Friday 4 January 2013

Recent gigs, Part One: The Beat, From The Jam, 4 Ft Fingers

OK, I know we're now in post-apocalyptic 2013, but I still have unfinished business with 2012. I'll start with my promised rundown of recent and not-so recent gigs, detailed here for your viewing pleasure in reverse order. Of course.
Back on the 9th of December The Beat brought their Christmas Ska Party to Gloucester's Guildhall Arts Centre for the second year running. Outside it was freezing but in the Guildhall Rankin' Roger and the boys raised the temperature enough to melt a snowman's snowballs.

As exuberant and energetic as ever, Roger and his son Rankin' Junior had us all skanking and singing along to classics such as Hands Off She's Mine, Save It For Later, Best Friend, their fantastic cover of Tears Of A Clown and, of course, Mirror In The Bathroom. My fellow gig-goers, Sarah, Jacqui and Caz all partied like it was 1999 and were very impressed when Roger inevitably took his shirt off to reveal his six-pack. Well, it was hot in there! After the traditional "Hip, hip, hooray" singalong of Jackpot the band waved goodbye, leaving us with their message of good vibes 'n' unity... and a proper understanding of how to pronounce the word "Wha'ppen"...

Also at the Guildhall, but this time back in November, we were treated to an appearance from Sir Bruce Of Foxton from The Jam, with his band... er, From The Jam. Although I hadn't been expecting the band to play first Jam album, In The City, all the way through ( and neither had most of the other punters, judging by the reaction ) it was a good, fun gig... which perked up no end when Bruce sidelined the unfamiliar album tracks and solo songs in favour of solid gold Jam classics like Going Underground, The Eton Rifles, Strange Town, Down In The Tube Station At Midnight etc. You can read my full review here at Louder Than War.

Stroud's finest, the wonderful Chinese Burn, were also on the bill, playing a real stormer of a set: as I said in my LTW review, the Guildhall always seems to bring out the best in them. Great band, great venue.

And great company, too! It was definitely one of the best times I've had in a crowd, regardless of the band. Here are Helen, Wendy and Carol, posing for one of many photos ....

...and me, doing the same :-)

Step back another month to October and the reformed skate-Punk legends 4 Ft Fingers are ripping up... guess where? Yes, it's that same venue again! On their 10th anniversary tour the local heroes live up to their rep of being one of the tightest, fastest, loudest bands around, with some cracking tunes and riffs... although some of the lyrics are a bit dodgy. "This next song is about boobs..." Really?

Anyway, a good time is had by all, with much moshing and bouncing up and down on the Guildhall's sprung floor. Support comes from Gloucester Street-Punk kings, Noise Agents, doing their shouty, vein-bulging thing as only they can. Their new, five-piece lineup gives their sound some extra whallop plus, unexpectedly, extra melody with more backing vocals. They really do get better every time I see them.

And here's Noise Agents / Demob frontman, the irrepressible Andy K, with adoring fans including Tony The Nose, Rob F ( clearly not paying attention ) and ex-DPC legend, Mark B...

OK, that's part one done. More recent gigs coming up very soon... some even from different venues :-)

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