We had a late start on the Saturday beause it was pissing down. We felt we had two options: wear a raincoat or get wet. We were truly on the horns of a dilemma. Then Darcy came up with a third option. It was a bit expensive but we went for it because we wouldn’t have to wear a raincoat, which really wasn’t an option for either of us, or get soaked. We got a taxi to the bus stop.
That meant we missed Urban Scum, a Clockwork/Oi! band that I was interested in. When we got to the Winter Gardens, a little bit wet, I might add, we went straight to the Backstage Bistro for some dinner. In the queue behind us was Phil from the Duel and a friend of his called Sian (I have just amazed myself with my ability to recall names). We chatted for a while and I gave him an honest account of their set from the previous day. Not that I slagged them off, I didn’t; I like the Duel.
After that, we went and caught part of Los Fastidios’ set. I saw Los Fastidios at Wasted 2006 and I was undecided about them at the time so I wanted to see them again. They did not disappoint. To be honest, they were far, far better than I had remembered them. I would class them as Oi! Enrico is a good singer and they are all good musicians, which, to a classically trained punk like me (I’ve got Grade 8 piano, you know) is important. They finished with Angelic Upstarts’ “Last Night Another Soldier” (click here for the lyrics), a song that spoke to the hearts of everybody there. They are brilliant.
Goldblade were on next. I will probably have to restrain myself here because I could (and probably will eventually) devote a whole blog to this band. Darcy, a former rockabilly, classes them as psychobilly. I class them as effing brilliant. I have mentioned before that I am convinced that John Robb’s sweat has magical properties. I wasn’t close enough to the stage this time to get showered with it but never mind. They were, as always, absolutely brilliant from the first song, “Fighting in the Dancehall, Fucking in the Street” right through to the end. I spent the first three songs muttering “When are you going to take your shirt off?”. When it came off, I had to use all my willpower not to get to the front of the crowd by any means possible (how useful a jet pack would be in such situations). Let’s get back to the songs. Well, they included Jukebox Generation, My Name is Psycho, Do you believe in the Power of Rock & Roll (“I believe, Brother John!”), All we need is Rebel Songs, ACDC and many others that I’ve forgotten now. Needless to say, they were great but I think I’ve said that already.
We left Goldblade, me starry eyed and breathless and Darcy his usual cool self and went off to the Bizarre Bazaar and caught the end of Nick Cash’s acoustic set. I sang along to Emergency and Homicide with gusto, which is good because that’s what he wanted the audience to do. After him was a comedian, Ted Chippington. I saw him support Goldblade once and thought he was great. This time, the mic was playing up, the backing tape was too loud and nobody could hear him. He was going down like a lead balloon when we left, which was a real shame because he had had a rapturous reception the last time I’d seen him.
We went back down to the Empress Ballroom and saw 999’s set, including for the second time that day, Homicide and Emergency and Nasty Nasty. Great songs. We stayed in the Ballroom and moved up to the front for Anti Nowhere League. They started with “So What”. I love that song. I mean it’s damn good musically (my friend DB, who is certainly not a punk or skinhead or particularly into this type of music, once saw them with me and was particularly impressed with the virtuosity of Jez) and it speaks to the rebel in me. I’ve been to Hastings, Brighton and Eastbourne too but I can categorically state that I done none of the other things in the song. Good thing too, probably. After a few songs, it was too rough at the front – I was never really up to rowdy moshpits but I can always use my age as an excuse nowadays – so Darcy and I retired to a calmer area and watched the rest of the set from there. I managed to get a few photos while I was at the front but to be brutally honest, they were crap.
We had something to eat after that. In the queue was another Straps fan (sometimes we seem like a rare breed) who thought he knew me but wasn’t sure (sorry, mate, I didn’t get your name). I explained our common ground and we commiserated with each other for a minute or two on the Straps’ demise.
After that we went to The Olympia to see the Rezillos. I loved the Rezillos and then the Revillos first time round. I remember putting Top of the Pops on the jukebox in the Mocha Cafe in Saffron Walden when I was 15 or 16 and loving it. I had Motorbike Beat (by the Revillos, I think) but it got warped when I left it in sunlight – stupid! I think they started with Flying Saucer Attack, although my memory could be playing tricks with me. They played plenty of other stuff, including (My Baby does) Good Sculptures, 2000AD and Top of the Pops. We left after Top of the Pops (but not before I bought a Rezillos t-shirt) to go and see the Notsensibles.
I only ever knew “I’m in love with Margaret Thatcher” and the other songs on the single, “Concerto No 2”, “Little Boxes” and “Garry Bushell’s Band of the Week” and I’d forgotten two of them anyway. Darcy and I both had chronic back ache now so we sat down and leant against the wall. I sang along to “Little Boxes” when they played it and, as they neared the end of their set, I got up to take a couple of photos. It was at this point when they decided to launch into “I’m in love with Margaret Thatcher”. I took one photo, put my camera away and went mad, right in front of the stage. God, I love that song.
Then we went back to The Olympia to see Stiff Little Fingers. I was tired, my back and feet hurt and I really wasn’t up to it anymore. I just wanted to sit down. I can’t name any of the songs they played apart from Johnny Was and Suspect Device, my favourite SLF song, and it took them a bloody age to get to it too. I wanted to stay until they played Alternative Ulster but the first song they played in the encore was self-indulgently long and I was far too irritated to stay. We buggered off before they finished it. As far as I am concerned, punk songs should be no more than 3 minutes long. Get back to your roots, Jake!
Other things I remember from Saturday? The Winter Gardens ran out of draught lager and cider. I don’t drink the bitter in there – I’m a cask ale girl, myself – and I was reduced to buying bottled beer at a stupid price. The other thing was Darcy talking to a chap at the bar who had a tattoo on his head. Darcy was interested to know if it had hurt. The chap assured him he has tattoos in more painful places. Good man!