ANARCHY ON THE RADIO. LEATHERFACE.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS.
DERBY PUNX PICNIC.
MORE REVIEWS BACK TO THE SQUAT
THE PARADISO CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Amsterdam, Paradiso June 5th 2,000.
Rotterdam, Baroeg June 6th 2000.
It's a funny old world...despite having known, drank and lived in the same town as Leatherface, even been in other bands with various members from time to time, I've NEVER seen 'em live before...my loss. Tonight they're playing The Paradiso in Amsterdam, going on stage straight after a DJ!!! Nonplussed by this peculiar arrangement (well, it IS Amsterdam!), they launch into an absolute powerhouse of a set. I was too pissed to remember what was first, but there was a good mix of old favourites, like 'I want the Moon', 'How Lonely', and of course, 'Hops N Barley', a song which Frankie bought off Wat Tyler for six quid!!! As well as the stuff from the new album Horsebox, my live favourite being 'Grip' which Lainey, the drummer sings, giving Frankie the opportunity to do his trademark "Stubbs shuffle", which always puts a smile on the faces of the punters. The set was around an hour including encores, and the only thing to slightly marr things was the jaded Amsterdam crowd.... it's that capital city mentality I reckon. What followed is now just a blur of pubs, helter skelter van rides, avoiding falling into canals, all I know is, we sort of woke up in Rotterdam with bleached hair!!
The Baroeg is a cool venue, almost entirely punk...Tuesdays in Rotterdam don't get much better than this. I can't remember the support bands name (sorry lads) but they were OK. 80's style Discharge/Exploited fayre, with a singing drummer and a SHITE cover of 'La Bamba'...stoppit, stoppit at once! Leatherface come on with a crate of beer, almost all of which gets passed around the crowd. So THAT'S how to get 'em down the front!! A slightly different set to last night, and a much more enthusiastic crowd, this was a (no understatement) FUCKING BRILLIANT GIG. The two new lads, Leighton (git) and Davo (bass) are well up for it. Leighton just at one with his guitar, and Davo laughing all the way through the gig and impersonating Frankie's dance. Best songs of the night were oldie 'USSA', 'Gang Party' from the recent split with Hot Water Music. Oh aye, and 'You are My Sunshine' wasn't bad either. By the end of the night Frankie had gone all Iggy, and was bouncing around the stage into anyone and anything, as were the well satisfied crowd. I think Leatherface finally has the line-up it's been looking for, and fuck me, it definitely shows...going home was never sadder. STEVE PYLE.
OLDER GIG REVIEWS
Radio Two 88-91mhz, Saturday June 3rd 8.0'clock.
Well, well, well, who'd have thought it aye? All those anti-social
years ago in our Autumn years we'd be listening to Radio Two?
The mystery of ageing has baffled philosophers for centuries
and I didn't want to get too waylaid in this train of thought so
without further ado I filled my trusty pipe, put on my slippers
and settled into my favourite armchair. Eight o'clock came and
Bill Hailey and his Comets broke through the atmosphere and
crash landed in my lap followed by a chirpy Cockney voice
telling us a quaint personnel history about how he used to
listen to his dads 1950's 78's when he was a child. Hang on a
minute, surely this is Joe (I'm Henry the 8th I am) Brown and his rock n roll show...but no it was Glen Matlock who for th next hour squirmingly bought us his personnel memoirs from the aforementioned 78's up to 'New Rose'. I sat there cringing as Punk cliches followed punk tit-bits and punklore! The only saving grace to Glen's radio career will be his excellent taste in music, which hit the spot with great precission, although not entirely Punk classics like The Who's 'My Generation' and the MC5's 'Ramblin Rose', must have been shockers for the Beebs Producers. We then trawled through the seedier side of the 70's with songs from Lou Reed, Roxy Music, Iggy And The Stooges, Jonathon Richman and the Ramones until we came to the Damned's 'New Rose' and to the era pundits assure us was the Golden age of British Punk Rock. Matlock has paid his dues as they say and his show is now on the threshold of greatness (musically) but can he deliver? Only time will tell. Are you up to it Glen?...P.S. I didn't miss the joke, the great irony of having a show on the BBC. the very people who banned the Pistols from their playlists all those years ago. Go on Glen shove it down their throats, the louder the better and as they say in the Black Country...."gi it sum ommer!!" Cyril O'Blivion
Glen back in '76
giving it some
Glen Matlock the sensible Sex Pistol seems a lot more sort after now than he ever was back in January '77 when he was fired from the band coz he didn't get on with Johnny Rotten. And you can see why, can't ya? He was for want of a better word... normal! No gobbing from him, no spikey hair and no foul language. He wasn't a bad bassplayer though and he co-wrote some of the bands fucking classic tunes like the brilliant 'Pretty Vacant', the only song from his former band which made it into his next band the well underrated Rich Kids.
The Usual Suspects
June 5th 2000
Hello all, this is a review of the band I went to see last night...The
Usual Suspects. The band features Steve Jones (Sex Pistols
..etc.) on guitar, and Mick Rossi (Slaughter And The Dogs)
also on guitar, and Michael De Barres (Chequered Past, T.V.
Movies etc.) on vocals. Before you ask if Steve and Mick are in
a band...don't! This is just a side band they do, playing all their
favourite cover songs. Well I showed up at the club thinking
(hoping) I would be late, so I could miss the opening act...no luck!
Another hostage situation while I waited. Finally the pseudo-
Heavy Metal act finishes and the Usual Suspects start settin up for the show. First I see Mick Rossi, and I swear to god that guy hasn't aged a bit (are you kidding? - Don't Care). Then Jonesy...what can I say, I don't think he cracked a smile in 15 years. Then Michael Des Barres enters front and center to get it goin. They start off with Slaughter And The Dogs version of 'White Light White Heat'. Fuckin' amazin man...Jonesy and Mick Rossi on stage together, the guitarists of my two favourite bands. Mick Rossi still has that amazing sound on guitar, and fuckin cool moves to match. Jonesy just stared everyone down, intimidating all that acknowledged him. Then they went on to do about 7 or 8 more songs covering the likes of Bowie, Lou Reed, Faces, etc. If you could get past how spineless and clueless the crowd was it would be amazing. It was amazing, how lucky I really feel to have witnessed such an event that so many people there didn't care or understand what exactly they were watching. They were watching our, (OUR...) heroes putting on an amazing show just for fun. Americans can be so fuckin clueless (don't I know - Don't Care) and just plain stupid. All they know is their own boring, bland musical history that has been spoon fed to us since birth. Well all in all it was a great experience, the perks of living in L.A. I guess. EMIL EDINGER
in happier times!!!
Grumpy old Steve Jones as Emil percieved him to be (at the gig to your left), is and was still responsible for some of the most side splitting acts of yobboesque behaviour in Punk Rock. He's got more 'yuma in him than a pub full of Max Splodges after hitting number one slot eons ago. Yeah Jonesy the only real SEX Pistol shagged a mentally derranged Pauline (inspiration behind the classic 'Bodies') round the back of the old Marquee in '77. And anyone who could shag a bird who carried an aborted feotus in her bag has gotta have a sensa yuma!!!
Belfast, Front Page, June 15th 2000.
Thursday 15th of June and the place to be wasn't
watching Euro 2000 but getting down to the Front Page
in Belfast to see the gentlemen of punx...Charlie
Harper and his UK Subs. Yes the daddy of them all had
returned to Belfast. So it wasn't hard getting a few
other 40-plus somethings rounded up for the gig! 4 in
fact. When we got there we went into the downstairs
bar to watch a bit of Sweden V Turkey, which was the
most boring game of Euro 2000, Larrson being the only
good player on the pitch (this was obviously written up
before the Holland V Italy semi-final fiasco - Don't Care). After a quick pint it was upstairs to see the gig. I'd never been at the Front Page before. So it was a huge surprise to see such a small place. The upstairs is an 'L-shaped ' room with the stage stuck around the corner from the bar. After paying £4.00 in, it was straight to the bar for more beer. It wasn't long before I ventured up to the stage where I ran into Charlie Harper who was sorting out his T-shirt stall. After a long chat (plus buying a t-shirt) it was back to the bar to watch the support band Ooops. Bloody 'ell what a band, these local boys can play! With great tunes and tons of energy it shouldn't be long till you'ved been oooped! Whatch out for Ooops, one for the future. Then it was time for the UK Subs and all the ole classics (except 'Teenage', which seemed to annoy some of the ole hands). The guys put on a super show and showed all the enthusiasm now as they did back in the late 70's. It's at times like that when I'm glad I've stayed a punk all these years (me wife thinks otherwise). Not sure how long the set lasted, but I could have listened to them all night. No-one left disappointed, that's for sure. All I can say is get the UK Subs back over as soon as possible. Fucking brilliant. Nice one Charlie keep up the good work!!! LONG LIVE PUNX...SKULL
"Get my kicks at night
Fall about when I get tight
Get my kicks in bars
Soft lights and loud guitars!"
Charlie Harper, what can you say about him? Yeah we know he's old enough to be some punks grandad but he's still actually recording the odd good record and playing some good shows. Here's a punk who still shows the kind of spirit that needs showing even if he's an old cunt!
During the height of the Subs fame when they first played Belfast back in March 1981. They were packing out places like the Kings Hall, which held a considerable amount more people than the Frontpage I bet! Well Charlie was dragged into the thousand plus crowd during the bands set and dissappeared from view for a good few minutes. Nicky Garratt pleaded with the Belfast crowd "Can we please have Charlie back...we know you've got him!"
Derby Punx Picnic
July 15th/16th, 2000.
I totally missed Friday's spot but
I heard Rotunda and
RoadRage were exceptional
(even though they're Brummies and WBA fans). I very nearly didn't make it at all as £35 was by no means enough money to get me over to Derby and back without a real drink. But by a stroke of good luck and a generous brother. I subbed £40 notes off my brother in the pub in Wolves (Cheers Danny). By 2.30 instead of slumming it around the bars of Wolverhampton I was on the train heading for the Derby slums instead. First thing I did when I got there was sort out my weekend pass from the paranoid, wheeler dealer ex-international promoter and playboy Lazza Mylifesabitch who had one of his paid up minions (Daz from Featherstone) bring me my (bright pink!!!!) wristband into the posh pub across to avoid detection (which was a strange how do you do!) Well whatever, my £6.00 entrance fee was nothing to be sniffed at as it was soldout! I head for the chipshop round the corner to get some much needed snap and who should walk in as I'm tucking into my steak and kidney pie & chips whilst discussing food etiquette with a Mohican fromScarborough, but Rob Filth singer from Throw Bricks At Coppers. The filthy one was filling me in on the punk porn sites (he he he) he's still a dirty bastard y'know. It was good to see he still gets reactions with his 20" duel pink issimo mohican spikes from the local schoolkids as they ordered their tea. I discovered the first band wasn't gonna be on for an hour. So I head down the picnic site to check out a band that's been incorporated this year. It's fucking well packed around the small stage area and some band with Tommy Copper hats on are entertaining the 200 plus crusties, punks, misfits, kids, dogs and Ketamine addicts. Which considering the assorted throng had a good party atmosphere. I stopped there for a bit talking to a few Walsall punks, before having a tour of Kaz and Moo's coach. But these picnic sites are alright for an hour or so but I yearn for a pub setting and I head back to the Vic. I was now on my way to losing my facilities, and the reason I know this is coz I got fucking lost by the hospital somewhere? After trying to retrace my steps back to the gig I finally make it.
The street outside is well packed with mutli-coloured punks from all over the shop with Finland and Spain being a popular choice plus a heavy dose from the UK. To my utter disapointment I realise I've missed M.D.M. and Throw Bricks At Coppers which was a downer. So bumping into Deek from Oi Polloi by the bar who looked as rough as any gypo from Broome Road on the Low Hill estate in Wolverhampton I try and set up an interview which may or may not happen sometime in the future (snigger). And I was told he was out for my blood!!!? I then check out Assert from nearby Telford. I'd heard a fair bit about these from various quarters and their CD is due for a review any time now, so was interested to see what they were like in a live situation. But on tonights performance the heavily tattooed singer Britt who looks like he could give Charlie Harper a good run for his money in the 'Help The Aged' stakes was fucking wrecked!!! And it didn't seem to be drugs, drink or any other mind altering substances at fault. He's no spring chicken and the drummer looks young enough to be his son especially when the the old man gives hiom a dirty look so I guessed age was the factor. I thought the metallic drum powered music they were playing was a bit too energetic for the old timer to keep up with and he looked like he was gonna keel over any minute. So after a handful of tracks they didn't quite assert their presence on this punk. They did seem a tight unit though but were pretty flawed on the entertaining stakes and a lot better on record. I was later told by Tom Treefall from Wolves who had a newly painted Anti-Flag logo on his leather that the singer was bad (ill-health) and had been spewing up all day so that accounts for the lucklustre performance I guess. Hellkrusher followed next but they don't amuse me at all. They've too much long hair and heavy metal in their act for my liking. I returned to the bar area and had a chat with M.D.M. who were looking fresh as daisy's after playing earlier. Mandy decked out in black mentioned I got a slagging in Fracture zine which didn't exactly fill me dread! (snigger). I had a bit of luck on the money front at this point coz I gave the barmaid a fiver and she gave me the change for a £20 so that was encouraging especially as the lager was typically dodgy. Met up with an old Suffragette collaborator Julian Smith and his wife Tracey. Julian kindly supplied me with a nice little
Pistols badge, cheers mate! The Bus Station Loonies were on next and these really got the crowd going with favourites...I presume like 'Rudepart The Bear' , 'Threshers' and some tracks off their recent album. I couldn't say for sure what they played but it all went down well with an enthusiastic crowd. It was amusing to see Chris Wheelchair rolling around the deck as the crowd was jumping around like loonies. The Loonies tonight were on top form and went down like bomb, definitely the best of the newer bands on show. By now the crowd had swelled with the arrival of the Subhumans on stage and with a conveniently hot sweaty crowd on tap they seized the moment. Their was lot of picnic dwellers who got locked out so it was a capacity crowd and the sweat was literally dripping off the walls, ceilings and rims of Dicks glasses!!! The mass pogoing up stage front really got going with monitors being overturned and mike stands held up by punks on danger money no doubt and me a numerous others getting our shins scrapped by the stage rim. This is what good punk rock is all about and although
the Subhumans have copped for some abuse about playing for money at the bigger events! On tonights performance you can still see why they were one of the best of the early 80's uk punk scene. It was basically a greatest hits package but as always Dick was giving it some just like he always did before he discovered Citizen Fish. I was vividly reminded of when I first seen em back in Wolves in '82 same atmosphere, same kinda crowd reaction and same kinda buzz with the audience singing along to every number, great fucking stuff!!! The Subhumans are one of those bands that can engineer their live sound to reproduce records..."Drugs Of Yoooof!!!!"
I was fucking soaked to skin after that and it was time to sort out where to kip for the night. Luckily Daz, Tom and Tidy from Wolves and half the UK and European punk community showed me the way to Sean's house. Which turned out better than the park grass and Ketamine casualties. We got treated to some punk sounds before the innevitable big (but uncomfortable) sleep on the floor. I woke up next morning to sounds of snoring, farting and big Gaynor from Brum discussing the pro's and cons of Beeerrminghum! Went to check out my watch and realised along with the zines in my pocket that all had been lost in last night's Subhuman attack on the stage. Never mind coz that was quickly put in the shade when I discovered I still had over £40 notes left in my skyrocket! Which sure as hell pointed towards another big 'sesh' on the lash! Bodies were strewn everywhere when I surveyed the wreckage and it wasn't a happy site. Cheers to Sean whoever he was for letting me kip on his floor (those fucking weights were heavy). A few of the punks took a trot down the local paper shop for some sustenance of pop, fags and crisps about 10.30. So I went and headed off to the town to get some much needed fibre intake of my own. It was a fucking long walk in the cold light of day and not wanting to get lost decided to catch a bus as it pulled into a nearby busstop that was conveniently heading for the bus station. Got to town hit McDonalds (sacriliege I know in some punk circles, but I don't fucking care I was facking starving!) Head for the picnic site to check the damage and pass some time away till the pubs opened. See Lazza again plus the kid from Mansfield who's sobered up. Seen Kaz from Walsall again who had been up all night and was telling me tales of Ketamine headers in the night. Fucking hell the place looked wrecked as Sven from Manchester was doing his Morris dancing routine. By this time it was getting on for zero hour so I hit the first pub I seen had a quick Carling then headed up to the Merry Widow next door to the Vic. Only four hours till the first band plays so secrete myself in the pub till I spot any signs of punk life. Have a few in here 'drop a brick' much to managements amusement as I had to ask for some toilet roll from behind the bar. Then I was joined by Nige co-singer from Sensa Yuma who had just woke up. Had a few pints with him discuss old gigs in Stafford and before you know it there's another load of punks outside.
Combat Shock are on the stage giving it's some. I like em as people but their music does fuck all for me I'm afraid so I watched a few songs but vacate back to the bar. Manage to pick up a copy of Pulped and Punk Shit zines which were both freebies.
Punk Shit is written by the first band to make an impact today and that was Dogshit Sandwich from Oldbury. They are 4-piece gang of young blades with Irish roots and give us a passionate in your face performance. As the lead singer stalked the crowd. I don't think he ever once set foot on the stage area something which can be good or bad depending on the situation. As your sometimes caught between watching the singer with your back to the band or vice versa, which can make you pretty dizzy especially if your on your 10th pint. I dunno what songs they done but they were pretty much an early 80's fast kinda hardcore sound. Their influences are the Exploited and G.B.H. which is evident on this showing. They certainly got the small crowd interested. Next band up were the ones I'd been waiting to see Bug Central from London. Just a pity I was too wreckd to appreciate em fully. They got a good responce but I thought maybe their kinda sound went over the audience heads a few times, who knows. I thought they played good and reminded me of '77 punk rock a lot more in a live situation than their recorded anarcho protest sound leads you to believe. Singer Noodles spits out all the good numbers in this short set with 'Sick (Again)' being a highglight. I was well pissed by now and couldn't remember a lot more or do the bands justice. But had a good weekend even though i had to fuck off and miss the last two bands and just caught the last train to Brum within a cats whisker. PETER DON'T CARE
The Vic is the only venue I've ever been to with a manhole directly in front of the stage. It takes an ex-navi to notice such things. Big giant of a bassplayer Seamus from the now deceased
Throw Bricks At Coppers got kicked out the venue for causing a ruckus. When I seen him he was sweating profusely but didn't seem to be doing any harm to no-one but himself. Jock from
G.B.H was sporting a dyed green beard and looked like Catweazel that old British wrestler. I caught the train back with Dogshit Sandwich who are a sound bunch of lads. One of em lost his mobile phone on the train only for it to turn up in fucking Worcester of all places!!! There are still honest people out there! Talking of trains I nearly fell asleep meself on the train back to Wolverhampton. But for a jolt of the breaks I could've ended up in Crewe or Gretna Green!
It was £2.00 a pint in the Merry Widow next door and £2.05 for a pint in the Vic and they both tasted fucking dire. Meanwhile in the town centre I bought a great pint of Carling for £1.85? Lazza Couger the ragga muffin self-proclaimed promoter had a pair of the cheesiest trousers on I've ever seen!! He looked like one of those ragga stars. All the the cans well most of em on the picnic site were neatly stored away in shopping trolleys!!! Neat and tidy crusties cannot be true can it? The Vic is the only venue I know that you can't tell whether a band are playing unless you go in the gig room Sound- proofing can be a fucking pain when you miss bands coz of it. Derby station doesn't have beds for weary passengers who've missed the last train but it has a drycleaners!!? The venue capacity was restricted to 150 coz the womens toilets couldn't handle the rush! No glasses were allowed outside and they were plastic! Biggest dissapointment had to be missing
MDM and Throw Bricks at Coppers. Rob Filth reckons they played one of their best sets ever pity it was the bands last gig outside London. He said there maybe a London sighting but inner turmoil might prevent that.
Highlight had to be finally catching
Bug Central live and of course The Subhumans just for sheer classic songs one after another. Strangely not one band from Derby made an appearance?
3 DAYS OF DOSSIN'!
THE 5TH HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN
The Dome, Morecambe,UK.
21st - 23rd July 2000.
Riding into Morecambe on a train full of punks, stuffing gravy 'n' chips down me neck on the seafront, booking into Fawlty Towers.... all the signs were there that this was gonna be a fine weekend. The Dome is a good venue, (yes it is an actual dome) right on the seafront, and outside on the grass are pineapple chunkers from all over the world. What I want to know is why aren't they all inside grooving to SICK ON THE BUS??? Biff and the lads are on as I walk inside, and he's giving off some serious Steve Jones vibes (maaaan!) ...a real rock god. No surprises in the set, which comprised such gems as 'Be Alone', 'Everything's Shit', 'Never Enough' and 'Punk Police'. See you in Amsterdam next month lads...during SPLODGENESSABOUNDS, we retire to the bar (always a good move), cos they're always shite anyway, but return for THE VIBRATORS 3-piece. They rattle off a few of the more recent numbers like 'Hey Warden Turn The Juice On' and some more from the French Lessons album, then it's time for a well chunky version of 'Trooops Of Tomorrow', which was the turning point in the set paving the way for classics like 'Destroy', 'Whips 'n' Furs' and 'Baby Baby'. My only complaint is that I'd been dying to see 'em, and they never played 'Flying Duck Theory', surely in any Top Ten of punk classics (and don't forget 'Automatic Lover' - Don't Care)...oh well! Speaking of classics, next up were THE SUBHUMANS. Dick was, as ever, a brilliant front-man, moving around the stage like he was born there, and Trotsky giving it some like a machine-gun from behind the kit, as they absolutely bloody hammered their way through stuff like 'Religeous Wars', 'Evolution' and loads of other stuff that I can't remember due to my beer goggles. UK SUBS were supposed to have been next, but pulled out because according to HITS organisers, they demanded that their fee be doubled...but bearing in mind that the SUBHUMANS were only paid £50 quid for this gig, well, you've got to take these reports with a hefty pinch of salt. I'm sure there's two sides to this particular coin though...Anyway, enough of these cliches, PETER AND THE TEST-TUBE BABIES were on instead and were absolutely fuckin' brilliant! Also, they were cleanest looking band of the weekend, if that counts for anything??? (Peter And The Test Tubes clean!!!!... well they are from Brighton and not some scruffy council house in Sunderland or diseased up estate in Wolverhampton ain't they? - Shocked Don't Care) A typical mix of powerful sound and daft jokes kept things flowing nicely...best songs, ALL OF 'EM!! 'Never Made It In Time', 'Up Yer Bum', 'Run Like Hell' and finally closing with 'September'. At this point I was just about ready to stagger back to Flowery Twats, when I came upon (oooeeerr!) the stage set for SIC BOY FEDERATION...scantily clad loverlies on crucifixes, gallons of fake blood, inflatable dolls bobbing about on a sea of punks...and of course I was sticking around! The music was absolute doss of course, even though Jock (G.B.H.) was guesting on guitar, but it was still a belter of a finale to the first day...I strongly urge you to check out their website...the adddress? Find it yer fuckin' self, dossers!
Fuck me, but the previous days excesses are taking their toll on a fair few haggard faces along the seafront as I sniff my way towards some breakfast. After being fortified by some chicken foetus', dead pig and fried bread (mmm...) (Watch it, the Punk Police are about - Don't Care) I'm ready for an alcopop and some INSTANT AGONY. Both were good, but not great..the alcopop wasn't big enough, and Instant Agony never played 'No Sign Of Life' or 'Fashion Parade'. They did however give a good show, with vocalist Hocky stropping 'round the stage seemingly unaware that it was only dinnertime...full punk points to that man. Best songs were 'Silent Generation' and
'Plenty', both from the Death Of A Century album. After they were finished, I took a deckchair and some more Metz ("metz not meths!", I screamed at the barmaid) down to the sea for an hour or two's slow recouperation before RED ALERT take the stage. Steve "cast Iron" Smith offering the entire crowd outside for a fight was a good way to start the proceedings...well, it's better than him showing us his swollen nacker!! Nobby, the original drummer was back in the stool tonight, flanked by Kid (Red London) Stoker on bass, and of course, Tut on guitar, funny faces and jiggling titties. The set was a fair mix of old and new, from 'In Britain' and 'City Invasion', through to 'Long Night in Long Island' and a cover of 'Badman', now that Tut's in the Cockney Rejects. Immediately afterwards, Red Alert took their positions at the bar and stayed there the rest of the weekend, like all good mackems should. The next band I saw were THE VARUKERS, who were fucking great...we even spotted a bouncers' foot tapping furiously away! Singer Rat was in the crowd as much as he was on stage, shaking his mic in the air and yelling his tits off to the likes of 'Soldier Boy' and 'The Bomb Blast', while Biff hammered fuck out his SG and looked like he was having a right good time (born out later by his inability to speak by Sunday). I watched BROKEN BONES despite never having been a fan, and they were Ok, if a bit metally for my taste...the bassplayer was really enthusiastic and thouroughly deserves a pat on the back. Oh aye, and they closed with a version of 'State Violence State Control', and a song that was the same tune as 'The Blood Runs Red', but with different words. I saw about 30 seconds of the ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE, cos I hate the fuckers, but to be fair to those of you less fussy people, they were slick, tight and had a good sound...despite having George Michael as a singer!! Right SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS eh? Now, I don't mind if they swan in from the States and pick up 5 grand for one gig...even though some of the other bands could've probably used some of that dosh. And I couldn't care less if they wanna act like stars and clear everyone outta the backstage area...it's only a room fofuxake. No, what pisses me off is seeing 'em play the first half of the set like they're some workingmens club band in the North-East of England!! They started lucklustre as fuck with 'Are You Ready Now' (clearly they themselves wern't) followed by slow, dire cover versions of 'White Light White Heat' and 'Come On Feel The Noize' and I do mean s - l - o - w...After a while they got better though, and ended up doing fine versions of 'Runaway', 'Where Have All The Bootboys Gone', 'Cranked Up Really High', although on the whole, I'd say they robbed us, the bastards. BLACK MARKET CLASH closed the day, but by that time I was busy knocking zzz's out with a Sick On The Bus sticker attached to my head!!!
Finally made it down in time for brekky at Farty Towels...the lassies in the French-maids outfits brought back memories of the Sic Boy Fed on Friday, only without the crucifixes! Sunday was, as it should be, a leisurely day...so leisurely in fact that we missed MERE DEAD MEN, oh bugger! What with Sunday finishing early, we decided to get some cans for afterwards, but as we were dropping them off at the hotel we realised we were missing VICE SQUAD...oh yes, we ran along the seafront like crazed stallions (crazed stallions!!! I find that very hard to picture maybe neuted donkeys - Dont Care) and got in just in time for the last song, 'Last Rockers'. Obviously I can't tell you much about the set, but it must've been a good one cos it was a class sound and there were plenty of punters down the front. Nothing to do with Beki in a white plastic mini-dress, mind you...oh no...er...excuse me a minute, will you...? (I've just threw a bucket of water over Steve...ladies and gentlemen - Don't Care) THE CRACK, now there's an unsexy image to cool me down! Good ear for a tune The Crack, not really my can of pop, but nevertheless I appreciated 'em...best song, 'Don't you ever let me down' (cos it's the only one I know). By now I was having my first sit down of the weekend, on the tiered seating at the back of the Dome...great view from the backrow, and the sound was cushty as well. 999, the original skinny punk band, now sporting some quite fat members (oo-er) were spot on from the word go, running all over the stage with undisputable classics like 'Nasty Nasty', 'Homicide', 'Boys In The Gang', 'Red Riding Hood'...and what a voice, truly punk as fuck. More legends to follow in the shape of ANGELIC UPSTARTS. Apparently Mensi had a band called SECTION 5 pulled from the bill for alledged fascist connections, so a small group of skinheads chanted "Section 5...Section 5" all through the set, along with a few other nazi cries. Now we all know the elephant Mensi's ability to knock heads together, but seemingly he'd had people backstage pleading with him to rise above it, so the set went on uneasily to say the least. Musically, well I reckon Max Splodge on ratty bass and half-arsed backing vocals lets the side down, but that aside we were treated to 'Police Oppression', 'The Murder Of Liddle Towers', '2,000,000 Voices' and a brilliant version of 'I Understand' before they ended with 'England' and 'White Riot', emphasising Mensi's love of his country, how he feels "it has been hi-jacked by fascists"(that's a fuckin laff, coming from him!!! - Don't Care). And full punk points to the man for pointing out that the only man more beautiful than him is Kevin Phillips...FTM. (Kevin Phillips whoever he is?...must be pitied - Don't Care) So to the last band of the evening, and the weekend, THE BUSINESS. I'm not really sure what to say...the Business confuse the fuck outta me!! On one hand I like the music, and they really give their all when they play, there's no doubt about that. But I'm sure they tried to incite the angry skinheads in the crowd to kick off, waving and draping flags about the stage, finding and pointing out football rivalries among the crowd...I could go on, but maybe I'm wrong so I won't! Anyway, we left about half way through their set and headed off in search of the holy ale. STEVE PYLE.
Now I'm back in Holland with a big fat joint in my face, remembering the little things like a car registration P77 UNK. Or the statues of gulls on Morecambe sea-front, each one with a Sick On The Bus sticker on it's wing. I put one in the hotel bible before I split, cos I never grew up...maye they should have a contest to get one in the most far-out place. Fair play to Darren Russell, I say.... £55 quid well spent for such a diversity of bands. Roll on Milton Keynes....
Beauty and the beast!!! Or Beki
and Mensi... Ahh that is the question. I have had the honour of meeting both these early 80's punk celebs of the healthy UK punk scene, back in the days when they really were a force to be reckoned with. First stop Beki. I happened to bump into Miss Bondage in the dark sweaty confines of Birmingham's Cedar Rooms venue. I think Vice Squad and Chron Gen were on the same bill. I spotted the buxom one holding hands with Glynn Barber singer Chron Gen's singer whom she was having a brief fling with. Glynn was a pretty sound geezer but Miss Whiplash really had a chip on her shoulder as she spat out in a Bristol twang the immortal words "fack orffff!!!"
Maybe I shouldn't have asked her to buy me a drink with hindsight coz after all she was the star! I met Mensi from the Upstarts in a more heated atmosphere. It was in the lounge of the George Hotel, Wolverhampton one night back in 79. The band and roadies bedecked in Red Berets and looking like they just stepped into a warzone had just made the suicidal decision to visit the nearest pub to the Lafayette Club gig they were playing later that night. Of course they didn't know this was the HQ of the towns notorious George Hotel mob. And me being the only punk allowed in the pub asked em when they were
playing? I was told by a worried looking Mr Mensworth in an hour or so. The band didn't stay for another drink and were glad to exit somewhat prematurely as pint glasses showered over em! Next time they played here a month later a full scale riot erupted... aaahhh the good old days!
Beki in white plastic!
Got any gigs or events you witnessed and want the punk world to know about then send em in and tells us just like this kid told Johnny!!!