The Godfathers/The Hot 27’s/The Lone Sharks - Bristol, The Thunderbolt - 2nd November 2013 Print E-mail
Written by Nev Brooks   
Thursday, 14 November 2013 03:00

Godfathers PosterWhen the offer to take a trip across the bridge to catch The Godfathers on the back of what was to me anyway a cracking LP in ‘Jukebox Fury’, there was only one real question that needed answering, “you driving or me?” As it was Johnny H took up the challenge of negotiating our way to yet another new venue to us at URHQ situated on the outskirts of the fair city of Bristol. So whilst our scene in South Wales loses another 2 venues this month the scene over the bridge at the moment is just seems to keep growing and expanding as I seem to visit new venues on a monthly basis.


You’ve got to applaud the fact that people (well Bristol music fans anyway) are turning their backs on the shit that’s being peddled through shows like The Voice and X Factor and getting more involved in the underground, the grass roots, where music really stands out and up for itself. The scene where the artists provide the intensity and the crowd are lifted and dragged along for the ride, it’s what makes the working week worthwhile.


Speaking of intensity, one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to see the Godfathers again was I had a bit of prior knowledge of what to expect after catching them headlining a gig in Cardiff University way back in the late ‘80s. Touring on the back of what was to me anyway a real purple patch for the band after releasing the classic ‘Birth, School, Work, Death’ record and just prior to the as equally as superb ‘More Songs About Love and Hate’. Thinking back and comparing tonight’s gig to that first experience, we might have all got older but the sheer intensity of the band hasn’t diminished. I mean for frontman Peter Coyne to walk stage front and for his first words to be “Come on Bristol, let’s fucking ‘ave it” you immediately knew what was coming next. But that's for later because there were two other bands on the bill prior, who were both well worthy of mention.


Lone Sharks


First up, and a new one on me, The Lone Sharks pushing a new CD ‘Supply and Demand’ and definitely a band to watch out for. Kicking off with ‘Heart Of This Nation’ and ‘I Don’t Know Her Name’ there were a fair few of the local crowd giving knowing nods right from the off. What was really refreshing for me was the sharing of the vocal duties, we had both guitarists and bassist taking the lead on different numbers, which certainly helped keep things fresh giving what was in all honesty a full set with a huge variety of delivery. This was certainly no support band being given half an hour here. The Lone Sharks have loads of pop punk sensibilities, loads of influences from the Clash, or Jonny Thunders through to The Jam and tonight was a cracking introduction to the band.


Hot 27s


Next up we had The Hot 27’s and things became ever so surreal at this point, with the feeling that we really were in a local gig, for local people, and it just got more surreal as the set went on. Vocalist Big Bill Waine challenged every preconception I hold on what a frontman should look like. The image screamed out steam punk and the brass hand held camera that came to the fore in what was a fair version of The Stooges ‘TV Eye’ (made me and Johnny H smile anyway) reinforced that image. However the feather boa that came out to play during the band’s stab at Bowie’s ‘John. I’m Only Dancing’ should perhaps have stayed in the closet. Discussing The Hot 27’s after their set finished and writing it up now I still don’t know what I made of them, they are definitely interesting, definitely worth watching, but what do you call them? ‘60s garage punk, indie, steam punk, rock ‘n roll? I’m not exactly sure how to badge them so it’s probably worth me leaving it there, and simply suggest you go out, check The Hot 27’s in person and make up your own minds.


Godfathers 1


So on to the main act, and as the intro tape ‘Theme To The Godfather’ drifts into your consciousness you instantly liven up, then suddenly the guys are in our midst and they’re there kicking off with ‘Public Enemy’, 'Free Yourself' and ‘Coz I Said So’ and that same intensity I mentioned earlier grabs you by the collars and shakes the living daylights out of you. There was no let up right through tonight’s set and standing here squashed up down the front I realise what a strong back catalogue the band possess and the reason why they inspire the devotion that they do amongst their fans. Yeah we had a few PA problems but fuck did it sound good otherwise. This is classic rock ‘n’ roll, no wait classic punk rock ‘n’ roll, no scrap that garage punk, Oh fuck let’s call it alternative, fact call it what you like, because The Godfathers simply play great fucking music.


Godfathers 2Highlights for me tonight, apart from the whole gig, were many, but real stand-outs were ‘She Gives Me Love’, a rip roaring ‘I Can’t Sleep Tonight” and an awesome ‘Primitive Man’ where the locals, under the influence of various substances appeared stage front and centre, harmless but wankered. Then there was ‘I Want Everything’, and the set closing blast of ‘Birth, School, Work, Death’ which moved it through the gears, before finally we had the whole encore with ‘The Outsider’ in particular really kicking my arse.


I must admit this current set from The Godfathers was stronger, more intense and much more powerful than the one that blew me away all those years ago, and that is largely down to the new line up of the band (Peter Coyne on vocals, Chris Coyne on bass guitar and vocals, Del Bartle on guitar and Grant Nicholas on the drums) but what really hit me was the question “why have I waited so long between gigs?” Tonight had all the potential of being a potential gig of the year for yours truly. I mean a 17 track set list, with a 3 song encore taken from one of the strongest back catalogues out there and all in one of the newest (to me anyway), most intimate venues the great city of Bristol has to offer.


What else is there to say other than “Come on Bristol, let’s fucking ‘ave it!!!!!”


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