FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
After 30 Years of following the UK Subs seeing the original line-up would still be a first for me and after several discussions with numerous other fans this was a seemingly common trait. I expected the set to be made up of primarily songs from 'Another Kind Of Blues' and 'Brand New Age' and in truth that was what I was to witness.
Arriving at Jabez Clegg at 5.30 I braved the weather outside and sank a few tins of Fosters to take off the old 'edge'. With frozen knackers I went in the pub instead and ordered another pint of the amber nectar. Tasting like piss I asked for a change and duly went on to Carlsberg. A chit and a chat with Lancaster punk promoter Stef Leppard and friend and faces arrived with a nice pre-gig atmosphere building. Tim 'Punk4Life' Davies arrived with Polish punker Bartek and the Christmas bronze, with a pint each downed before another beer.
With cockles warmed we made our way to the venue, Club Academy, where The Guilty Pleasures were up and at it.
As it went I only saw five tracks because the cold and beer combined to force a lavatorial break whereupon I met Merseyrock Mike and DBD drummer Lee and guitarist Gaz whom I chatted with about this, that and t'other and how I was impressed by not only DBD's new album but their latest performances. I headed back into the main arena to see the GP's finish and what I did witness made me realise that these lot are gradually changing style and in general improving the whole stock. There is still work to do but it's getting there and with a nice arsenal of songs they should do ok.
Next the aforementioned DBD whom I enjoyed tremendously and thought the response they got was underwhelming for a band of such skill and high energy. They deserved more but I enjoyed it and I guess so did the people in the venue at the time. A real polished outfit this with a nice visual performance of damn, hard work and attention to detail. There are numerous songs of high quality here and anyone who owns a copy of their storming album 'Songs For The Union' will testify that this outfit know their stuff. The high point for me - 'Agnostic' a purely excellent track that has a mean intent and the fact it was dedicated to yours truly was a nice touch I truly appreciated. Brilliant!
More beer and the crowd was mighty impressive and the anticipation began in eanest for the appearance of punks steadfast giants - The UK Subs.
On they came to a rapturous welcome and things kicked in and the crowd went wild. It was a tight performance all round and some rehearsal had surely gone into this as all the old faves were nailed with precision and skill. It must be said that I could have wrote the set list myself but this was not to be anything other than a trip down nostalgia lane and a showcase of some high standard music. 'CID', 'TV Blues', 'Warhead', 'Emotional Blackmail', 'Tomorrows Girl', 'Stranglehold', 'Killer' and 'World War' - need I go on. It was all there for any Subs fan to adore and pogo along to and was evidence of a fine band with still something to offer. In fact the real Subs fan will tell you that the catalogue of quality the Subs have compiled over the years is quite exceptional and for me personally some of the later work is better than what was on show tonight. Never mind though this was class and I adored it. Garrat on guitar was as intense as ever albeit a little more static! Slack on bass was his neat and tidy self with subtle rhythm delivered in perfect time. Davies on drums was admirable and here's a guy who has kept his eye in good and proper (that's teaching for you)! As for Harper - well he maybe a right old bugger but the punk spirit puts a lot of younger rockers to shame! He revels in his craft and always gives 100%! Punk to the bone he did his bit and it was good to see such an old outfit do themselves justice. Long may the UK Subs bandwagon roll on and here's to some more recordings for us all to savour.
Night done and a good one at that I tootled off after some more jaw-wagging quite pleased at my trip down memory lane. For me its back to the new stuff which I personally thrive on and enjoy thorougly but its nice to be reminded now and again that the old brigade still have something left to offer.
review by OMD (3 December 2007)