Gig review – RIFLE / BBQT / EDDZ at the Blue Basement, Third Man Records, Soho, London. Shaping – 24th May 2023
I’d never been to the Blue Basement before (under the recently opened Third Man Records in Soho) but their ‘Shaping’ night featured three acts for three quid and seemed well worth a punt.
Entering into the Blue Basement’s, err, blue lit basement you realise this place is tiny – maybe 50 people or a few more at a push. With a great sound and a pretty much guaranteed packed crowd it’s a great new music venue for the capital.
First up is Eddz, who walks up the six inches onto the stage and presses play on the retro looking boom box behind him. Out comes upbeat electronic music, with another touch of retro to it. Eddz delivery has you listening carefully to the lyrics, there’s more going on here than a casual listen might suggest. We’re taken into a world of stories about a life less ordinary (and well spent) – very entertaining it is too.
BBQT (from Baltimore, no less) are up next with a replacement bassist from London based Middleman. Everything seems to gel instantly and they play excellent dirty rock’n’roll which is well received even if many are not familiar with the songs. They’re a lively bunch and seem at home rocking out in a basement, face to face with the crowd. A real find.
Rifle are a young band with the right sort of attitude. Gloriously raucous, pissed off with how things are, they kick off with a chorus of ‘No Pasaran’ – ‘They shall not pass’ – something of an anti fascist anthem. Moving on they play a series of angry originals with the singer spending half the gig in the pit. It feels proper old school yet young and vital at the same time. I recognise ‘Fascist Cops’ (The Kids) and ‘Progress’ (Flux of Pink Indians) as covers but originals like ’44’ and ‘The Flag’ steal the show. An amazing night, punk rock as it should be.