I was expecting a good turn out here with me and Steve Lillis of Ageless Chaps doing a joint venture and seeing what we could come up with.  The Subhumans were chosen as the first experiment in what could be a series of exclusive gigs that cater for punks of all styles and would give me the chance to get some underdog bands some great support slots and vital CV additions.  Sometimes the game needs playing to benefit everyone so needs must.  Tonight seemed a winner as plenty of forethought went into the chosen few and Steve has a good business head on his shoulders that helped convince me that the gig must go ahead. 

Me and my good lady arrived at 6.15’ish to be met by a grinning Steve in upbeat mood.  As usual we disagreed on our punk stances and laughed in good old friendly fashion with a few wind-ups being fired good naturedly back and forth.  A few faces arrived then the bands.  We helped the Subhumans carry their endless and weighty  gear upstairs (I hope Steve didn’t pull a muscle carrying those 2 CD’s) and the first beer was purchased.  Only a few tonight folks – honest!

More chatting with punters and I popped upstairs to see the soundcheck – sounding good despite a vibrating floor.  Its hard to judge the real sound when the gaff is empty but this sounded promising.

Anyway much mooching and pooching and I pecked a few heads to get upstairs and watch the first band, namely The Dangerous Aces.  Barely out of the embryonic stage these lot are gradually improving and getting to grips with live performances and all it can throw their way.  Unfortunately the bassist was dealt some early instrument problems that seemed to knock his confidence but like a good un’ he got through which was a real relief I can tell you.  The crowd took to this lot and personally I feel they just need to work on a bit more stage presence and be a little more polished in the final delivery and we’ll have a really good band on our hands.  Having said that these are still decent and the 2 times I have seen them I have really enjoyed it.  A CD release is due now and with a crowd like tonight they missed a sales opportunity to say the least.  A very pleasing opener with many more gigs coming their way on evidence like this.

Next it was Barnyard Masturbator who played their best set to date.  ‘Losers’ and ‘Plastic Surgery’ and the American ditty whose name always escapes me were choice picks from a nostril full of prize bogeys.  Scarlet provided the usual active stage performance despite the overbearing attention of a drunken stage invader.  The guy obviously meant no harm and is a usual face on the scene who is always a pleasure to chat with but today the beer took its toll and he obviously felt the need to ‘become involved’.  Anyway after helping him off the stage he behaved like a good un’ and the set was a real joy.  All members contributed to a fine performance and the crowd lapped it up.  Nice.

The room was now at its capacity and the heat and general sweaty ambience added to what was becoming a real good punk night.  Revenge of the Psychotronic Man were the second band tonight picked by myself due to their likeable attitudes and admirable work ethic.  Add to this that they are a darn good band and you can forgive me for expecting a great showing even though I had reservations like all sufferers of paranoia and pessimism.  Well I needn’t have worried at all because this was pure fuckin’ class and the young buggers thrived on a great opportunity to strut their stuff and help the bands overall cause.  I was well chuffed for them and the stage vitality and zeal was truly infectious and the crowd loved it too which was a real treat because on paper this would not normally be the bands natural audience.  Well that paper was only fit for wiping the soiled ring of punk rock bollocks for this broke that rule once and for all and I think displayed ROPM’s cross-over talents to a tee.  There are  some bands you go and see and you can’t help but wish them well – here we have one.  For me the future is golden and I hope this lot have enough forethought to take it all.  Brilliant.

Well with the crowd getting excited (a little too much in some cases) the Subhumans were almost immediately at it.  I have followed these lot since their beginning and in the early eighties loved that melodic edge that still retained a certain raw quality that gave the band its advantage over similar outfits.  The last time I saw them was about 2 years ago in Birmingham and they were awesome – tonight was just as good and in the small confines of a rammed Star and Garter this was a real special outing.  As always ‘Human Error’ shone but the6er was a new one in there that was a fuckin’ peach and really whets the appetite for Subhumans fans.  The crowd was boisterous but considerate and all seemed to have a cracking night.  That’ll do for me.

After the gig my discussions confirmed that all had enjoyed the night and talking to the support bands was just a real fuckin’ tonic as their pleasure was overflowing and all seemed in a great mood with the overall gig.  4 good bands, a good crowd at a great venue – can’t fault it really.

For me back to the SAS but really happy in the knowledge that the chance to give the underdog some good support slots is always waiting and that the Subhumans still have many a fine tune to offer.


review by OMD (12 April 2007)