From the beginning of the week until today, Friday, the day of the gig, this has been a struggle to pull off.  Finally I arrived at work to do a short day knowing the gig would go ahead with The Bullet Kings opening, the Scabs as main support and 2 Sick Monkeys taking the headline slot.  The Arguments had pulled a few weeks before and Mafafi pulled on Tuesday so the original line-up was now just a diminishing memory.

Hey ho – on with the show.  Wrong!  The Scabs called me at work at approximately 12 noon.  ‘Sorry mate – we can’t do it – the guitarist is ill!’.  Fair enough that now leaves two bands.  A few more calls much to my bosses frustration and 2 it was so I’ll just have to like it.  Big Andy Subs picked me up from work and ran me back to his polished showhome doing me a much welcome cuppa and exhibiting his diverse vinyl collection.  Nice amiable lad Andy and always a smile on his face, especially when talking about the UK Subs.  Back out into the dreary weather with the incessant sleet falling and the insidious cold creeping and Andy’s son and mate were picked up and I was dropped in Bolton to be presented with an icy soaking and a full aching bladder.  A quick piss down a back street I have used on more than one occasion and to the venue at last.  What a shite day!

Well the news that greeted me at the venue was not good.  The weather had taken its toll and 2 Sick Monkeys were now 2 fucked off gibbons as they were on the way home after being stuck in a gridlock miles away.  The fact that they rung the venue later and had the decency to personally apologise was well noted and deserves mention.  1 band it is then!

A swift beer and out into the early evening deluge to meet Tim ‘Punk4Life’ Davies.  Up he turned and despite the weather our spirits were raised as I produced a large bottle of QC and 2 drinking vessels.  On the bus station whilst chatting to a pair of very sorry looking homeless chaps we drained the bottle in less that half an hour, said our farewells and went in search of an off-licence and a chippy.  Cold, soaked and still grinning we stuffed a hearty chip shop tea and failed in our quest to find the elusive retailer of the bronze legend but met 2 smashed old geezers who could only mumble something about one of their dads fighting the Japanese. So what!  Back to the Alma and the serious drinking began and before long we were both pissed.  And fuckin’ well deserved it was.

Eventually after so much arsing The Bullet Kings got up and played their set which for me was a bloody good do.  The way things were going any live music tonight was a bonus and this was really a special set to raise my ebbing spirits.  In such a short space of time this trio has grown in stature with Andy’s drumming being pure excellence and Wilf’s delivery and stage presence a real jaw-dropping delight.  The way the day had gone I wasn’t in the mood for any second rate shit though and thank goodness for the BK’s.  What a real treat and the doubts I had about their credibility in regards to them just being a Churchill off-shoot (which were almost non-existence anyway) were blown away.  In fact this is the moment to say that this set far outshone anything I’d seen Churchill produce so far and that really does speak volumes.  ‘Terror Holiday’, ‘Revenge’, ‘Words’ and the superb ‘Private Death’ were memorable from a set that was one long pleasure.

The day ended with a beer (surprise, surprise) and the dropping off of a drunken Davies (nothing new there then).

A struggle this but, in a small way and insignificant to the ignorant, the end result was worth it with the Bullet Kings coming into their own.  Cheers to Andy Subs for the lift and chit chat and cheers to Tim for a good beer.


review by OMD (14 February 2007)