I had been looking forward to seeing the 3 bands together for a while and none of them disappointed.
The warnings were out in advance all over social media – the gig was a sell-out, returns only and the first band would be on PROMPT at 8pm as it was an early curfew.
Sure enough, and true to the word, as I arrived at the venue with my mate, there was a queue of people waiting to pick up their tickets and the first band were already on.
The order of the bands hadn’t been advertised to ensure maximum attendance from the start and as we got downstairs, the venue was packed for the first band, who happened to be ReAction.
Big Carson had to be careful he didn’t brain himself on the low beam right in the middle of the stage. As always the band played a flawless blinder of a set with all the ReAction favourites. They slipped in a few cracking new tracks too – “Kill Time”, “Been There Done That” – written by Scott, and “Kamikaze Baby” – destined to be one of my new favourite ReAction songs.
The early curfew meant trying to get through as many songs as possible in the allotted time – at one point Joe mentioned they still had 5 songs to play in 6 minutes. This also meant a choice on whether to play External Menace’s “Someday” or “I Wanna Be Your Dee Dee Ramone”. An impossible choice given how great both tracks are. The audience choice was “Someday”, much to Bryson’s dismay – “that’s right pick the fast one and kill the drummer!” Storming set.
It was pretty warm from the start but by the time ReAction had finished it was a sweat box. Quick opportunity to get a diet coke(!) a quick chat with Jonzip and a hello to a few folk I finally managed to meet in real life rather than in the virtual world then it was the turn of Heavy Drapes.
There were plenty of MoNkArOcKs t-shirts on display in the venue. New bass player, ex Scars guitarist, Paul Research was also resplendent in a MoNkA creation with “Heavy Bass” on it like a statement of intent. And he followed through – awesome first gig with the band.
The searing set contained all the crowd pleasers – all the Heavy Drapes staples. “Number 1”, “Into the Blue”, “Nightrippin'”, and of course, my personal favourite “(I Wanna Be) Maladjusted”. “Guest backing vocals” on “Hanging Like a Suicide” were provided by Charlie from Dublin, who was one of several folk tonight who had travelled some distances for the gig.
I’ve seen the band several times over the last year but I thought tonight they were outstanding. My mate had last seen them on this very date last year. His comment that the band had come a long way since then spoke volumes about what has happened in the last 12 months. Looking forward to the album…(and the French EP!)
Another quick turnaround and then it was the turn of the Zips to end the evenings proceedings. Kicking off with topical track “Hear Hear” – “our country, at war, with itself, and its people, this dis-united kingdom“. The set included songs from throughout the bands back catalogue.
Every track went down a storm with a melee of bodies, singing away with huge grins, slamming into each other at the front. I wondered if we’d all be there in another 10 years singing along to “50 Years of PuNk RoCk”!
The band included an old track played live for the first time “Take Me Down” which can be purchased soon on new Gary Crowley punk/new wave box set. Jonzip started to thank everyone who had travelled to be at the gig only to be reminded that “we’ve only got 30 minutes….”. The set ended with classic “Don’t Get Pushed Around” which was enthusiastically received – included a microphone takeover/stage invasion by several enthusiastic gig goers.
And there we have it 3 blistering sets by 3 of Scotland……….nay, the UKs finest proponents of this thing they call “punk rock”. As I walked up the stairs I realised I had been enjoying the bands so much I had no photographs of said bands to add to this post! So photos are courtesy of Chris Davis and John McLaughlin.
Can’t wait until they do it again! Just one thing though. PLEASE, next time, don’t make it on my wedding anniversary – Ha Ha.