UK SUBS / ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE at Sub89, Reading

UK SUBS / ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE Friday 25th April 2014 at Sub89, Reading

Great line up, two headlining stalwarts of the punk scene on one night. Neither band need an introduction the Subs having made multiple Top Of The Pops appearances back in the day and the Anti Nowhere League achieved instant infamy with their b side to the Streets Of London single, a very rude ditty entitled ‘So What’.

Walking out on stage singer Animal from the Anti Nowhere League hardly seems to have aged at all. Maybe wearing his trademark sunglasses helps (the codpiece has thankfully gone) he reminds the audience why he makes such an enigmatic front man, cajoling, sneering, mocking and encouraging the crowd all in equal measure. I don’t recognise the rest of the band but it becomes quickly eveident that they all know exactly what they are doing as they go through era defining singles such as I Hate People and songs off their We Are The League album. Favourite of the night for me was ‘For You’ – a real classic of a song and from their more recent catalogue ‘Pig Iron’ – a song yearning for a simpler age. A great set by a band obviously on form I pick up a  copy of their Pig Iron CD on the way out but more of that later.

There’s no band I’ve seen more than the UK Subs. Despite an often changed line up things have settled down of a late to a stable four piece of Charlie (who else!), Alvin, Jet and Jamie. These guys always deliver and tonight is no exception. Again there is a heavy reliance on early material but interspersed with that fitting in just fine are more recent recordings. The Subs are no mere history unit but are still recording great sounding punk rock today as they reach letter X in their quest to have an album released for every letter of the alphabet. This is Charlie Harper’s 70th birthday tour but fuck, you’d never know. The mans an absolute legend. Born a rocker.  I’ve talked about them many times before but if you ever liked them go and see them now – you won’t be disappointed.

So back to that Anti Nowhere League CD. The album PIg Iron is great but getting to the last bonus songs on the recording I come across The Day The World Turned Gay . Now I know that ANWL are meant to be offensive but I kind of take it with a pinch of salt. I don’t actually believe that Animal has had his todger tickling a goats tonsils and that this lyric is there to demonstrate a point and said in character. But this song, well it just sounds like they mean to be come across as anti gay:

Gay Pride are marching out there on the town , they’re holding hands with there trousers down ,they’re sniffing each others arses just like dogs, they’re being dirty and hanging around in bogs.
Now we’ve got puffs,queers,faggots, dykes and lady boys and fuckin transvestites!
the day the world turned gay, everythings acceptable today, the day the world turned gay, well i must of missed something along the way..
Homophobia you say to me, am i alone in a sick society? Well there wont be a generation here to come, coz were a dead generation were a dead man leading on.

  Don’t suppose I’ll ever know what the band actually think and I very much doubt the band will lose any sleep over it but I think this song belongs in another time. Maybe back to the days of pig iron….

Watch UK Subs play Time and Matter live at Sub89

Watch Anti Nowhere League play Nowhere Man live at Sub89

 

Alvin Gibbs

Charlie Harper, UK Subs

Animal from the Anti Nowhere League

Anti Nowhere League

Anti Nowhere League

Anti Nowhere League

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