applause. The blasted straight into 'London Lady', a great way to start and made even better when they followed this up with 'No More Heroes'. I think at this point most of my pictures became rather shaky as I was bouncing around in the pit enjoying every second of the opening two tracks!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Stranglers - 2.3.14 The Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone, Kent The Stranglers were superb, although a new drummer had been drafted in as Jet Black, who is now 75, is not in the best of health can only do parts of gigs and others (like Folkestone) he cannot make at all. A shame, but I hope I can still do half of that when I reach his age. .
That said it made no difference to the sound and we rocked away to so many tracks like 'Something Better Change', 'Norfolk Coast', 'Skin Deep', 'Peaches', '5 Minutes', 'Threatened', Nice n Sleazy', 'Peasant in the Big Shitty', 'Duchess', 'Golden Brown', 'All Day and All of the Night', 'Hanging Around' and ended on a brilliant rendition of 'Tank'.
So, while I understand that this is a Ruby Anniversary tour and they have to cover tracks from across their lifespan, we did find that there were patches during the 2 hour set when we knew none of the tracks played. This was a bit of a shame, but it was more than made up with by the rest of the tracks that they played.
Next up should be Anthrax in Brighton .. watch this space.

Running Riot - The Pipeline, London 15.3.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs An unplanned, last minute gig in London!
With no STEVE around and Georgina messaging about whether we were attending, I took it upon myself to pop along ... be rude not to?
The evening was billed as a St.Patricks Day gig and featured three Northern Irish bands brought over specially for the night.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Buck Eejit - 15.3.14 The Pipeline, London First up was a brilliant band, Buck Eejit. I saw them at last years BBA festival and thought they were superb, and they didn't disappoint this time. Really rough and raw, they blasted into their set, even though there were only a handful of people to see it. This made no difference to the band, who's vocalist (almost a Toydolls twin!) leapt around the stage wearing a Murphys Stout banner as a cape, they were great fun, and also really good guys for a chat before and after. I'm looking forward to seeing them again at this years BBA. Second up were another excellent band hat I saw at BBA last year, these were Hard Case. As with Buck Eejit, these guys were hard, fast and raw. The singer spent a lot of time in the crowd or rolling around on the floor (both on and off the stage). By this time the place was starting to fill and so the band got the applause they deserved. They were really very good and thoroughly enjoyable to watch, shame they're not on this years BBA line-up.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Running Riot - 15.3.14 The Pipeline, London Headline band were Running Riot, I had not seen them before, however they came highly recommended by both Georgina and Lee (from Infa Riot, who d come along specially to see them). The crowd had grown considerably and Running Riot kicked off to great applause and breezed through their set, at one point a number of inflatable toys were launched at them along with a number of rubber chickens! It was all great fun.
Excellent though Running Riot were, they did not ring the right bells for me. I found Buck Eejit and Hard Case far better. I did enjoy Running Riot, I just felt they were not the best band on the night.
So, after my surprise gig, the next will definitely be Anthrax in Brighton ... along with support from Eastfield, Hagar the Womb and Part1 .. excellent!

Anthrax - The Green Door Store, Brighton 22.3.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs And so it was off to Brighton for a new venue, The Green Door Store ...
AS STEVE was still on bloody holiday (again!), Daz joined me and provided a lift down to Brighton for this gig. It was a fair old journey with too many 50mph sections, but we finally made it in one piece. It took almost as long to find a parking space, but luckily Daz's satnav took us almost to the door.
We then spent the next hour or so chatting with friends and the bands while watching the soundchecks, then it was a quick bite to eat before the bands took to the stage.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Part 1 - 22.3.14 The Green Door Store, Brighton First up were a late addition to the line-up, Eastfield. I have seen them a few times and they are a band that is always good, the crowd loved them too as the place was already filling nicely. They did a superb set with tracks like 'Money', '47002' and 'Everything is Marvelous'. Next up were Part 1 a band who I had only seen the once at Rebellion last year. I wasn't sure about them and so was looking forward to them this time. They have quite an unusual sound, a mix of slowed down Punk and Goth with the misery of Joy Division thrown in! Still they were really goo, I was quite surprised at how good they were, so I'm looking forward to seeing them again some time.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Anthrax - 22.3.14 The Green Door Store, Brighton Hagar the Womb were next up. Now, while i quite like their idea of just getting up and enjoying yourself, I still can't quite warm to their sound. They are undoubtedly very good and very popular as the place was heaving, but still, for me, they should have been the first band on. Still I loved the set and would definitely see them again.
Last up were Kent's finest anarcho band, Anthrax. The place was packed now for Anthrax (and the fact that it was Oscar's 50th birthday) and I don't think I have ever seen Anthrax better than this, they were superb. They pumped out the tracks 'Sleeping Dogs', 'Exploitation', 'Abracadabra', 'Got it All Wrong', 'Grin', 'Hunger Pains', 'Capitalism', 'Beg Society' and 'Another'. They did so many tracks from 'All for the Cause', which I have to say is one of the best albums I've heard in recent times. Anthrax had taken over the venue, the crowd were bouncing along to every track. What a night!
Well after that it's a few weeks rest before Peter & the Test Tube Babies & Surgery Without Research next month ... that's gonna be messy.

The Strookas / The Betty Swollox Band - The Castle, Sheerness, Kent 5.4.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Once again, it's a last minute addition to my schedule and I'm off to the Castle in Sheerness
STEVE joined me for this one and we headed over a little later than usual. We still arrived in time for PCF to be doing their soundcheck, so it was a chance to have a quick drink and chat with friends before the festivities kicked off.
First up for the night were PCF (or PunkConFusion). We have seen them a few times and they have grown on me, even though they are very off the wall and not what you'd expect. Kay's wailing voice takes some getting used to, but each time I hear them they seem that much better. That said, with the resurrection of Decadent Few, Kay's voice seems to be improving each time we see her. The crowd enjoyed the first few numbers but then seemed to dwindle away, which was shame, but I think PCF's brand of Punk of difficult to get a grip of.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Betty Swollox Band - 5.4.14 The Castle, Sheerness A short break, then it was the turn of Ted DiBiase & the Million Dollar Punk Band. These guys are great, real raw sound and a serious sense of humour to go with it ... to start with they brought on a coffin with Davee Wild's name on it (one presumes this was reference to his departure to live in London). In their usual fashion of 'Million Dollar Punks' they have the Champagne and Cigars at the ready and then proceed to chuck fake paper money into the crowd. It's at this point the camera is put away as I now what comes next .. bags of white (talcum) powder are chucked at the crowd and the room becomes a sweet smelling white cloud!
Still they bash out more tracks, a few from their new CD (just released). By this point the place is full and there are white daubed bodies rocking around the room like a plague of zombies! Great stuff. Ted DiBiase have just been announced as the main headline for the GIGglefest in Ashford later in the year .. i tackled them about this but all they really cared about was that they were on last and so it didn't leave much time for drinking ... boys after my own heart!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Strookas - 5.4.14 The Castle, Sheerness Next up were The Betty Swollox Band, however the start was delayed as one of the amps packed up! We still think there was a tad too much powder dropped into it! After a long wait a new amp was found and Daz and the lads got under way. Again, another superb band, blasting out the tracks to a, by now, very receptive crowd. They covered track like 'Bollox Bop', 'Glutamate Junkies', 'Beyond the Grave', 'Swearing Lessons', 'Piss-Heads Anthem', 'Runaway', 'Veg Means Murder' and 'Then I Kissed Her'. Daz cut a rather grotesque figure having received a white power bag right on his head and in the heat of venue had mixed sweat into it making him look like he had just stepped out of the coffin that is still lying by the stage. Now, although I do like The Betty Swollox Band a lot, they do fall short of Daz's other band, The Commited .. but not by a lot .. Unfortunately their set was cut short due to them starting late (the amp problems).
Last up were a new band for us, The Strookas. These guys used to be quite in demand and released a few singles in their day. Now the original line-up has reformed and we had the pleasure of seeing them on this night. They were very good, very old school like a cross between Radio Stars and the Radiators, and well worth going to see. The crowd loved them as they belted out tracks 'Just as I Thought', 'Summer to Fall', 'Nothing Happens Here', 'Hey You!', 'Out of Your Head', '35 Please', 'Chatham Pout' and 'Chinese Rocks'.
So, that was it, another great night at the Castle, next up Peter and Test Tube Babies and Surgery Without Research.

Peter & the Test Tube Babies - The Fiddlers Elbow, London 25.4.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Another new venue for us, The Fiddlers Elbow, luckily it was only a short stroll from the Roundhouse anyway, plus some great great bands were on offer.
I took an afternoon train up to London and met up with Steve in a pub across the road from the Roundhouse. A couple of others turned up too (Dave Booker and Graham Saxby). So we had a couple of drinks and then decided to pop round to the Fiddlers Elbow and have a couple more before the bands came on. The venue was really good, and we met up with Georgina and Lynne and had a chance to chat with the Surgery guys before the start of the proceedings.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Surgery Without Resarch - 25.4.14 The Fiddlers Elbow, London First up were the awesome Surgery Without Research. They did not disappoint! pumping out tracks 'Sheep', 'Religious Bullshit', 'Cuts', 'Spit Mask', 'We Pay the Price', 'Fight Back', 'Woman Beater', 'Paedophile Scum' and 'We are the Punks', The band ripped through the venue with Andy's snarling vocals crashing in on top, they were superb. This was probably the BEST I have heard Surgery. I was a shame they were on first and the place was still starting to fill as they would have really got he place rocking with a later slot. Still those that were there really got into them, and even after an encore request, were still left wanting more.
Second up were a new band for us, The Tang, these were a bunch of young lads who, to start with, looked ok. However, as the set progressed they spent too much time blabbing between tracks, and didn't really have the drive and anger of Surgery or even the range of songs, as most seemed to blur into each other with none standing out as excellent single tracks. So we were left feeling a little miffed that they were higher in the schedule than Surgery. They were not a bad band and were listenable but the feeling was that they were not in the same league as the rest.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Peter & the Test Tube Babies - 25.4.14 The Fiddlers Elbow, London Another couple of beers and a chat before the headline act were due on. Things were starting to get late, which, die to our trains, would mean leaving early.
Finally Peter & the Test Tube Babies took to the stage. Now, I've seen them a few times and they've never disappointed ... this was no exception! From the start the floor turned into a whirling melee as the crowd really go going. These guys are Steve's favourite band, so he was gone .. straight into the middle of the mass of bodies in front of the stage, and he didn't resurface until I grabbed his shoulder later on to point out we needed to get our train.
They were superb, giving us, among others, 'Run Like Hell', 'Banned from the Pubs', 'Moped Lads', 'Never Made It', 'Transvestite', 'Jinx', 'Elvis is Dead' and 'Maniac'.
Well what an evening!! In the words of George Orwell .. all bands were equal, but some were more equal than others! Thanks go to Georgina and Lynne for putting on such a great night! So it was home then for some sleep and preparations to do it all over again the next night at T.Chances!!!

Chaos UK / Lunatic Fringe - T.Chances, London 26.4.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs No sooner had we recovered from the previous nights gig ... than it was time to do it all over again!!!
Again, it was another new venue for us, this time up in Tottenham. Steve drove as it looked like this may overrun and we really didn't want to miss the headline band as we hadn't seen them before. We arrived in plenty of time and had a quick beer in a local pub before heading down to the venue.
The venue itself is a large building set back from the road and from the looks of things most of the squats in London had emptied to come along to this gig! We met up and chatted with John Marshall before the festivities began.
First up were Subordinate who set the 'Noise-Fest' precedent for the evening. They thrashed their way through their set hardly pausing for breath. Really good little band and great to listen to. The place was still quite empty but still a few were bouncing around at the front so it gave a bit of atmosphere. There was then a huge break in the proceedings as Fleas & Lice had not turned up (they were very late), still it gave us a chance to sample some more beer .. and discuss how two loo were going to cope with the large influx of people we were seeing!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Coitus - 26.4.14 T.Chances, London Finally Coitus took to the stage. Another noise band but were superb! I really need to get some tracks of theirs .. they blasted away on stage as the place really started to fill up. The mosh at the front was rapidly increasing in size and energy as Coitus ploughed through their tracks, they just seemed to get better and better as the evening wore on.
Next up were a band we've seen before, Lunatic Fringe, these West Country punks were great when we saw them at the Grosvenor last year, this time they were even better, especially in front of the huge crowd that had now rammed into T.Chances. They flew through tracks 'Whose War', 'Mail Order Rebels', 'The Enemy Within', 'Flesh & Blood', 'Conformity', 'Bristol Buses', 'The Future is Now' and 'Who's in Control?' to the obvious delight of everyone. The mosh pit now started the crowd surfing as bodies came over top, or appeared on stage to dive off into the my many willing hands ready to catch them. This was how a Punk gig should be!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Chaos UK - 26.4.14 T.Chances, London After another short wait Chaos UK came on to be greeted by a huge cheer. They proceeded to blast their way through a set that contained probably everything they've ever done. Tracks included 'Uniform Choice', 'Month of Sundays', 'Living in Fear', 'Brain Bomb', 'Victimised', 'Kill Your Baby', '4 Minute Warning', 'Used & Abused', 'No Security' and 'Lawless Britain'. Chaos UK were superb and the crowd went wild, it was all the stage security could do to keep the monitors in one place and stop the surge of people climbing up with the band before hurling themselves like lemmings back into the melee below. The place was now rammed and any hope of moving from the spot you were in was futile, but that said it was just what we wanted ... a packed Punk gig! so few of these nowadays.
Once Chaos UK were done, so were we and we headed back to car for the drive home .. by way of the Pizza and Chicken shops! Fleas & Lice did finally turn up to play .. but unfortunately it was about 2:30am, so we were long gone, hopefully we'll get to see them some other time as they are on my list of 'must-see' now.
Well! what a bloody excellent weekend ... both gigs were superb and a well deserved rest was had on the Sunday .. but to be fair, I'd do it all over again in an instant.

TV Smith - Maidstone Fringe Festival, Maidstone 3.5.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Another chance to see TV Smith in our home town
Melinda was the one accompanying me to this gig in a small pub in Maidstone, The Flowerpot. We were here to see TV Smith as part of the Maidstone Fringe Festival. He had appeared last year and I went with Steve and others to see him then, at the Style and Winch and it was such an excellent evening, I thought .. maybe, just maybe, Melinda would like him too ...
Well we arrived and listened to an acoustic band who were on just before the main act, they were very good, but not my type of music at all, however Melinda loved them. Once they had finished we waited around and bumped into Gerry Potten, Tony Phipps and TV Smith, so we all had a bit of a chin-wag until the stage was ready for the main act.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: TV Smith - 3.5.14 The Maidstone Fringe Festival, Maidstone, Kent TV Smith took to the stage and got straight into his set with his usual passion for each song that he belted out starting with 'Coming in to Land'. I needn't have worried about Melinda as she loved it! He played some new ones like 'Delete', plus more of his solo stuff sprinkled with Adverts tracks, like 'The Day We Caught the Big Fish', 'One Chord Wonders', 'Tomahawk Cruise', 'Expensive Being Poor', 'Immortal Rich', 'Lion and the Lamb', 'Bored Teenagers', 'Great British Mistake' and 'Gary Gilmores Eyes' .
To be honest, TV Smith had the crowd eating out of his hand and managed to a cheer from the whole pub when he mentioned Max Clifford getting 8 years (that included us too!). Everyone in the packed pub was enjoying the performance, looking round I could see a fair amount mouthing the words to the old Adverts songs as they were played.
Superb night out and lovely to have Melinda with me enjoying it as much as I was. Next up ... well, Folkestone for a few local bands.

UK Subs - Charlie Harper's 70th Birthday Tour: The 100 Club, London 24.5.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs The UK Subs end their current tour with Charlie Harpers 70th celebrations at the 100 Club.
This was shaping up to be a superb gig. Not only was it at the birthplace of punk, The 100 Club, but it was the end of the Subs current tour and it was Charlie Harper 70th!!! So we were expecting a lot from this. Steve and I caught the train up and met up with Dave Nash for a quick beer, Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: A-M-I - 24.5.14 The 100 Club, London then it was food and a short walk along to the 100 Club. By the time we got there a queue had already formed, which proved how popular this gig was going to be, although it did give us time for a chat with John and Bradley beforehand.
Once inside it was a short wait before the first band hit the stage, these were A-M-I or Anti Meathead Inc. This band were young ... very young! the drummer must have been all of 13. As far as we can tell these kids were all related to Charlie Harper in some way, but that said they made a superb sound! The band were not phased by the crowd at all, even badgering the crowd and getting a mosh started. All in all they were very good, and hopefully we will see them again as they have a slot at Rebellion.
The place by this point was packing out nicely and there was a buzz in the air for the anticipated arrival on stage of the Subs. Charlie in the meantime (in usual fashion) could be seen circulating the crowd chatting with everyone.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: UK Subs - 24.5.14 The 100 Club, London Finally to the roar from the packed venue, the UK Subs took o the stage. The place immediately went mental, everyone was hurling themselves around to the obvious pleasure of Charlie. The Subs just blasted from one track to another working their way through 'CID', 'I Live in a Car', 'Warhead', 'Party in Paris', 'Stranglehold', 'Telephone Numbers', 'Emotional Blackmail', 'Endangered Species', 'You Don't Belong', 'New York State Police', 'I'm Waiting for the Man', 'Limo Life', 'Riot' and 'Tomorrows Girls'. All I can say is 'Wow' .. what a gig, Charlie and the Subs were on top form, smashing the tracks out, while the crowd responded to every one as the place got wilder and wilder.
Finally, after 3 encores the gig was over, but the place stayed filled as Charlie did his rounds chatting, shaking hands and generally greeting all who had come along. Well, the UK Subs were absolutely superb! one of the best I've seen them, and for Charlie Harper still to be bouncing around on stage at 70 defies all logic ... but that's just down to the type person he is, unassuming and totally into his music and fans. How many other musicians spend so much time with their fans before, during and after a gig? How many other musicians are ALWAYS up for a photo when asked? Not many I can tell you.. which explains the popularity of Charlie and the Subs and explains why members of Infa Riot, The Vibrators, Menace, Sick on the Bus and Sham were in the crowd.
Well, that was quite a night, next up, we get to see the Warriors again! in Folkestone this time.

The Warriors - The Harp Restrung, Folkestone 31.5.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Another new local venue for us .. The Harp Restrung in Folkestone, this time to see The Warriors.
Steve was driving again, it was a short journey down to Folkestone and as we parked up, Daz and Melv turned up too .. Daz had manged to break his sunglasses and was left with only one lens ... these were later to be worn throughout the evening!. It was only a walk round the corner to the venue and after getting our wristbands it was up tot bar and the first beer of the night. As time wore on, the place began to fill, many of the usual crowd were in attendance and it was good to catch up with everyone.
As the first part of the evening got under way there was a noticeable absence of any of The Half Wits! so when they did arrive it was too late for them to open, so The Betty Swollox Band stepped up to the plate and opening up the evenings entertainment.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Betty Swollox BAnd - 31.5.14 The Harp Restrung, Folkestone Originally The Commited were due to perform, but as Noz had done his back in they were replaced by the Betty Swollox band .. who were 3 of the Commited anyway! Daz and the gang immediately took the evening by the scruff of the neck and exploded onto the stage with tracks 'Jolly Rogues', 'Glutamate Junkies', 'Piss-Heads Anthem', 'hen the Beer Runs Out', 'Died a Death', 'Runaway', 'Just One More Thing', 'Fast Lane' and 'Veg Means Murder'. Everything was done at breakneck speed and the crowd threw themselves into it too. The evening was really kicking off now as Daz with his one-lens sunglasses hurled around the sage.
All too soon they were done, which allowed time for another beer while the next band prepared themselves. Finally The Half Wits made it to the stage. They had a new guitarist to replace Jake .. although this had happened a while back, we had just not seen them for a while! They were still the usual arrogant and brash band they have always been, but with the loss of Jake they seem to have lost the reggae side of their set. Steve was first to point out that their version of 'Babylon' had become a punk track and not the reggae influences track it once was. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Warriors - 31.5.14 The Harp Restrung, Folkestone That didn't detract from their set though, and the new guitarist was superb as they blasted out track after track. The set was shorter than we expected which was due to the the lateness of their arrival and the fact that there was an 11:15 curfew.
Finally the headliners took to the stage. The Warriors are always a favourite and as we hadn't seen them since last year it was good to see them play on home soil again. These guys NEVER fail to impress and fresh from a couple of dates in Europe they were in fine form with tracks 'Marlon Brando', 'Warriors Come Out to Play', 'Shit Town', 'Bank Holiday', 'SNAFU', 'Buddah of the Backstreets', 'Horror Show', '' and '8 a Week'. As the tracks were ground out, so the crowd responded and cheered each track as Saxby's vocals resounded round the venue. The Warriors really were on form, and it was so good to see them playing back in this country again. The only downside was hearing, the following day, that Andy is to leave The Warriors to concentrate on his own band, Surgery Without Research. A real shame but I wish him all the best, and I hope the Warriors find a replacement soon. So that was that ... next is Anthrax in Canterbury, then it's BBA!!!

Anthrax UK - The Lady Luck, Canterbury 6.6.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Off to the Lady Luck in Canterbury for 4 superb local bands, beer and friends.
As Steve was arriving straight from work I had the car to myself on the trip over. Once parked I walked down to the Lady Luck. It was a lovely warm evening and everyone was outside having a beer ready for the evenings festivities to begin.
After meeting up with Steve and chatting with a few friends it was time to get the show on the road and who better to open the festivities than Russ Crimewave. We have known Russ since he was in the Warriors and were there at his first solo performance which was superb. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Snide - 6.6.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury It was a real pleasure to hear him again, even more confident, now he has a few gigs under his belt. Still very angry, Russ went through 'You're a Terrorist', 'Riot in Progress', 'Race to the Bottom', 'Question Authority' and 'Pissing in the Wind', we even got 'Generation Idiot' due to popular demand. To finish off Kaya from Decadent Few/PCF joined him on stage to do 'They Shoot Children' which was superb! It looks like they will be releasing an album soon of collaborative work.
Second band for the night were an old favourite, The Commited . I love the Commited, they are full of anger and energy! Daz was, as usual, throwing himself into all the tracks and it was good to see Noz back and fully recovered. They went through 'Mental', 'Lazy Hacks', 'Wake Up! Get Up! Play Up!', 'Factory', 'Whose War?', 'Big Pharma', 'Free Speech', 'Hate' and 'Fuck Conscription', all of which superb and well received by the now expanding crowd.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Anthrax - 6.6.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury Next up were the newly reformed Snide. Snide had been around for a while but disbanded and Nobby had gone on to work with Vince Vortex and the Cucumbers (A Punk covers band). Recently Nobby reformed Snide, with a different line-up and, apart from photos at a practice session, this was my first time seeing them live, and I was most impressed! They were a good a solid sound and some very good tracks like 'Peace of Mind', 'I Believe', 'Hard Work', 'Disorder', 'Recluse', 'Blind', 'I Don't Want You Back' and 'Pain or Glory'. The crowd warmed to them instantly and they went down very well.
Last up were an old favourite, Anthrax, who really stole the show! I don't think I've seen a better performance from them. The crowd was now bouncing around and were joining in with the vocals, the new single 'Beg Society' went down a storm. In addition we were treated to 'Sleeping Dogs', 'Abracadabra', 'Got it All Wrong', 'Capitalism is Cannibalism', 'Welcome', 'Running on Empty' and my favourite 'Grin'.
Well, what an evening, great bands, great music and great friends all the ingredients needed to go home a happy man. Next up ... BBA in Northern Ireland, can't wait!

BBA Taking Control 2014 - Marine Court Hotel, Bangor, Northern Ireland 13-14.6.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Last years BBA festival in Bangor was a one-day event and was superb, this year it had been extended to 2 days and looked an even better line-up!
After the short flight over, it was a train ride from Belfast to Bangor in glorious sunshine! I had arrived a couple of days early as there was Tom and Sheena's Stag/Hen do, then a day of rest before their wedding and then two days of bands. the Stage/Hen do was being held at the Goats Toe in Bangor and a couple of bands were to entertain us. First up was a French band Freevolt. I had not heard anything by these guys before, although not really being a Punk band they made a pretty good sound and went down very well. Next up were local boys Shock Treatment 21, they were superb, but unfortunately not a lot of people were there to enjoy it. I had seen and liked them at last years BBA and was looking forward to seeing them again in two days time! After far too much Guinness had been consumed it was time to retire.
The following day was a quiet one and got me ready for the festivities to come! Friday finally arrived and I was there to photo Tom and Sheena's wedding, it all went without a hitch and the bride looked stunning. Although I was a bag of nerves I managed to get a few good shots for them. During the afternoon, Steve flew in and got himself settled in the bar ready for the 6pm start to BBA.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Stop! Stop! Start Again - 13.6.14 BBA Taking Control, Bangor, NI BBA 2014 kicked off with a covers band Fubar who were very good, but as with a lot of gigs, not many people there to see them. They were followed by another excellent band No Matter who I had seen and liked last year. Then it was the second outing for Shock Treatment 21 and straight after was one of my favourite bands, Stop! Stop! Start Again who were really on form, even treating us to a new track from the forthcoming single 'Vampyres', the place was starting to fill now and Stop! Stop! Start Again were getting a rousing reception.
Next on the stage were another of my faves, Charred Hearts, who gave a superb performance (as usual!) and this time Lee didn't break a string! Following closely on their heels was Demob who were absolutely superb. We've seen them a couple of times but they were so much better here with the usual tracks 'Once Punk always Punk', 'No Room', 'Anti-Police', 'Riot Squad' and 'No Fun'. It was then only a brief break before The Outcasts took to the stage. Again they were superb, probably better than we've seen them before, and they covered the obligatory 'Teenage Rebel' and 'Self Conscious Over you' to cheers from the crowd. Finally G.B.H were on, and they really took the place by storm, the crowd were really hyped up for this. GBH crashed their way through their set, but unfortunately it was somewhat cut short by the security deciding time should be called and turned all the lights on. Still, it was a superb day and gave us some drinking time before turning in to prepare for day 2. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Defects - 14.6.14 BBA Taking Control, Bangor, NI We were up and about quite early, so it was an Ulster breakfast then off for a wander and coffee. The day started quite late as the Defects film went on longer than expected. Once all done Stevie VX took the stage with his acoustic set. This kid opened last years BBA an was really very good. It was great to hear him again and he was much improved on last year. He was promptly followed by another acoustic set by the Crows with Jennie from Rebellion. Again they went down really well and were great to watch and listen too. After they were done Strength in Blunders took over. Only seen these once before supporting Charred Hearts in Swindon, as the drummer is also from Charred Hearts. They were good then but they were so much better this time having improved with age(?). Following closely on their heels were anther new band for us, although they were a reformed old band, the Ex-Producers which had young Stevie VX in, who was taking the place of his father who was originally in the band. They were superb, really liked them. Next in the line-up were Buck Eejit and then Healthy Junkies both of which I think are superb bands and they didn't fail to impress here either. The crowd had grown by this time and all bands were going down very well.
Next were Freevolt who I had seen a couple of days earlier at the Goats Toe, then XSLF who I had not seen before. They were really superb, loved the whole set which was mostly old SLF tunes and went down so well, must get to see them again some time. The Defects were on next. Now I love the Defects and this time they really stole the show, with tracks 'Hill Street', 'Revelator', 'Dance Till You Drop', 'Defective Breakdown', 'Guilty Conscience', 'Brutality', 'Metal Walls', 'Get Up Stand Up' and my favourite 'Riot Free Zone'. The crowd went nuts and Buck played to them all. Great showman and great band, can't wait to see them London in December. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: UK Subs - 14.6.14 BBA Taking Control, Bangor, NI Dirtbox Disco had to follow that, however they did .. and with style, they went down so well with everyone there. Next was TV Smith who is always very very good and this was no exception with a mixture of old Adverts tracks and his solo tracks it always makes for a brilliant set whatever he does. Paranoid Visions with Steve Ignorant, I saw these Southern Irish punks for the first time at Rebellion last year and they were Ok but nothing more. This time they were far far better and really got the crowd on their feet. Next were psychobilly outfit King Kurt who got the place rocking again. Although not Punk, it made no difference to everyone there and floor was packed throughout their set. This then set the scene for the headline act, Charlie and the UK Subs. This set the place alight and the Subs settled into their set pumping out the hits. That is until 1/2 hour in and once again the security stopped the gig halfway through 'Warhead'!! Bastards! .. that was it! The Subs were a bit pissed off to say the least .. as were the crowd.
So after Steve and I popped out for a kebab that was BBA 2014 over. It was so good though, with the Stage/Hen do then the Wedding and finally all the bands over the two days, I really couldn't have asked for better! Next year? well it looks like its gonna be back on, but in the hotel next door, so we're really looking forward to that. Next up, a bit of rest, a holiday then it's Peter & the Test Tube Babies again, at the Pipeline.

Peter & the Test Tube Babies - The Pipeline, London 12.7.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs For the second time this year we were off to see Peter & the Test Tube Babies, this time there was a really strong support line-up.
Steve and I took the train and got to Liverpool Street with plenty of time to spare, so it was a quick KFC before heading to the venue. We bumped into Gemma in KFC and she again told us that she would not be coming to Rebellion this year! a real shock as she's always there!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Maid of Ace - 12.7.14 The Pipeline, London After food we headed to the Pipeline and got ourselves settled with a beer and chat with people as they arrived. First up for the night was Waco, we had not seen them before and apparently Gemma works with the singer. They were ok, more rock than punk and there were not that many there to enjoy them anyway.
Next to take the stage were Maid of Ace we have seen them before and I was very impressed when seeing them in Penzance at the 3 Chords festival, we were not disappointed this time either! They blasted into their set and had the crowd bouncing around from the off. They rattled through their set and more and more people were coming to the front to enjoy their brand of fast raucous Punk.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Peter & the Test Tube Babies - 12.7.14 The Pipeline, London The place was now starting to fill and as it was a very hot day the Pipeline was heating up rapidly .. next on the line-up were The Fits. We had seen them a couple of years back at Rebellion and I had quite liked them then, loved all the singles they did, so was quite looking forward to seeing them again. They took to the stage with rousing numbers 'Think for Yourself', 'The Last Laugh', 'Burial', 'Nothing & Nowhere' and 'Son of a Gun' and the crowd really responded to them, Mick stripped off his top to reveal and string top, which in the now sweaty Pipeline, was probably a clever wardrobe decision. They finished their set to massive applause which they thoroughly deserved ... it was now time for a drink to rehydrate before the headline act.
Last up Peter & the Test Tube Babies, these (as I'm sure I've said before) are Steve's favourites ... so as usual he disappears into the melee and reappears right at the end ready to go home. The band were as good as we've seen them, that is, I don't think we've ever seen a bad performance and they pumped out the racks, 'Transvestite', 'Up yer Bum', 'Banned from the Pubs' , 'The Jinx', 'Run Like Hell', 'Moped Lads' and 'Maniac'. The crowd went mad, with everyone throwing themselves at the band as is usual for this lot! It was getting like a furnace now people were heading for a big fan at the back to cool down .. then back into the mosh again.
All in all it was another superb evening with 4 bands who were all worth seeing. Next stop for me is Choking Susan in Canterbury .. then it's that Rebellion thing all over again .. Can't wait!!!!

Choking Susan - The Lady Luck, Canterbury 5.8.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs I managed to take time out for a quick dash to Canterbury for Choking Susan.
It was just me on my own this time as Steve was busy. It was the annual pre-Rebellion warm-up at the Lady Luck and this year had another fine line-up. I arrived in plenty of time and met up with a few friends for drinks and chat before the proceedings got under way. First up for the night were a band from Brighton called Crisis Warning. I had not seen these guys before and I was impressed. However, the lead singers voice was not powerful enough so her vocals were drowned by the rest of the band. In addition to this the guitarists Dad was taking photos through the whole set and tended to get in the way of those wanting to watch. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Healthy Junkies - 5.8.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury That said, the band were fine and a pleasure to watch, they are also due to play Rebellion in a couple of days time, so maybe I'll get to see them again.
After a brief break the Healthy Junkies took to the stage. They had another change as Dave has left so a new bassist was in the line-up. The Healthy Junkies are always good and it was good to see them again. The rocked their way through their set with tracks like 'Spoilt Brat', 'Danny Trash', 'Manifesto', 'Never Want it Again', 'Witches of Lust' and 'Resistance', the crowd loved them! It was nice to have a chat with Phil and Nina afterwards too. So, I'll be seeing them in a few days at Rebellion, and then again at the 3 Chords in Cornwall ...
There was a bit of a break before the headline act so there was time for another chin-wag with John about him coming along to Rebellion with the Anthrax boys and about the demise of GigglePics (A real shame!).
Choking Susan - 5.8.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury The Lady Luck was now packed and finally Choking Susan took to the stage to a resounding cheer from the crowd. Choking Susan also did last years Rebellion warm-up here and were superb, Colleen made sure it was every bit as good this time too!!. They had the place heaving within minutes with tracks like 'Baby Doll', 'Plain Jane', 'Be Your Everything', 'Round & Round', 'Punker', 'I Wanna be Your Dog', 'Waste My Time', 'Cuntopia' and 'Wendy O'.
What a superb night!! Three excellent bands and a very happy crowd. Was great to have a chat with Colleen after and get my CD signed by her (as did John!) ... so, a couple of days and Steve and I do the Rebellion Festival all over again .. 4 days of bands and beer, can't wait!!!!

Rebellion Festival - Winter Gardens, Blackpool 7-10.8.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Rebellion 2014! What more can be said ... 4 days of Beer, Bands and more Beer .. with a load of stodgy food thrown into the mix!
We set off as usual weighed down with beer for the journey and some rags to read on the train, however there was an addition to our duo this time .. Little Daz! This was a cardboard cutout photo image of Daz from The Commited, who could not make Rebellion this year, so we made everyone get their photo taken with Little Daz, it was a hoot for us .. not so for Daz!. Anyway, we made it to our usual guest house, unloaded our gear and headed for the pub! A few beers then a bit to eat of the front, then it was back to the pub for more beer via the Winter Gardens so Steve could get his wristband ready for the next day. There were some bands playing above the pub as usual, but as it was my 'No Camera' evening I had a few pints and really can't remember much after that!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Rebellion Festival : 7-10.8.14 Winter Gardens, Blackpool DAY ONE: Up early .. uurrgh! Breakfast was still very good! I do like this Guest House. Then it was time to lounge about for a bit before we headed to the Winder Gardens and I was able to get my photo pass and wristband. This year it seems another wristband is needed each day for the Empress Ballroom ..
The Thursday is normally the quieter of the days but it seems this year there were bands than ever on the line-up, starting with Skizophrenic, Angry Itch, Indecent Assault, Cretin 77, Infa Riot, The Selecter, The Dickies and the wonderful Strength in Blunders There were so many great bands on Day 1, however there were two bands I had never seen before which really blew me away, these being The Klingonz and, more importantly, Demented are Go.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Rebellion Festival : 7-10.8.14 Winter Gardens, Blackpool DAY TWO: After breakfast it was a coffee, then beer before heading into the Winter Gardens for the second day. Again it was to be a great day with Hazard, Dysphonia, Glitter Trash, Demob, In Evil Hour (One of my really fave bands), Reagan Youth, The Fits. Some really excellent headliners too, with Slaughter & the Dogs, Stiff Little Fingers, Anti Pasti and The Skeletal Family.
We were halfway through at this point, I hadn't started flagging yet and we still had so much more to see yet, a great lineup for the next two days.
DAY THREE: Saturday arrived and brought with it such an excellent line-up. Dogtown Rebels, Menace, A-Heads, Loaded 44 and English Dogs. There were also some bands I had finally got to photo for the first time, like Killing Joke, John Otway, The Crunch (With Members from Sham 69, Cockney Rejects and an Ex-Clash drummer), Cadaver Club and Cult Maniax. As usual, Steve and I wandered out after all the bands were done and found some nice greasy food to eat before heading back to the room for a well earned rest!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Rebellion Festival : 7-10.8.14 Winter Gardens, Blackpool DAY FOUR: It was quite sad to wake and realise it was the last day ... so far Rebellion had really lived up to expectations and Sunday did not disappoint, with the likes of 16 Guns, Maid of Ace and System of Hate to kick the day off in splendid fashion!! These were followed by Blatoidea, Old Firm Casuals, Chaos UK, Leftover Crack, Reagan Youth and The Cundeez and then finishing up with Mad Sin and Resistance 77.
Steve and I briefly took in the aftershow event, had a few beers then all that was left was to grab a last doner meat & chips, before fighting a very windy night back to the guest house.
Well, another superb Rebellion completed, lots of good shots taken and seen so many bands. Highlights of 2014? I suppose it had to be the bands I had never seen before, Killing Joke, Cadaver Club, Klingonz and Demented are Go. I addition I saw some old favourites who still blew me away, 16 Guns, System of Hate and of course In Evil Hour.
Next up is the 3 Chords Festival, so I have two weeks to sort myself out before I'm off to Cornwall!

3 Chords Festival, Penzance, Cornwall 23-24.8.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Having only just recovered from Rebellion it was a dash to Cornwall for the second year of the 3 Chords Festival.
This year Melinda and Amelia were travelling down with me and they would spend some time with family while I was at 3 Chords .... although Melinda was interested in popping along to see TV Smith!
I got a lift to Penzance which meant I could sample the delights of Betty Stoggs and Ginger Tosser! .. which went down very well thankyou! First thing was to catch up with Pete, Tina, Chris and the rest I met last year, that was great as they are such friendly bunch. Then I met up with Andy Bimpson who had come down for the weekend, we had a beer and caught up with all the news. Finally it was time for the festivities to begin. It all kicked off with Hazard who I had not long seen at Rebellion. As with Potential Victims last year, they sounded much better here! The cracked on through their set, not a lot of people around to see them, but those that did seemed well impressed. Next up was an acoustic act, Paul Carter, who was similar to Andy T last year but with a guitar. Not really my cup of tea I'm afraid, but he seemed to go down very well with the crowd.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Potential Victims - 23.8.14 - 3 Chords Festival 2014, Penzance, Cornwall Following closely on his heels were one of last years bands, Dischord They were great last year and seemed to build on that for this year! They were superb and had a lot of following in the crowd, especially when the lead singer jumped off stage and joined them! They had a new CD out this year, so that now sits nicely in my collection! A couple more beers, bit of a chat with Chris and Andy, then I was ready for the next band. Thee Overdose were next up on stage. Ratzoz is with this band this year, last year he was with Crackshot, who called it a day recently. Thee Overdose were really really good, thoroughly enjoyed them as did the crowd that was starting to swell nicely. Next up were Crooked Little Sons from Exeter, apparently they broke down a few times on the way but finally made it, followed closely by Cold Revolt a Cornish band playing a fusion of Punk/Ska/Hardcore. The crowd was now growing and ready for the London based, all-girl band Gasoline Thrill. They were excellent but still not up to the level of the likes of Maid of Ace and the Ramonas.
There was time for another pint and a catch-up before two of last years favourites hot the stage ... Molly Bloom and Potential Victims, both these Northern based bands were excellent last year, this year they just below the crowd away! The crowd responded and the tent just rocked! It's a shame to think they will not be there next year, but they have done two years. We ere now into the last few bands. Next up .. Demob were on, Andy paced around the stage like a caged lion while they blasted out their set, which included the obligatory 'Anti-Police', 'Once Punk Always Punk' and 'No Room for You'. At this point Melinda & Amelia turned up in time to see an blinding set from TV Smith, he is, of course a West Country boy himself so the track 'The Day we Caught the Big Fish' had a lot of meaning for a number of those Cornish folk in the crowd. The cheer at the end for this most unassuming of artists, was immense. Was nice to chat before and after with him, and I think Melinda quite enjoyed it too!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Lagan - 24.8.14 - 3 Chords Festival 2014, Penzance, Cornwall The day was rounded off with the Subhumans. The tent was now packed and as the Subhumans kicked off so did the crowd, they bounced, rocked and sang their way through the set, with a few crowd surfers being propelled over the barrier. Even Melinda enjoyed them! which, knowing her music taste, was really surprising! So that was it for day 1, we made our way home to a nice warm bed, then prepare to do it all again.
Sunday kicked off with Forgotten Karma, a group of kids who came to last years 3 Chords Festival and were so impressed they formed a band! They were very good, but not many people around to see them! Shame. B-Movie Britz from Corby were next up and were very good, however there was not much of an audience for them. Unfortunately Nine Bullets were unable to make the journey to Cornwall, so Hazard kindly stepped in and did a second set of the weekend. This time a few more popped down to see them having heard how good they were on day 1. following closely on their heels was West Midlands outfit Brassick. They were pumped up and really set the stage alight, so those that had finally made it out of their tents were treated to quite a show.
Now was the time for more beer and a chat with Andy and Chris before Run from Robots came on. Not sure about this 3-piece from the South West, they made a lot of noise but I can't really work out if i liked them or not ... anyway, they went down well with the crowd and that was the main thing. Next up were an old favourite from last year, Pirate Copy, they really set the place alight with their pirate punk. The whole place was rocking and the tent had filled nicely. A superb band! After haviong the tent nicely wearmed up, the Healthy Junkies took to the stage. It's always nice to chat with Phil and Nina, especially having just seen them at BBA, The Lady Luck, Rebellion and now 3 Chords all in the space of a few months. As usual they went down really well, a very popular band and I happened to see them after doing a lot of CD signing. Now, the next band I had never heard of before, they were The Lagan, a celtic punk band. Not really my thing, but bloody hell .. they blew me away! I bought their CD after and now cannot stop playing it! These guys were superb! .. absolutely superb, the whole crowd was dancing away to each track.
Following on their heels were The Surgeons, Penzance based and part of the promotion team for 3 Chords. As you can imagine they went down a storm and they are a superb tight unit, having been together since the late 70's. Unfortunately this will be their last year as they are hanging up their guitars and going into retirement, so I wish them all the best.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: UK Subs - 24.8.14 - 3 Chords Festival 2014, Penzance, Cornwall Roughneck Riot were up next. I had seen them a few years ago at Rebellion and liked them, they were also due to appear last year but pulled out, so this year they got to pound the stage with their folk punk mix. They went down a storm with the crowd as they danced and bounced their way around the tent.
Now we were down to the last two bands of the weekend. Melinda and Amelia had enjoyed themselves so much the day before that they turned up again just in time for G.B.H. to take to the stage. GBH were, as usual, superb, even getting loads of the kids up on stage with them during the set. They blasted their way though their set and the crowd loved every minute of it.
Last up were the UK Subs and what a set! The weather had deteriorated all afternoon but this did not dampen anyone's spirits! The tent was packed and the Subs played to a ready and willing audience. All the hits were trotted out, with the likes of Teenage and Warhead becoming almost a sing-along. As with GBH, Charlie got a load of the kids on stage with him and introduced them as the next generation of Punk. Amelia borrowed my camera and disappeared into the pit to take photos of Charlie and the UK Subs .. a very proud Dad I was that night. She was very happy to get her photo beside Jamie Oliver from the Subs too ...
So that was that ... another 3 Chords Festival over, and as I wrote this, 2015 is already being planned!! Excellent! This has to be one of the best festivals outside of Rebellion! Keep it up guys.

The Warriors - The Lady Luck, Canterbury, Kent 5.9.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs It was Konrad & Annies wedding plus my birthday, so it was off to Canterbury for an evening of mayhem!
I met up with Steve at the gig as he had come straight from work, so it was a quick beer and a catch-up with the usual crowd. The Lady Luck was already very busy as the wedding crowd had descended on the place earlier, now it was the turn of the Punk crowd to add to the festivities. First up for the evening was Russ Crimewave. Russ has not been going long as a solo acoustic artist, but has really becomes popular, and not surprising as he improves so much each time we see him. Still full of anger he manages to pack the pub during his set with rapturous applause from the crowd. The set was concluded with a duet with Kay from Decadent Few/PCF which really went down well. Russ and Kay now have a CD out under the name DeKaDance.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Halfwits - 5.9.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury Following on were The Halfwits. These guys are always fun to see, this was exception, they bounced around with Tadhg leaping into the crowd at every opportunity. Even Konrad was more animated this time, probably because it was his wedding day as well. The Halfwits rattled their way through their set to more applause from the crowd, the place was getting very packed at this point, but everyone was enjoying themselves. After a short break All Flags Burn took the helm for their set. I've seen these guys before and although I like them, I can't say they inspire me much. As their set went on more and more people disappeared either outside or off to the back, which was a shame as they ended up playing to only a handful of people on the floor. But, that said, they still went for it and blasted out their tracks for all to hear.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Warriors - 5.9.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury Last up for the evening were our old favourites, The Warriors. The place was now packed and as usual they were on top form with tracks 'Bankrupt Britain', 'Bank Holidays', 'Never Forgive, Never Forget', 'Woman Beater', 'Dead to Me', 'Violence in our Mind', 'King of the Jungle', 'Horror Show', 'S.N.A.F.U' and '8 a Week'. Saxby kept holding up a banner to celebrate Konrad & Annies wedding or a blow-up doll that had been brought along. Little Daz also made an appearance and was left to hang on one of the light fittings .. best place for him really!
So, that was that, another super evening at the Lady Luck with a host of cracking Kent punk bands ... next up should be 999 with the 4130's and Red Flag 77 at the Pipeline in London.

999 - The Pipeline, London 4.10.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs No Steve this time due to his wife not being at all well (glad you've made a full recovery now Carol!), so it was just me on my lonesome for this gig
I went into town early and met up with my son, Tom. Had a few beers a chat and took him for a bite to eat before seeing him off back to Kingston. That still left me some time to wander round before the Pipeline opened for evening. Once there I was able to grab me a beer and then have a chat with the promoter, Gemma.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Red Flag 77 - 4.10.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury Kicking the evening off were The 4130's who I had seen recently at Rebellion. These guys were really excellent and just as good as they were in Blackpool, they had brought quite a following from their home town of Ipswich too! The crowd were really up for them as they worked through their set with their loyal following bouncing away at the front. This is a really good band and hopefully I'll be seeing more of them in the future.
Second up were a new band for me, Red Flag 77, again hailing from Ipswich. These guys were even better and made me realise what I was missing having not seen them before. They powered their way through their set to the obvious delight of the crowd, especially the large contingent that had travelled down from Ipswich to see them. As with the previous band the crowd were in full fling at the front and the went mad for each of the tracks that Red Flag 77 pumped out. These guys were superb! Would definitely see them again without any hesitation.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: 999 - 4.10.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury A quick break for a beer and a bit of a chat with Tom (16 Guns) and Gina, who I had apparently barged past earlier without even recognising them! There ya go, I get so absorbed in my photography all else is just a blur!.
Finally 999 came on ... I love these guys, they have produced some of the best Punk anthems to date and listening to them takes me right back to the late 70's. As usual Nick Cash threw myself into his frontman role with tracks 'Feelin' Alright With the Crew', 'Homicide', 'Nasty Nasty', 'I'm Alive', 'Trouble' and 'Emergency'. They were superb! but then I don;t think I've seen a bad performance by then yet! 999 are one of those bands you can rely on to deliver the goods and the crowd loved it, with it becoming packed at the front.
Well, all in all a great evening was had, missed having my wingman, Steve, there too, but I think we'll be back together for the next gig in Canterbury, which is a 50th celebration with some cracking Kent bands.

Anthrax UK - The Lady Luck, Canterbury 10.10.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs It was John Griffith's 50th, and he had set up 3 brilliant bands to play at the Lady Luck, so it would be rude not go, wouldn't it?
It was a Friday night gig, so I popped over to Canterbury after work and met Steve who had come straight down from London. It was already starting to fill with people, so we had a chance to catch up with old friends for a chat and beer before the evenings festivities began. First up for the night were Surgery Without Research, these guys just get better and better, they belted out their their set, with Andy's usual angry vocals adding to the melee. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Surgery Without Research - 10.10.14 The Lady Luck, CanterburyThey covered 'Police are Liars', 'Spit Mask', 'Religious Bullshit', 'Cuts', 'We Pay the Price', 'Power Unpower', 'Paedophile Scum' and the superb 'Woman Beater' and 'We are the Punks'. It was so good when Russ popped back on bass to join them for one song too, just like the old days! Surgery went down a storm. The crowd loved them, it still amazes me how a band like this is always so far down the line-up, I do understand that there were two other superb bands to come, but still ..... Having to follow on from that performance were The Commited, another band that always delivers the goods and as with Surgery, they didn't disappoint at all. Daz launched himself into in the set, twisting and bobbing around the stage, it would be superb to see these guys on a larger stage rather than a small pub, i really think they would light the place up. They covered 'Lazy Hacks', 'Depression', 'Cloggies Lament', 'Wake Up! Get Up! Play Up!', 'Whose War?', 'Big Pharma', 'Law and Order', 'Got it all Wrong', 'Terrorists' and 'Jacket'. before finally waving their goodbyes. They even had time to present John with a birthday gift during the set! They are definitely a crowd pleaser as the place was heaving now and everybody was getting themselves ready for the headline band.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Anthrax - 10.10.14 The Lady Luck, Canterbury Headlining for the evening were Anthrax. It was an evening of superb bands none of whom disappointed, but Anthrax really were the icing on the cake. I love this band and in recent years they have matured into a really superb punk band which has culminated recently in the release of the 'All for the Cause' album. This has to now be one of my all-time favourite albums, it;s just packed with superb songs and I've yet to tire of any of them. They blasted their way through a packed set with 'Sleeping Dogs', 'Capitalism is Cannibalism', 'One Last Drop', 'Happy', 'Hunger Pains', 'Abracadabra', 'Got it all Wrong', 'Ska', 'All the Wars', 'Another', 'Monochrome', 'Grin' and the new single 'The Beg Society'. The place was rocking ... no room to just stand and watch, the crowd was heaving around the floor before the band and even joining in on the vocals. Anthrax were, as we expected, superb! Not a lot more to add to that really. Everyone enjoyed them as they had the other bands too.
An excellent evening with excellent (Local) bands, you couldn't ask for more! Was so good to be at John's 50th and help him celebrate, Happy Birthday fella! Steve and I finally made our way home, via the Kebab shop .. of course!

Nancy's Place - The Quarterhouse, Folkestone 25.10.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Now this was a really weird one... not even sure why I'm attending, except that the lead singer of Surgery is in the headline band.
I headed down to Folkestone with trepidation as I really had no idea what to expect from the bands I was about to see ... I had already been warned by Andy that it was nothing like I was used to. After parking up behind the venue I popped in, paid my ticket and was ushered into a large auditorium with very dim lighting and guy playing a guitar on the stage .. well playing was not quite the description, there was a background drone and to this he stroked the guitar for a round 15 mins. Yep Andy was right! That over, I grabbed a beer before a light came on in the corner of the hall illuminating a small stage. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Warrior Squares - 25.10.14 The Quarterhouse, Folkestone On this stage was an aging hippy with a coiled length pipe and a funnel on the end. He proceeded to blow into this and a pickup on the end translated that into an electric whine! In the meantime his female band member sat on the floor in front on the stage in a one-piece white outfit and proceeded to rub boot polish all over herself for the whole set .. right, now I was getting worried, especially when people clapped and cheered at the end!
Following this we a real band Ham Legion from Brighton started up on the main stage. They were almost worth listening to but still far off what interests me. After they were done D Jonathan Jones appeared on the balcony to recite some angry poetry, at least things seemed to be looking up a bit now. That was short-lived as the next act was Idiot Drone Farm which was two guys lying on the floor playing with switched to make .. yes you've guessed it .. a droning sound! Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Nancy's Place - 25.10.14 The Quarterhouse, Folkestone By now I was ready to slit my wrists, but held off in case the next band were mildly better. As it turned out Warrior Squares weren't they were more of the same droning sound. I was now close to calling it a day and getting out .. but then Flange Zoo appeared on the small stage .. they were so bad I was mesmerised. One was in a Egyptian Isis outfit playing a didgeridoo, another was in a Chinese Dragon mask playing his I Pod and the main character was in a Tiger mask playing a small vuvuzela!! The noise they made was appalling and they kept saying they were from another planet and had been watching us .. bloody hell!.
Finally Nancy's Place took to the stage. Again they were just was weird, but as it was a friends band I was more prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. They played to a backing track with two drummers and the two guitarists kept their backs to the crowd the whole time. Andy and the other lead then appeared, one pregnant in a black veil and the other in a boilersuit and balaclava with Mickey Mouse ears .. strange you may say? well just look at the photos and you'll see! It then got a little weirder when the pregnant one gave birth to a roast chicken which they then proceeded to eat! A very strange evening and one I will probably not repeat in the near future. That said, it did give me peek into a world of music I had no knowledge of prior to my visit.

Sham 69 - The O2 Islington, London 21.11.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Having missed the last 3 gigs due to ill health finally It was off to the O2 Islington for a superb line-up.
I was still feeling very ropey and coughing fit to bust, however I needed to get out and get back to a gig, so with the promise of a photo pass and a chance to meet back up with Steve I boarded the train for London. I got to the Angel pub in plenty of time and met up with Steve. After a catch up we headed round the corner to the O2 where I was able to pick up my pass. Once in it was a quick beer and a catch up with friends before the evening kicked off. Nice surprise was that there was no limit on pit time and I was allowed to use flash if I so wished .. how nice!.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Angelic Upstarts - 21.11.14 The O2 Islington, London The evening kicked off with Crashed Out a North-Eastern band classing themselves as 'Street Rock 'n Roll'. I last saw these guys a while back supporting the Upstarts at the Pipeline and they were really good then. This time on a larger stage they were superb! pounding their way through 'Murder On Sunset-Strip', 'The Jarrow Song', 'I'm The Outcast', 'Fat Punks Don't Pogo', 'Fast 'N' Loose', 'Battle Scarred', 'Raise 'Ya' Glasses' and 'Cushy Butterfly'. The place was filling nicely and the crowd had really warmed to them. They finished up with the guitarist being paraded around the stage on shoulders of the singer .. it was all great stuff.
There was just enough time for a quick chat before the Angelic Upstarts took to the stage. Mensi, ever the showman, took over the stage as usual, stomping around to likes of 'Police Oppression', 'Teenage Warning', 'Machine Gun Kelly', 'I'm an Upstart', 'Last Night Another Soldier', 'Woman in Disguise', a wonderful version of The Clash's 'White Riot' and finished off with 'The Murder of Liddle Towers'. All in all it was a superb set with so many of the old tracks, and for me, it was probably the best I've heard them.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Sham 69 - 21.11.14 The O2 Islington, London It was then time for another beer while the set was changed ready for the headline act. Finally to great applause Sham 69 took to the stage with Jimmy Pursey pouting and posturing out front. It was like an early gig all over again as Sham went through their paces with tracks 'Angels with Dirty Faces', 'Ulster Boy', 'Questions and Answers', 'George Davis is Innocent', 'If the Kids are United', 'Hersham Boys', 'Tell us the Truth', 'That's Life', their take on The Clash's 'White Riot' and ended with 'Hurry Up Harry'.
Sham 69 were superb, with Jimmy Pursey making the stage his own and playing to the crowd, allowing them to join in on all the well known tunes. The crowd lapped it up, bouncing away to all the tracks and getting more frenzied as the evening wore on. It was good to see that, with the exception of the drummer, Sham 69 are still the original line-up.
Well, that's me back on the circuit now, next stop ... Ramsgate for Russ's 50th.

Mourning Birds / Skaciety - Earls, Maidstone, Kent 4.12.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs A last minute gig at Earls down in Maidstone, it certainly made for a nice evening out.
This was another unplanned gig. Steve and I fancied seeing Skaciety as we had seen them at Rebellion and also they were a local Kent band. We met up in Earls and had a catch up and a quick beer before the festivities began.
First up were another local band Gimme Some Sugar, we had not seen or even heard of these guys before and so were intrigued as to what they were like. As it turned out they seemed a cross between Indie and Punk and so were not too bad to watch. They made a pleasant sound and had brought along their own followers who clapped and cheered each track.
They did a very good set and seemed to please everyone and they got a resounding cheer at the end .
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Skaciety - 4.12.14 Earls, Maidstone, Kent Next up were Skaciety , these were the guys we had come to see. They are a local bunch and managed to get a slot this year at Rebellion and went down so well with their blend of Punk/Ska. They kicked off their set and you could immediately see how good they were. They seemed at home on stage and grew in confidence with each track they pumped out. As this was a wet Thursday in Maidstone, punters were pretty thin on the ground and there were only a few of us to cheer and clap after each track, but that didn't phase them at all and they continued as if playing to a packed venue By the end both Steve and myself were very impressed, especially as some members are still school age.
Last up were another band we had not see or heard of before, Mourning Birds. They seemed to take an age to get prepared and then, I thought, they were doing a sound check, but apparently they had started! Now, they were not the worst band I'd seen before but they were nowhere near the better ones either. They were average, but also I was not keen on the music style either. We stayed around for the first couple of tracks and for me to get some photos, then it was a quick exit out the back door. All in all it was a fun evening and was so good to catch Skaciety again. Next up is Russ's 50th on Saturday with TV Smith!! Can't wait.

TV Smith - The Red Lion, Ramsgate, Kent 6.12.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Russ was having his 50th at the Red Lion in Ramsgate, he's also invited TV Smith!! Would have been rude not to attend.
This night turned out to be far busier than I had anticipated!! Stared off with me driving to Ashford to pick up Daz, then it was a dash down to Canterbury to pick up some flyers for Davee Wild's memorial gig (in February ... look out for that one), so that they could passed on to others at Russ's do. That done it was a 'follow the sat-nav' journey to Ramsgate and the Red Lion pub! This was a first time in Ramsgate for me, not that much of the town was seen as it was dark. We got to park just outside the pub which was quite a relief.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Ted DiBiase & the Million Dollar Punk Band - 6.12.14 The Red Lion, Ramsgate, Kent When we got into he pub, we were a but late and so had missed the start of the Sex Pistolz set. They seemed a really good band! They only did Pistols covers (as per the name really) but did them really well and were quite fun to watch. Steve arrived a bit later as he had traveled down from footy in North London an, like us managed to get lost in Ramsgate trying to find the pub!
Next on the bill were Ted Dibiase and the Million Dollar Punk Band. We've seen these guys so many times now and they never fail to impress, and this time was no exception. Their reception was huge cheers and this followed each track. We still had the usual plastic bags of talc thrown into the crowd crowd left an almost a Xingtai Smog in the air, albeit a perfumed one! At one point Lee returned to the stage wearing a balaclava with a swag bag, out of which he pulled (fake) money and threw this into the crowd. A superb time was had by all, Ted DiBiase are a great band, both musically and visually and the crowd really responded to them on the night.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: TV Smith - 6.12.14 The Red Lion, Ramsgate, Kent Last up was everyones favourite, TV Smith. This guy has been going for over 35 years now and still shows no sign of slowing down. From the days of the Adverts right up to present day he seems to convert everyone he meets into a fan with his unassuming and friendly character .. who could possibly not like him? His music is still angry and he still rebels, but you just can't help thinking.. what nice guy!. As usual he mixed his Adverts tracks with those he has done since so we had 'Coming in to Land', 'On Wheels', 'I Delete', 'The Lord's Prayer', 'No Time to be 21', 'Tomahawk Cruise', 'The Good Times are Back', 'Christmas Bloody Christmas', 'Immortal Rich', ''Gary Gilmore's Eyes' and 'One Chord Wonders'. After each track the pub cheered loud enough to bring the roof in .. and TV Smith just smiles and looks surprise at the response! He is a much-loved character on the Punk scene and is guaranteed to bring in a crowd.
We stayed around long enough to get some merch (a signed TV Smith 7" ... fantastic!), have a bit of a chat then it was time to head off and drop Daz off before heading him.

Outcasts / Defects - The 100 Club, Oxford St, London 12.12.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs This was always going to be a big affair, with bands from Northern Ireland all flying in for a pre-Christmas bash, it was sold out well before the night.
I arrived way too early and met up with Georgina in a pub nearby then it on to the venue to start setting up. In the 100 Club it was amazing just to walk around and look at the photos just to see the history this place has! Steven Donnelly was the first to arrive, then it was a steady flow of bands dumping their kit. Stevie VX was up for his soundcheck first, followed by The Defects and finally The Outcasts. I still can't get over the fact that I'm standing there listening to and photographing bands like the Outcasts and the Defects that were my heroes back in the 70's/80's, it's a great feeling. The place was starting to fill, Steve had just returned from the pub and first up for the evening were A-M-I from Brighton. We had seen these kids supporting UK Subs for Charlie Harper's 70th and they were good then! Again they were very good and th crowd warmed to them immediately. They really are a bunch of kids, with a 12 year old drummer, the others are still school age too. They worked their way through 'Billy No Mates', 'Worm', Sin City Living', 'Attention Seeking Missile', 'The Beach', 'Song for Pinky' and 'Implode' in a set that got the crowd toe-tapping at the front!
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Defects - 12.12.14 The 100 Club, Oxford St, London Second up was the first of the Northern Ireland boys, Stevie VX. He launched into his acoustic set with all the anger and energy he could muster for his London debut. I've seen Stevie VX three times now and always admired his determination and guts, having opened the BBA festival twice and now in the depths of the 100 Club .. and he's never been phased in the slightest! He worked through 'Dirty Pretty Things', 'Tommy', 'Back in Time', 'Daydreamer', 'Run Rudolph Run (an old Yobs track)', Time to be Proud', although my high point was when Buttz Yoddles (ex-glam band member of The Babysitters) got up on stage and did 'Rock 'n' Roll Chicken' with him. Stevie went down so well and with great applause at the end of each track.
Following that were XSLF the other original half of Stiff Little Fingers. These guys are superb and this appearance was no exception as they rattled through old SLF tracks like 'Suspect Device', 'Alternative Ulster', 'Nobody's Hero', 'At the Edge', 'Johnny Was' and 'Barbed Wire Love'. They were superb and the crowd went wild listening to their old favourites. Was so good to see these guys getting the recognition they deserve, it seems to be the Jake Burns outfit that gets the attention, well these guys are just as good .. or maybe even just a little better?
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Outcasts - 12.12.14 The 100 Club, Oxford St, London The Defects were the next to take to the stage. Now, these guys are currently one of my favourite bands, not only do they write some superb songs but they are one of the nicest groups of guys to know! They took to the stage to great applause and proceeded to blast their way through 'Hill Street', 'Get Up Stand Up', 'Metal Walls', 'Revelator', 'Dance Till You Drop, 'Guilty Conscience', 'Dance Till You Drop', 'Brutality' and my all-time favourite 'Riot Free Zone'. Their set was superb and faultless, i did enjoy being dragged on stage so Buck could get the crowd to flip the finger at me for a photo!.
Headlining were The Outcasts, another superb band who just blew the crowd away with 'Self Conscious Over You', 'Mania', 'Just Another Teenage Rebel', 'Cops are Coming', 'Gangland Warfare', 'Love You for Never', 'The Pressure's On' and 'You're a Disease'. The place was jumping now, all well lubricated and just enjoying the whole gig, the crowd were making the most of it.
This was a superb gig, probably the best this year, it was sold out and packed, but everyone was there to just have fun and enjoy the music, a really great night. Steve was rather worse for wear when we left but he managed to wobble his way down Oxford Street tot he tube ... however he had recovered enough for a kebab later! Next gig .. well it's back to the 100 Club for The Last Resort and Infa Riot.

The Last Resort - The 100 Club, Oxford St, London 19.12.14

Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs The last gig of the year was set to be a blinder! The Last Resort and Infa Riot together was bound to be a winner.
I arrived quite early and would meet Steve later as he was working. I popped into the venue and had some time to chat with some of the bands before taking some shots while they did their soundchecks. After a while people began to drift in and I was joined by Steve and Dave. We had a catch up and a beer before the festivities kicked off.
First on stage were Hazard. I had seen them at Rebellion and 3 Chords festivals and was really looking forward to seeing them again tonight. I was not disappointed as they plunged straight into their set with tracks 'Redeploy', 'Oh No, Not Again', 'Don't Belong', 'Paint', 'Freedom Fighters', 'Machine' and an old Professionals number 'Join the Professionals'. The crowd had grown already and they really warmed to the band, which was so good as it was first time playing the 100 Club.
Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: Infa Riot - 19.12.14 The 100 Club, Oxford St, London Next to the stage were The Pukes, with 12 members attending armed with Ukuleles and their usual huge following they provided a fun take on old Punk tracks. We were treated to renditions of 'White Riot', 'GLC', 'Will I Learn', 'Kids Are United', 'Fight Song', 'Holiday In Cambodia', 'Banned from the Pubs', 'Because You're Young' and 'So What'. As is usual each time I've seen them, they went down an absolute storm, really warming up the crowd, who loved each and every track they put out. It was quite a shame to see them end, but this was only short lived as the next two bands are high on my favourites list
Next up .. Infa Riot, I've seen them a few times and always loved them and tonight they were really on form. Lee was his snarling best with tracks like 'Still Out of Order', 'Power to the People', 'Riot Riot', 'Each Dawn I Die', 'Kids of the 80's', 'The Winner' and 'In for a Riot'. By now the place was packed and the crowd was really getting into the bands, the guys in the pit were bouncing all over the place, crashing into the stage and generally enjoying themselves to Infa Riot. Ghirardi Music, News and Gigs: The Last Resort - 19.12.14 The 100 Club, Oxford St, London Last up were The Last Resort. Our local Kent boys took the stage by storm! Roi was belting out the numbers and the crowd were getting very messy with a heaving mass at the front and plastic pints of lager being thrown into the melee, all good clean fun, just need to remember to cover the camera!. They did 'Rebel With a Cause', 'ACAB', 'Working Class Kids', 'Never Get A Job', 'We Are Invincible', 'King of the Jungle', 'Maggie's Boys', 'War Widow' and 'Violence in Our Minds', they were superb! Really enjoyed their set and so did the rest of the crowd. As Lars was there we were hoping he would join in but it didn't happen. But that didn't matter it was still a really fantastic night and what a way to end a truly amazing year of gigs.
So that was that! All done for 2014 and we are now looking forward to what 2015 will bring ... more gigs I hope!