HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN 2002 UK
July 19th - July 21st
Well, would you Adam an' Eve it, its that time of year, mid summer, time for a quick Holiday in the Sun again, so having packed my Mrs and Kids off on a proper holiday its onto the Blackpool bound train I jump. Four and a half hours later and my ablutions done its off down the boozer to meet a few mates for a prearranged drink, luckily for me the Pub was like just a little more than 2 minutes from my B&B so that was easy enough. Lise & Jim, Watford Jon, Glenn Hallfman, and Micky Fitz are there already and evidently already a few beers up on me so I got to undertake some serious drinkage if I'm to catch up with that lot (not a hope!), a few beers, a couple of laughs, exchanges of fond memories, Still failed to get a beer out of Fitzy tho, we've known each other nigh on 20 years and there's two things that remain constant:1) Mick never buys a round, and 2) when he's out of it he still cant remember my name from one day to the next, stone me mate its nice to be appreciated!!! Then calling for scran on the way (why did Watford Jon run like a commonwealth sprinter into that Sex Shop, and what was he doing while in there is still a mystery to me... but the explanation I thought it was "an Independent Record shop we deal with" still doesn't hold much water) its off to the venue for me ticket and so ends the clearest part of the whole weekend, I never realised how much I must have imbibed until I sat to write this up and noticed there are glaring gaps in this tale of wonder and bewilderment so bear with me cos obviously 'Benny - The Senile years' are already well set.
Despite being in the venue a good hour before the gig was due to start I still managed to miss me old mates FOREIGN LEGION. Fucking hell I donít know how I managed to do that, I certainly hadn't passed out anywhere, and I donít think I was in a pub at that time. Perhaps I was eating. Anyway, I've heard on good authority (Ian Retaliator) that they played a good strong set mixing old material with new stuff from the recently released "What goes around" CD and were as good as he'd ever seen them before.
RESISTANCE77 Consistently brilliant and very entertaining these Notts Geezers really know how to Rock it when they've a mind to. With a newish Guitarist on show it was the usual tight set and R77 never disappoint, still grossly under rated by promoters outside of the UK I think its definitely about time this band got a chance to raid the Venues across the Atlantic so come on you yanks, sort it fucking out.
Now this is where my head really gets fucked over, I was really looking forward to seeing MENACE, and I was gonna drop in and see VICE SQUAD too if I had a moment. Unfortunately a tale went round that both were stuck on the M6 and neither could make it on time. I went for a wander around, I saunter into one of the other stage, there, playing is a Band who looked like VICE SQUAD, It sounded like VICE SQUAD, but it couldn't possibly have been VICE SQUAD cos VICE SQUAD couldn't make it could they? Confused and bemused I returned to the venue I'd been in before and there was some band playing BUZZCOCKS covers, so I went to the bar for a couple of beers then someone said that VICE SQUAD were here, and yes it was them I'd seen. So I went to see if I could catch the end of their set but when I got back, there was no sight nor sound of VICE SQUAD. Fucking hell was someone playing with my head, had someone spiked my drinks with Bassetts Sherbert Dip or had I really entered into some overtly surreal episode of the "Twilight Zone"? - I'll never know!!!
OXYMORON At last a chance to see this much touted German Street Punk band, good set and they gave it 100%. Very impressive but the vocalist does tend to give it the great "I am" and his attitude sort of ruined the performance for me, unfortunately while having a chat with him at the bar I mentioned it and he was visibly taken aback, sorry mate, it was meant to be constructive but either what I said (and you did ask what I thought) came out wrong or the point was lost in translation.
CHRON GEN Saw this lot twice on the "Apocalypse" tour way way back in 19 eighty something, never seen them since. They were brilliant in their day, and they're still brilliant now. Great stage show. Both "Reality" and "Living next door to Alice" went down particularly well as to be expected.
PENETRATION Despite the fact that Pauline Murrey figured in many of my formative years fantasies this was believe it or not the first time I'd ever seen PENETRATION. To be honest I wasn't sure if I was even going to see them, but I'm glad I did after all. A very professional sound, plenty of action on stage and a great mixed set, especially the last half which brought back so many happy memories of heady days gone by.
SPECIAL DUTIES Just a flying visit here really. With SPECIAL DUTIES you know what you're going to get, on stage Steve Arrogant's defiantly giving it some, the music's strong and melodic Street Punk, while off stage a medium sized crowd of SPECIAL DUTIES loyalists are loving every minute of it. Well there you go.
ADICTS Now this lot really surprised me. Clever Light Show, Dry Ice, Glistering Confetti, Stage Make-up, Regular Changes of clothing, etc etc not really what you'd expect from a 'Punk' Band is it? But the ADICTS have always prided themselves in being that little bit different, and what fantastic entertainment they are for it, a lot of fun too. If it hadn't been for PENETRATION, The ADICTS would definitely been the highlight of HITS first night.
Today I'm not going to drink. In fact the way I feel I might never drink again, well not much, not today anyway, well I might have one or two just to be social.. The Sun's shining, its quite warm so its off down the front for me, might even take a stroll down the 'Pleasure Beach' if I've a mind to. Not long before I bump into, Big Ian Foul-up, Big Dave, Big Paul, Big Benny, Big Big Kev, Big Addie, and a few other people whose names all begin with 'Big', they're all going down the pleasure beach and I'm invited to tag along. After an hour or so we all start heading back towards the North end of town, some want to stop off at their B&B to wash and change so the rest of us go to the 'Gers Pub' to wait for them. 5 or 6 Pints later and a couple more in the Winter Gardens before going to see any Bands and my Non Drinking Pledge as gone the same way as every Pledge has gone before - Right down the Pisser.
TOTAL CHAOS Just a fleeting visit really but what I heard was pretty good. Early 80's style Thrashy Street Punk, slightly reminiscent of say GBH or The DEAD WRETCHED remember them.
DEADLINE Fucking hell! What a great set and what a marked improvement on their last years performance. I was in two minds on whether to go and see these or not, but now I did I'm really glad I did. Liz's has now lost that annoying little yapping sound and DEADLINE are 100% improved for it, in fact when they covered 'Sparrers' "Runnin' Riot" Liz sounded more like Col McFaul than the bloke actually does himself.
999 Love 'em or hate 'em 999 are one of those bands you've gotta catch live if you've ever got the chance, its what they love doing and its what they do best. A very energetic set including as many crowd pleasing favourites from 999's 25 year history as they could possibly cram in. The Band loved it, the crowd loved it what more could I possibly say.
BEERZONE Another great Band who never fail to entertain. Very energetic and very funny BEERZONE deserve all the positive acclaim being meted upon them these days. Iain is a fucking lunatic, he always has been and whenever they finish the set you sort of half expect men in white coats to run on and slap him into a straight jacket. They never do tho.
GONADS The magnificent GONADS not so glorious return to the UK live circuit. Not that it was Bushells or the Bands fault, they tried hard enough but were hampered by a poorly set up sound system and by the barracking from a small but hostile section of the crowd. They battled on bravely and played a great set which included classics such as "Tuckers Ruckers", "Gonads Theme", "I lost my love to a UK SUB", "Oi! Nutter", "TNT" (I think), "Alconaut", as well as my two faves, "British Steel" and "What's the story (England's Glory)". Which were made even better by two lovelies who joined Gal and the Lads on stage for a blatantly Patriotic Flag waving session which upset some of the mentalist PC hecklers and Can throwers even more - fucking hell, if you cant take a joke just fuck off out.
UK SUBS Some occasionally say that the UK SUBS live show can be a bit stale, but thatís definitely not the case now its been revitalised by the new stuff from the excellent "Universal" Album. Charlie Harper would play a gig in your Back Garden if you asked him to and It doesn't matter to the UK SUBS whether they play in front of 500 people or 15 they'll always give One Hundred percent. I just hope I'm still Punking it like Charlie when I'm 60.
ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE Pronounced ANWL not ANL as some Idiots believe The League were as big bad and bawdy as they were the first and last time I saw them way back in 1891 (or was it 1782) at the 'Xmas on Earth' Festival in Leeds. All the old favourites in front of a very appreciative crowd many of which stayed on from the Subs before, we were really being spoilt tonight, this is 'real' good old fashioned Punk Rock and only one thing could ruin the great feeling the League leave us with, and here it comes nowÖÖ.
The EXPLOITED 18.104.22.168. Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS, 22.214.171.124. Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS, 126.96.36.199. Wrrrrrrr, > Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS, 188.8.131.52. Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS. I loved this band in the early 80's, then I had a long period of no opinion about them. Now 20 Years on, 184.108.40.206. Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS, 220.127.116.11. Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS, 18.104.22.168. Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS, What the Fuck is all that about? 22.214.171.124. Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr, Wrrrrrrr. CHUS - No CHUS!!!
Wake up, My voice has gone, I cant see or hear and my kidneys are killing me!!! Oh my god is this it, have I drunk myself to death and I'm to meet my end alone in a room in Blackpool? - That would be so Rock'n'Roll. I force myself to get up for breakfast, not that I could eat any more than a bowl of cereal and drink a nice cup of tea deary. I just needed to move, having moved and satisfied myself I wasn't dead I went back to bed. Avoiding any short stop offs at any pubs I went straight up the Venue.
AWKWARD THOUGHT A NYHC Band that definitely donít stick to the rules of that particular Genres composition. Listen to them and comparisons can some times be made with BLOOD 4 BLOOD and WARZONE, other times you could mention AGNOSTIC FRONT and even our very own ARGY BARGY. A very animated Stage show from start to finish one of the highlights being a very heavy HC version of VICIOUS RUMOURS - "Vicious Rumours".
CRIMINAL CLASS I bet Craig is a bit embarrassed about how this set started but we'll just put that down as nerves because has things moved on CRIMINAL CLASS just got better and better and by the time they'd finished the only thing Mr St Leon had to be embarrassed about was those trousers.
ARGY BARGY What can I say besides for ARGY BARGY/Absolutely Brilliant, definitely one of the highlights of the weekend, if you donít believe me then you've never seen this band live. I know its cruel but one thing that made me chortle was Jon (who'd earlier taken the piss out of my inability to put a coherent sentence together), briefly loosing his voice (because of the humidity of course), handing the vocals over to Daryl Smith and exactly the same thing happening to him. You should drink a bit more keeps yer whistles wet.
DISCIPLINE There's only one way to follow a great band like ARGY BARGY, and thatís with another great band.... and you cant get much Better than DISCIPLINE, and before you suggest that "my having been drinking with this lot for most the afternoon" might have had some baring on me giving them a very positive review, well that just aint true. Tez Bones makes his first guest appearance of the night making their Strong and tight Oi!-core set even stronger and tighter. Excellent once again.
SPLODGENESSABOUNDS This man is so funny its bordering on insanity. Splodge are one of those bands which depends as much on the visual show and Max's banter as they do on the music and the mans lyrical expertise. Who else could write a whole song about losing your sock down your shoe.
The BUSINESS Tez Bones 2nd appearance of the night and The BUSINESS are entertaining a venue packed wall to wall as always. The set jam packed with crowd pleasing favourites as ever, "Hell to Pay", "Suburban Rebels", "Real Enemy", "The Truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth", "Hardcore Hooligan", "One common voice" > etc etc, Whaley giving it the big'un and Fitz charging around like a man possessed I never tire of seeing this band play live.
The WARRIORS Perhaps I was a bit unfair when I slated Saxby and the Boys last year because this time round I really enjoyed their set, the usual mix of WARRIORS originals and LAST RESORT classics it was a nice touch when "Working Class" was dedicated to SECTION5 and all other true working class kids, another nice touch was when a 7 year old kid (Jack) joined them on stage and sang better than Paul 'the flasher' Lilly (who always shows his willy) who was also on stage. Good Show tho and I apologise for not being so kind last year.
And so ended my HITS weekend for another year. Maybe on the face of it, it didn't seem as good as last year but looking back I must admit as I enjoyed every bit of it. I'd had a few beers, I had a few laughs, and I'd seen most the bands I'd wanted to see. Didn't see FOREIGN LEGION, SKINT, NO CHOICE, RETALIATOR, MENACE, VICE SQUAD, APA, NY-RELX, ANTIDOTE, The TEMPLARS, MDM, or The THREATS all of which I would have liked to, for one reason or another, maybe Darren will give us the chance to see them all again some time soon. DEADLINE, ARGY BARGY, and AWKWARD THOUGHT are all real contenders for the 'Best of the Fest' award, but, after due consideration, that prestigious accolade goes for the second year running to DISCIPLINE, A truly awesome live band.