I went to see Argy Bargy on Friday. The first person I have to thank is my LSH (long suffering husband) because he persuaded me to leave my poor, ill little girl (okay, she’s 16 and taller than me but she’s still poor and ill) at home with him and go out and enjoy myself. I suppose I also ought to thank my poor ill little girl (previously blogged about under the name of Bobbie) for allowing me to leave her in the capable hands of her Dad when she was feeling so ill.
So I got a return ticket to Manchester and got on the train to Piccadilly by myself. I don’t usually go to gigs on my own. I think my taste in Oi Punk is quite specialist and I could not find anybody in my immediate family or circle of friends who wanted to go. Fortunately, I did know a couple of people who were going to be there so I was reassured that I wasn’t going to be completely isolated.
So I got off the train at Piccadilly and went out to where the taxi rank is. I knew the pub was opposite the train station and my older daughter had given me quite specific instructions on how to leave the station so I wouldn’t be wandering around for ages asking people how to get to the pub. I checked the buildings immediately opposite the station and realised that the pub I was heading for is not quite opposite. In the distance, I could see a building that looked like the picture on the Net and I walked towards it. It was the Star and Garter, so I walked in and paid my £6 and went straight to the bar.
I got my half a Fosters and while I was being served, I looked around for familiar faces. I didn’t want to stand around on my own like a complete lemon – that would have made me miserable. Fortunately, I spotted a couple of friendly faces I’ve seen before and I went over to talk to them. Once they realised I’d come on my own, they became knights in shiny armour (not very punk, I know, the armour should be tarnished and held together with safety pins) and took me under their wing.
We went up to see the first band, the Bullet Kings. When the gig was over and I was walking back to the station, I chatted to one of them. I’m pretty sure he was the bassist but I know I was quite pissed by then so I’m not absolutely certain. He did wear a UK Subs t-shirt, I know that. I asked him twice what the name of his band was and told him I’d blog about the gig. To my shame, I forgot almost immediately and I had to look it up before writing this blog.
Well, the Bullet Kings played good, fast, loud punk and I enjoyed the set. My KISA (Knights in Shiny Armour) bought me drinks and we chatted. If I remember rightly, I think I told one of the KISA that I love it when punks get old and fat – sorry! I was having a great time. I also went and bought myself a t-shirt (an Argy Bargy one) which has the words:
on it. This appealed to my inebriated self a great deal and I showed it off to all and sundry before putting it on. I hasten to add that it has continued to appeal to me since I sobered up yesterday and I will wear it with pride at every opportunity.
The next band were The Great St Louis and I can’t blog about them because I didn’t see them. I was too busy chatting to people in the bar and admiring their tattoos (an annoying habit I have). It’s amazing how much time I can waste talking to complete strangers and admiring their tattoos once I’ve had a few beers.
3CR were great. I’ve got a picture of Boggy on my phone. I didn’t know who he was when I took it. I was just admiring his mohican and decided to take a picture of it. I think I asked him first, I’m a polite sort of a person. Now I know who he is, I proudly show it off to all and sundry, interested or completely uninterested. Don’t ask me to name any of their songs, I can’t but I enjoyed the set and will catch them at the next opportunity.
Finally, Argy Bargy, the band I’d come to see. I largely ignored the Oi bands when I was a teenager. I knew a couple of Sham 69 songs and I like the UK Subs but much of the movement passed me by. I think it was a bit too hardcore for my young ears. Now, I love Oi. My taste in music has moved more to the extreme and the louder and harder it is, the better. I don’t own any CDs by Argy Bargy so I can’t mention individual songs (although I picked up the set list from the stage at the end of the gig and I will get some stuff on CD now) but I can say that I enjoyed myself enough to dance in the rather weird way I do dance to punk and stand on the edge of the mosh pit. I love the violence of the mosh pit too (that’s a word I’ve had to import). It’s a friendly sort of violence, people get knocked down but everybody helps them back to their feet, and I got soaked by someone’s drink when he was pushed into me. Something quite sweet but not cider. Not good because my hair goes wavy when it gets wet. I moved right to the front at the end of the gig and that’s when I picked up the set list.
Oi is credited with bringing punks and skinheads together. I remember an incident many years ago when my sister, one of our friends (a lad whose name escapes me now) and I were walking through Churchill Park in Bromley. We were all punks. Some skinheads attacked our friend and were really putting the boot in. Me and my sister shouted at them and pulled some of them off him. I was very scared at the time and I was pretty shocked too. It was the first time I saw anybody beaten up.
Later, I became good friends with a few skinheads, very good friends with one in particular, who used to walk me home late at night after gigs. I’ve never really been scared of skinheads, well not since my friend was beaten up, and nowadays I find the look very attractive indeed! I texted my good friend from the gig. The message said and I think this is word for word:
“I’m a bisexual. I like punx and skins.”
Now, because I like doing it, here’s a nice video of Argy Bargy singing “Read all about it”.