So it’s not been too long since I last saw the UK Subs but it has been a long time since I saw them at what I consider to be an essential part of their DNA – the 100 Club in Oxford Street, London. It’s certainly over 25 years and I have special memories of those times. Ably supported by TV Smith who has been on an European tour with them for six weeks the current line up are fully committed and right on it from the moment they hit the stage. With plaudits ringing in their ears for their most recent album XXIV (they’re now up to letter X in their quest to release albums named in alphabetical order) they romped through a mix of newer material (‘Hell Is Other People’ and ‘Detox’) mixed with their ridiculously strong back catalogue (‘Warhead’, ‘CID’, ‘Tomorrow’s Girls’ – the list is endless). Charlie is the same as he ever was, beer in hand, mingling with the crowd before and after the show and watching the support bands. Alvin Gibbs on bass provides another welcome link back to those early Subs days. More recent but still long serving members Jet (guitar) and Jamie Oliver (drums) more than do justice to the songs. So the band do their part and I’m pleased to say the crowd do too. Those odd pillars in the middle of the dance floor, the stage that’s at a height where it’s easy to trip over it rather than slam against it – people were dancing around them all like it was 1982. Not that the UK Subs are stuck in a time warp - one look at their recent album shows they are still bang up to date and topical. They delivered a set full of energy and commitment and the crowd loved every moment of it. Seriously, if I learnt one thing from the night it was, as the band say, “There ain’t no age limit and no rules, time don’t matter at all”.
As promised yeaterday here’s details of the other other show featuring the work of several street art / graffiti photographers. Take To The Streets is curated by Esther F Castello and is on at The Fun Factory, Bethnal Green Road from the 2nd of May to the 19th May.
From the blurb: “Fun Factory art project space is proud to present Take To The Street, a group show of Street Art & Graffiti Photography. Focusing on the eye of the photographer, it pays special attention to the individual styles of these artists and what makes their photos unique and personal”.
A couple of exhibitions on right now featuring the work of street art / graffiti photographers. Detail of one today and one tomorrow.
First up (and closing today) is Back 2 The Walls show at the Doomed Gallery in Ridley Road, Dalston. Featuring the work of Delete, NolionsinEngland, Howaboutno, Ellison and Buddz909 each photographer has three prints each in the show. Quite a cool gallery too with a kind of welcoming, DIY punk feel to the whole thing. The gallery have plenty of other shows too which should be interesting to readers of this blog so have a look at their forthcoming shows listings too.
DALeast arrived recently on these shores and has made quite a big impact already with two trademark style pieces in London’s East End. You can see them for yourself in Pedley Street (yop image) and Rivington Street (bottom image).
DALeast – Pedley Street (photo: Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk)
DALeast, Rivington Street (photo: Steve Cotton / artofthestate.co.uk)
The new edition of Very Nearly Almost (VNA) magazine is now available to order and a little cracker it is too. Everyones favourite Portuguese chiseller Vhils graces the cover and there is an in depth interview with him inside along with the irrepressible Tizer (check out the great compilation series of photographs of the man, the legend grinning alongside lesser mortals such as Damon Albarn and, er, Rolf Harris to name but a few). There’s plenty of fresh street art photography from London and from around the globe but for me the best photographs are the artist portraits with those of Miss Led and Soker being the stand out ones. The Soker West Country shots are a nice break from the often cliched artist against the piece photo, more of this in future editions please! Elsewhere you’ll find Brazil’s Cranio (recently to be found in Brick Lane), Polish crew ETAM and Australia’s Vexta. Highly recommended, nothing else comes close in the printed format.
The Ramonas / The Pukes / T and The Mugs – Fighting Cocks, Kingston, Saturday 20th April 2013
T and the Mugs provided the kick off entertainment delivering a pretty blistering angry tirade of punk fare served with confidence to a rapidly filling venue. They seemed to run out of their own songs pretty quickly and so started working their way through an extensive list of SLF, Clash covers – a shame because their original songs sounded pretty good to these ears. It seemed a bit defeatist but ultimately this was going to be a night of cover versions.
T and The Mugs (photo – Steve Cotton / artofthestate)
The Pukes are a pretty unique act despite their fondness for other peoples songs. I’d say it’s a safe bet to assume that they are the only 20 member Uke wielding punk band in the UK (unless you know different)! Somehow they mostly managed to fit on the tiny stage with a further three members intermingling with the crowd at the front of the venue. Then, with quite remarkable coordination, they suddenly started playing altogether and in time running through their own compositions and a host of other peoples songs in their own style. Highlights for me were Cocksparrer’s Because Your’e Young and an Exploited medley which included their songs Sex and Violence, Dead Cities and Alternative(!) They embody the diy punk ethic and add a real sense of fun coming down (just) on the right side between genius and insanity.
The Pukes (photo – Steve Cotton / artofthestate)
The Pukes joining the Ramonas at the end of the gig (photo – Steve Cotton / artofthestate)
Headlining were the Ramonas, the UK’s only all girl tribute to the Ramones. Now I’ve not seen many tribute bands before save for Bjorn Again and I’m a big fan of the Ramones so I wasn’t sure how this was going to go but fears were soon allayed as they did a damn fine job of playing classic after classic. All the more impressive as a quick bit of non scientific age judging on my part would say that none of them would have actually seen the Ramones live, certainly not in their heyday anyway. DVD’s and Youtube mean that this is not such a problem anymore and I think they really captured many of Da Brudders traits whilst still being very much their own band.
Cloey Ramona (photo – Steve Cotton / artofthestate)
Pee Pee Ramona (photo – Steve Cotton / artofthestate)
Rohnny Ramona (photo – Steve Cotton / artofthestate)
…Or Stockwell to be precise, at The Grosvenor, Sidney Road. I went to see the Subhumans who were joined by artofthestate’s favourite three quarters Italian punk band Blatoidea and oddly enough two bands from Oakland, USA. Fracas and Kicker were over on these shores for BOBFest, a pretty unique music festival. I say unique because you’d be hard pushed to find another event based on combining the musical talents of Bremen (GER) Oakland (USA) and Bath (UK). Anyway I digress a bit (as usual), every band were great, Subhumans and Blatoidea were on fine form as ever and Kicker even did a cover of the Partisans classic 17 Years Of Hell. Great stuff, but one of the highlights for me was discovering Fracas. I wish I bought the CD’s they had on offer but I did record this track which I think is rather quaintly titled “Fuck All You”.
Four days of angry bands screaming at you, distorted guitars, pushing and shoving and all the rest. Yeah, it was (Another) Another Winter of Discontent last weekend and what a fantastic line up it was too. I only managed two out of the four nights but was pretty damn pleased with those. You can see more photos about each band and a description about what happened over on artofthestate. Click on the links below for more: