THE SAS TOUR
BRADFORD, THE EXCHANGE - 10th March 2007
Caught a couple of shows on the tour last year and made the 15 minute trek up the road to Bradford. First off what a f****** nightmare finding the venue was!
Anyhows got to the venue at 4 thinking I would miss the first band, but looked like some of the bands and equipment had gone missing in the road system from hell! An hour passed lots of beer consumed, then the PA was hastily installed.
First band on were Ambush UK. A young band who seem heavily influenced by the uk82 sound, some catchy tunes played at a decent pace, but the lads look frightened to death. Finished the set doing a cover of the Business's 'Drinking and Driving' and looking a lot more comfortable.
Flat Back Fourare a band I've not seen before, and what a great suprise. Melodic, fun and great banter with the crowd. Songs about beer, mates and the area they come from went down well, tight as f*** as well. I thought if this band is on early then the quality of bands later on would be mint, this myth was later dispelled not by a poor performance but by chatting and finding out that running orders are rotated on the Spit & Sawdust tour "No Prima Donnas, No egos or any of that bullshit are allowed". Bloody hell from some of the antics and financial demands I've heard of recently there must be a list a mile long of bands on the current punk circuit who won't get a gig on the tour.
Barnyard Masturbatorthen hit the stage, this band are something of an enigma to me having seen them a few times, when they are good they are very good, when they are bad well you know the rest, luckily today they were on form. Fast paced punk verging on metal at times with the insane worblings of an American female, again the audience lapped it up. Good to see the band have now got a bass player which actually adds to the sound.
Next up South Yorkshire's favourite son's Most Likely To Fail. This band ooze confidence, and play catchy singalong punk, a thinking mans Oi perhaps, but boy do they rock. Energetic and tight as f****. Halfway through the set I was stood next to members of Boredom, one of whom's comment "f*** me I wish we didnt have to go on after these" surely says more about Most Likely To Fail's performance than I can describe in this review.
Up next the aforementioned, now called Boredom A.D and a debut gig with a new vocalist and drummer. For those that don't know the new singer is UK Subs bass player Bri Barnes, and by crikey was he on fire tonight urging the audience to all come down the front "or ill shoot ya" which did the trick. Like the Duracell bunny on speed he went everywhere apart from the stage, on the bar, on the PA stack, pure entertainment. The whole sound of the band has undergone an overhaul from when I've seen them previously but they have still retained the ability to write bouncy tunes and with a new dynamic in the vocals department surely bigger things await.
After that The Scabs from Cumbria. Old school punk in its rawest form played with both a passion and with a good degree of musicianship. Once again a front man who puts the emphasis on performance he stalked the front of the stage with a menacing glee. My only gripe about this set is that a lot of the songs sound very familiar in that the old school influence seems to have developed into inserting similar riffs to other well know classic punk songs. But don't let that detract from what the Scabs do, if the original 77 sound is your bag, go and check out this lot, you will love it.
Up next were Suspicious Stains and it was good to see the majority of bands still there mixing with the punters. Last time I saw these they were minus a lead singer and bluffed there way through a set quite succesfully. The band throw together punk, ska and good old rock n roll and produce an explosive mix. One minute we are being bombarded with in your face straight to the point songs like "Rapist" then into some fun induced reggae song. A well thought out set and despite the crowd lagging through drink and tiredness they got a great response. Good musicianship with the ability to insert some fun into their set always makes this band a winner.
All full day of current British punk rock and all for free, wonder how many of these bands will be treading the boards at Rebellion? Probably none, the quality is there, the performances are there, but from what I can gather the ability to kiss ass is not. I personally feel its because these bands aren't part of the sychophantic click that seems to have engulfed what was once a good punk festival. Perhaps if the organisers would get off there arses and come to see gigs like these then they would have some grasp of what is going on at street level punk and give it a boost instead of paying a fortune to overated failed glam bands CS anyone?.
Halifax Louie - No Mohican, No Studded Leather Jacket but still punk!