HDQ / SOUTHPORT / MENSHEVIK / THIRTY SIX STRATEGIES – Saturday 17th May 2014 at the Black Heart, Camden
Years ago I had the pleasure of putting on HDQ at a couple of gigs (Wimbledon William Morris and the George Robey), even featured them in my fanzine Crisispoint and on an EP with three other bands of the time). So you can work out from that that I’m a bit of a fan. They reactivated recently but hadn’t got to play London yet so I was chuffed to see promoters Dry Heave sticking their neck out and offering them a gig down South in London.
Pre gig I met up with my old mate Neil Cox from Shutdown in the Worlds End pub in Camden to watch the mighty Arsenal win the FA cup. Simon from Southport was with Neil too. Simon is a fellow Gooner which essentially means his soundcheck went out of the window as the game went to extra time before history was made.
A solid support line up was on offer tonight with Thirty Six Strategies sneaking onto an already crowded bill. The recently formed outfit turned in a fine set of melodic hardcore not dissimilar to the likes of Dagnasty but with a female singer. It’s the third time I’ve seen the band and they’ve made big strides each time. They’ve become more assured and I really enjoyed them – especially really catchy songs like Crossfire. Still feel that there’s a brake on somewhere though which they need to lose before greatness beckons.
Menshevik are a lively bunch from the off. The singer is up on the monitors and gets the whole band going behind him. Really enjoyable outfit.
Southport’s recent Southern Soul album saw the band get a right result with the production. It’s pretty much perfection . Here though they are back to scratch with a band who have never met in real life playing a gig together without a rehearsal and yet somehow it works. You’d expect guitarist Simon Wells (ex Snuff) to be on the money having (I guess) written the songs but the other two must be true professionals to have learnt the songs and rocked up in front of an audience having not met each other before. Looking forward to seeing more of Southport in the near future.
Having just drummed solidly for Southport drummer Scruff stayed in his seat as he’s also behind the kit for HDQ. Only singer David Golledge and guitarist Dickie Hammond remain from the band I saw back in the eighties but they’re essential parts in recapturing their sound. With a mix of new material from their recently released Boss Tuneage LP “Lost In Translation” and a smattering of old classics they really impressed. The singer still jumps just like he used to do back in the day while Hammond still knocks out those angular triangles of riffs (I don’t know why but I see the notes he plays in the form of shapes as well as hearing them – it’s not a drug thing – just the way some people visualise music)! It’s brilliant to see them back on form. Can’t wait to see them again.
HDQ, Camden Black Heart
Scruff on drum suties for Southport
Thirty Six Strategies