Having first seen Deadline in Sheffield earlier this year I was very interested to see if they could reassure me that they are one of the best bands I'd ever seen.  The 2 CD's they have released so far are absolutely fantastic backing up my initial feelings of how good this band is.

So excited by the gig we arrived early with my mate Daz equally excited at seeing Deadline again.  The venue wasn't actually open when we arrived but a nice lady let us in anyway giving us the opportunity to see Suspicious Stains sound check (albeit without the lead singer).  The system didn't sound promising and Nat and Eddie seemed to be getting a trifle pissed off.  Eventually the essentially young crowd arrived and things started to warm up.  Still no Rabies Babies, no lead singer for the Stains and no Deadline.  In my paranoia I suspect this is going to be one of those nights.

More chatting, with the Stains' guitarist sounding pessimistic about the whole proceedings when eventually the singer arrives.   Without much delay (due to there being enough already) Suspicious Stains hit the stage.  After all the arsing about I was in need of a lift and on past viewings this band could certainly do that.  The first few numbers I must admit were dodgy to say the least due to one basic fact - the guitar seemed only on half volume.  Why nobody corrected this until halfway through the set is beyond me but it certainly let the whole routine down.  The usual numbers were dished out with the band actually turning a crappy start into a pretty good finish.  Overall I thought this was the worst performance so far but external forces were at work and that sometimes is just the way it goes.  Nice finish though and that can make all the difference.

Next up were Rabies Babies of whom I know nothing.  During the whole of this performance I was in a state of indecisiveness.  One good song, one bad one - one good song, one bad one etc.  When they were good, they were good and when they were bad, they were bad.  I think potentially they have it, but this needs blending with consistency to make any great impression.  They look good though and seem to be having a great time so all is not grim.  Perhaps a good clear out of numbers they seem shaky on with some good solid rehearsing and gigging will tighten up the whole set - I certainly think so - but do they?

And now at last it was the turn of Deadline.  How good were they going to be?  The young crowd had departed early leaving approximately 40+ die-hards.  Couple this with the long tedious traffic laden journey the band had made from London and the dodgy sound system and things could go distinctly pear shaped.  But now its the the turn of the real professionals and that is the difference.  The performance started at a tight 100mph rate and never let up. 'Round the Bend', 'What you think', 'Back for More'' 'Last Night' and 'IT Girl' were my personal faves on the night but to be honest every single track was pure brilliance.  Even with a band member missing this performance was absolutely faultless.  Liz vocally delivers songs with such effortless confidence it is a delight to behold.  Wide eyed and full of enthusiastic promise her stage presence for a little un is exceptional and should be noted by all you 6ft mean muscle bound muvva's who have has much stage aura as a grasshoppers gonads. Finishing with a song that everyone can sing along to is a master stroke and what better ditty than 'Sheena is a Punk Rocker'.  A fitting finale to one hell of an exceptional set.

On reflection and after the nights excitement I truly believe I have seen one of the best punk bands ever.  Both technically and lyrically they are splendidly faultless and seem to have capabilities aplenty to set them in good stead for the future.  Being a Subs fan for 20 odd years I get worried that when Charlie calls it a day I will have no main band to seek out and keep tabs on.  For now that fear is quelled because I have found a band that are truly awesome and have the potential to carry punk to a new level.  Looking back over punks brief history I cannot think of one band who were this good at this stage in their careers - pretty impressive or what?  Deadline -I thank you.


Review by Fungalpunk/OMD - (29 November 2003)