BARB WIRE DOLLS
@ The HUB (Plymouth) 7/12/13
The Barb Wire Dolls were the Band I was here to see tho and they didnt keep us waiting long before they took to the stage, opening with the excellent "Shut up Slut!" Isis, arm still strapped after her fall from stage in Norwich owned the stage and all before her from the very start, the modest, but by no means small, crowd burst into life, a few dancing, most jigging and everybody singing along and enjoying all the faves from 'The Dolls' debut Album "Slit".
"Destroyer Bay", "LA", "Walking dead", (one of my personal favourites) "Wild Child Diamonds", "World on fire", "Your escape", and of course the defiant call to arms of "Revolution" they even threw in a few new songs for good measure to.
The whole Band, totally professional, gave their all and delivered a brilliantly entertaining show, real Punk and real showmanship.
They deserved a larger audience but that didnt effect the effort that they put in and it'll be hard to top a night like this. Thank you Barb Wire Dolls for coming to play Plymouth. Hopefully it wont be too long before we see you here again.
CHARGE69 - "Retour au Front" COMBAT ROCK.
The mighty Charge69 return to their very best with tis 4 track CDEP. Tuneful Singalong (I love this stuff) and very professional as always and we now expect from these French Masters of Streepunk. I'll tell you summut, I really couldn't find anything bad to say about this EP even if I'd have wanted to. It's brilliant, possibly Charge69's best work to date.
FAINTEST IDEA - "The voice of Treason" T.N.S. RECORDS.
Its no secret that I am no great fan of 'formulaic' Ska-Punk, but I must admit that when it comes to Faintest Idea they are one of the better purveyors of that particular 'style'.
In fact, if I was into categorising/pigeon-holing I'd have Faintest Idea as an out and out Ska Band who just throw a 'Punkish' tune in here or there to mix it up a bit, just to put a cat amongst the pigeon(holes) if you like.
Very tuneful, very singalong, very danceable, and dare I say it, a lot like Bad Manners, a lot of fun and well worth a listen.
BLEST MESS - The Demo.
Loved this one right from the off this one.
Blest Mess are a 3-piece female fronted Hc/Streetpunk (StreetCore???) Band from New York & New Jersey who make a deliciously tuneful thrashy not too dissimilar to what would happen if NY Relx crashed Infa Riot for a midnight "Riot riot".
"Nowhere to Go - Nowhere to run,
Get the news - you're not the only one,
Stuck in this place - Part of the human race,
Nowhere to go - Nowhere to run".
Angry snarled and spat out vocals backed by tuneful thrash (as afore mentioned), nothing wrong with this one at all, I really like it thank you very much. Got a nice T-Shirt and a badge in the package and all ;-).
ALLEGED BRICKS/The BARONS - "East Coast Street Punk'n'Roll" NECK RECORDS.
Despite their crap name (how can a brick be alleged? it either is or it isn't a Brick) Alleged Bricks open this Split CDEP with 3 good hard kicks in the bollocks of tuneful hardhitting StreetCore. Tuneful, Singalong and hateful, very reminiscent of Empire Falls. Delaware Street legends The Barons then contribute the remaining 4 songs of this East coast sampler. Slightly more Mid-paced Oi! than Alleged Bricks, think Anti-Heroes or Kicker Boys, and although all 4 do appear on the Barons "American Beer drinking Songs" debut Album, they do make a valid contribution to this particular EP.
"Punk as Duck" - Compilation HORN & HOOF RECORDS.
2 Tracks each from 9 Bands on this Underground Punk compilation, which, to be honest, could have started a bit better because A Victory @ Sea's opener didn't exactly rock my boat at all. Ziplock then stepped in to save the day with "Not cost effective" mixing Oi! and Hardcore with great effect. The Distrakted then picked up the pace even more with the Hardcore Metal edge of "El Sleazo", it's all getting better and better. Next up its Only Strangers, one for the teenie pop-punkers, as is Double Poloroid. As always Oiz2men never fail to disappoint, and once again they've succeeded, unlike Glue Ear who always deliver and their 2 songs, along with Rising Strike and the ridiculously named Big Ed & The Stink, prove to be the highlights of this Compilation.
BUS STATION LOONIES - THESE CREEPS - C.D.S - Ben Septic.
Live @ The Hub 23/11/13.
Real party atmosphere right from the start as the Loonies celebrate their 1000th live gig performance.
Singer/Songwriter Ben Septic kicked off proceedings with a good strong acoustic set, spot on observations good sense of humour and the odd Rejectsesque riff thrown in there to boot.
Without C.D.S. there'd have been no Bus Station Loonies, those bastards reall do have a lot to answer for, and when they hit the stage the crowd was in full swing and enjoying every moment of the night. If there's one band that is gonna keep a party going then C.D.S. are certainly that band, and keep the party going is what they surely did.
The disappointment of Torquays' Husbands'n'Knives having to withdraw from the festivities due to illness (get well soon Lou) was short lived because their 'last minute' replacements These Creeps, were more than up to the task. 4 young lads, barely out of their teens but fucking hell can they Rock. Good solid British Streetcore with a great attitude and youth full swagger about them which leaves no doubt that not only are they a great Band now, but they've so much about them they really are gonna be MASSIVE in the not too distant future. Mark the name These Creeps, mark it well and remember you read it here first!!!!
Last but never least The Bus Station Loonies took to the stage in front of a full house, a great atmosphere and the crowd was really buzzing, this is the sort of gig which The Loonies revel in playing to and with Wheelie being 'bang on form' they blasted out a massive 25+ song set, including all the faves, old and new. They could have played all night and no one would have wanted to go home. A great Band, a brilliant night and I wouldn't have missed it for the World!!!!.
"Oi! dont pay the bills" - Compilation NECK RECORDS.
It's not often that I like a Compilation in its entirety right from the start but this Collection of 9 US Oi! Bands comes as close as you will to it.
Broken Heroes (3 songs), The Boozers (3) and The Barons (2) are the better known names and they do provide the highlights of this Comp'. The Loose Skrews (3 Songsand featuring former Condemned84 and Englands Glory Guitarist Mark Magee) aint far behind I can tell you. The remainder, The Hated(2), Road to Ruin(3), Shitfit(2), The Keefs(2) and the Drunken Dru Band(2) can all hold their heads up high in such esteemed company.
BOOTSCRAPER - "Country & Eastern" TNS RECORDS.
Country Rock Folksy Punk, not completely outside my 'comfort zone' but it's getting that way.
But a change is as good as a rest as they say and I must admit as entertainment goes then Bootscraper are top shelf at what they do. There's Jigs & reels, Shanties and bootscraping folk tunes galore, bringing to mind the likes of The Tossers crossed with The Pogues spawning Phat Bollard as a bastard love-child. Make of that what you will.
BARB WIRE DOLLS - "Slit" BWD RECORDINGS.
Angry Chaotic spiteful hard-hitting anarchy of Street Rock'n'Roll just like 'Real Punk' is 'sposed to be. Grungey, Oi!-ish, Hardcore Barb Wire Dolls are pretty hard to define at all and I'm pretty sure they'd be happy with that as people cant really put something in a box when the lines are as burred as BWD manage to make them, but it alls gels together oh so well. Isis Queens rage filled, defiant, but still sexy, vocals could attract comparisons with Snap-Her and Nina Hagen, fair enough, but cut that with a deep slice of an anguished Patti Smith and you still wouldn't have it spot on. Isis' style is unique and unmistakable, and man has she got style.
Each and every one of the 11 Songs here are top rated, from "Revolution" thru to "Teenage Crisis" you gotta listen from start to finish, not one track could be consider 'a filler' making this one of the best, if not THE best Punk Albums of the year.
SHAM69 - "Their finest hour" TREATMENT RECORDS.
Brand new Album from Tim V's Sham69 and what a joi to behold this one really is. 11 Great tunes and an 'Outro' to be found here, good strong Punk Rock tunes, rebel rousing verses, singalong chorus', and spot on, albeit sometimes 'tongue in cheek', lyrics this is what Sham69 have always been about.
"All the Geezers", "Its what we do", "Sing while you're winning" (a terrace style anthem in the making) are all well worthy of note.
Ok Ok there's no "Hersham Boys", "Questions and answers" or "If the kids...." on here, but lets be honest, it's not the time or place for those 'past glories'. And for those of you who say Sham69 aint Sham69 without the previous singer, well, it aint the previous singer it's Tim V, and Sham69 are still Sham69 and this Album, although it may not stand up against "Tell us the Truth" or "Hersham Boys" it is still a great Album and knocks spots off anything after "The Game", especially "Information Libre".
Tim V is Sham69's vocalist - Get over it!!!
HEALTHY JUNKIES - "The Lost Refuge" STP RECORDS.
13 Track debut (? I think) Album from the Healthy Junkies, a female fronted progressive Punk Rock Band from North London who grab you by the balls and give them a tight squeeze right from the very start.
Mixing The rage and anger of Hole and Girlfixer with 'Soulful' Rock ala Joan Armatradin and adding a 'Grunge' crossover in places the Healthy Junkies will never cease to throw in the odd surprise here and there. Listen carefully and you'll even catch bits and pieces of Electronika, "Play me" and "Cos it sucks", maybe even some Stranglers, "Cat Story", I defy you to define the Healthy Junkies. It's all good stuff, well worth checking out.
MADDOG SURRENDER - "Bethlehem Steel" NECK RECORDS.
This Band, Maddog Surrender, are probably one of the US of Oi!'s greatest of unsung heroes. Loud, proud and defiantly Punk you'll only need one listen of this 14 track CD and you'll be hooked I promise you, especially if you're a fan of the likes of Bonecrusher, The Bruisers, YDL or Brits such as Condemned84, The Business, and Indecent Exposure. Put Maddog Surrender inside a ring with any of those aforementioned greats and they're certainly gonna hold their own in the best of company.
CHARGE69 - "Resistance Electrique" COMBAT ROCK.
This one's been out a little while I think (you'll get that a lot round here).
France's longest surviving Streetpunk Band Charge69 command respect across the globe for their unwavering enthusiasm as well as their longevity. Something that has always frustrated me about this band tho, is their constant refusal to sing in proper English like what proper people does. Bloody ignorant if you ask me.
16 Tracks here, harmonies are great, portraying anger and defiance, fun & fury, everything that 'real' Streetpunk is made of, trouble is, its all in bloody French and I cant understand a bloody word of it. Great tunes tho!.
SUBVERSIVE FIRE - "Wage Rage" DEMO.
8 tracks of fairly standard Ska-Punk recorded thru the PA during a live show at 'The Fleece' in Bristol.
Nothing extra-ordinary about Subversive Fire at all, they play well enough, carry a good tune or 2, and have a good sense of humour, But it aint nothing we havent heard a million times before. Take it or leave it.
RIOT GUN - "Mauvaise Graine" COMBAT ROCK.
Baring in mind this CD-EP is released on it would really come as no surprise that the first thing you really note about this young(ish), new(ish) French Streetpunk/Oi!(???) Band is the similarity in sound they have to the likes of Oxymoron, Funeral Dress, Anti-Dote, Social Combat, and of course their fellow countrymen, Charge69, (the drummer of which also runs Combat Rock).
Easy enough to listen to, musically excellant, but, come on, dont you teach people English in French Schools????
THE BARONS - "American drinking songs" - MOTHERBOX
15 Song debut full Album from Delawares' premier Streetpunkers. Drinking, Fighting, having a laugh, having a say and acting hard are the orders of the day and its all pretty standard Oi! Oi! fayre which all seems to come together well enough for these boys and if you like your Oi! hard and fast but never too serious then you're gonna really enjoy this rebel rousing Cd I got here. Think The Business meet Patriot meet Empire Falls (that CANT be bad at all can it?) and you've just about got the idea.
COCKNEY REJECTS - "East End Babylon" CADIZ MUSIC
To say that after the hit/miss nature of "Unforgiven" that the promised 'return to form' of "East End Babylon" wasnt eagerly awaited would be a lie, and boy right from the rabble rousing anthemic opener of "Your Country needs you!" I just knew that the wait was well worth it.
Every one of the 10 tracks included on this little gem is destined to go down in history as a Cockney Rejects 'classic', and mistake it not every single one of these songs here IS the Cockney Rejects at their very very best. Oi! Oi! Oi!.
The BLOODY MINDED - Demo CD
Nice little 7 song debut effort this one, tuneful British Streetcore very heavily influenced, and apparently so, by US bands such as Rancid, Madball, and of course Agnostic Front, to name but a few which spring to mind, dare I say Dag Nasty as well? I think so.
It is, I must admit a 'bit sloppy' in places and some of the lyrics do need maturing or at least rethinking through, but there have been a couple of major line-up changes made since this recording and the improvements are already showing in their live performances. Great things ARE promised. - Watch this space.
CLOSE SHAVE - "Mde in Brum" CS RECORDINGS
The longawaited 'new' album from Brumijums self proclaimed "Rectal Avengers" themselves. 16 classic Close Shave Oi! Oi! anthems recorded live in front of a 'home crowd' (much in the same way as The Rejects did with "Greatest Hits Vol.3").
Crowd pleasing faves such as "Cant play 'ere", "Rather be down the pub", "We hate you", "Cant stand Northern Soul", "The Real Oi!!", make this CD a most desirable object indeed. You know you want it, Go GET IT NOW!!!
Arrived a little late in the Day to catch much of PROPELLER's set, only heard about 2 and half of their songs I'm sorry to say. A young Band and keen enough, be seeing a bit more of them in the future I'm sure.
Took about 45 minutes between Bands, and to be honest the reasonable sized (for the Venue) and growing crowd was becoming a bit restless waiting for Sham to take the stage, but once the strains of "Land of hope and glory" came out the speakers every one moved stageward And Sham burst into "They dont Understand" and from then on in the place errupted. Punks, Skins, 'original bastards' and even some crusties all bouncing about and singing along to all the old faves and new crowd pleasers alike,plenty of chat and crowd interaction all the way as we all sangalong to such classics as "Angels with Dirty faces" "Questions and Answers", "Rip-off", "Hersham Boys", "Ulster" (Great to hear this one becoming a regular in Sham's set once again), "Borstal Breakout", "(The) Cockney Kids (are innocent)", along with a couple of tracks from their new Album (no hard sell on it, just "This is a song from our new Album") and the obligatory 'extended version' of "If the kids are united" to round the whole evening up with. Fucking brilliant night, Great Band, good company, Fantastic fun, and what a nice bloke Tim V is, had a good chat with him after the gig, and he certainly knows his onions and is straight as a die.
Oi! Oi! Oi! and I mean PROPER Oi! Oi! Oi! cant wait til the next one.