Live at Cockpit on Tuesday, 21st June 2005
It isn't every gig that ends with your correspondant being grabbed up onstage along with 20 or so other grinning loons to do backing vocals during the encore. But then... well, this was no ordinary gig by any stretch of the imagination.
The most striking thing about openers Buzzkill is their lead singer who resembles what you imagine Rivers Cuomo would look like if he really DID think he was Buddy Holly. Sadly, regarding their music, the phrase that springs to mind more than any other is "poor man's Dead Pets" as they play half an hour of undeniably tight and energetic but somewhat forgettable ska-punk.
More impressive are second band The Longshots who straddle the punk/metal divide like 3 Colours Red once did many years ago. The sheer energy rush of their songs is pure punk but they also invest it with the sort of lightning fast none-more-rock riffs you'd more likely associate with AC/DC or Iron Maiden back when Paul Di'Anno was fronting them. Keep an eye out for this lot, I certainly will be.
It was never going to be anyone other than Gold Blade's night tonight though. Ten years on and John Robb and his crew are still spreading their message with as much righteous fervour as ever and as they crash on tonight with a ferocious run through "Fighting In The Dancehall", geeing the crowd up into an ever-growing frenzy, you just know this is gonna be a good 'un. The key to this group's appeal you see is that they know that all great rock 'n' roll must have energy. Really, what would you rather see, Liam Gallagher doing a passable impersonation of a constipated lemur, Pete Doherty (baby)shambling onstage looking like he's gonna fall asleep any moment or Robb and co who hardly ever stay still for the whole of the set. Watching them striding around the stage you feel compelled to get up and shake some moves yourself and, make no mistake, many of the crowd do. As for the set, we get a good mix of old favourites which show no signs of aging ("Strictly Hardcore", "Black Elvis" dedicated to Sweeney from the Dead Pets, "Kiss My Ass", "AC/DC", "Who Was The Killa?") and new stuff from the excellent "Rebel Songs" album ("Psycho", "Black Sheep Radical", "Out Of Control") which proves that the fire in Gold Blade's bellies rages a lot stronger than any of the clueless drones in eyeliner the NME's currently frothing over. It all ends with an encore of "War (Not In My Name)" and "Muthafukka" which see the entire moshpit (your correspondant included) taking over the stage for one great big punk rock party.
Judging by the number of kids I see leaving the venue clutching copies of the new Blade album after the gig, they've made a lot of converts here this evening. Good stuff. It's about time people started to take notice of this most criminally under-rated of bands.
Adrenaline Injected Punk Rock'n'Roll
punk garage rock