|UK Subs/DragSTER/Bad Sam - Cardiff, The Globe - 22nd November 2013|
|Written by Dom Daley & Johnny H|
|Friday, 29 November 2013 03:00|
With a brand new vinyl record available on the merch table this was the time for Newport’s Bad Sam to step up to the plate and smash a home run so to speak, on what is relatively home turf (give or take a few miles anyway. A rather busy Globe is about to lay witness to Dean Beddis and everything his band Bad Sam has to offer.
Stepping out once again as a five piece from the opening salvo you can this is going to get messy. So as Beddis performs his trademark pre-gig ritual of removing his boots without pausing it was on with the punk rock and with little time for audience interaction the tattooed musclebound frontman seemed on top of his game during opener ‘American Fat Fuck’, the band cracking on with tunes from the new album coming thick and fast. 'Black John Wayne' preceded 'Dicks With Dogs' and all around the audience is jumping on board to their fiercely tight heavy punk sound. Barely a few songs into the set and Beddis has the Globe eating out of the palm of his hand with ‘Cancer Of The Soul (Slowly, Slowly)' a heaving brooding monster. 'Snake With Tits' is its usual venomous smash and grab, whilst a change of pace with the excellent 'Bastard Son Of A Teddy Boy' signified that there was now only time for one more! There were those of us hoping that they would crank out the awesome 'I Love The Port' but it wasn't to be and nobody could be disappointed with its absence as the equally as impressive 'Valium' showed everybody what this band is all about. Tight, exciting, dangerous and with something to say; Bad Sam should be headlining venues like The Globe and everybody should be getting hold of the album 'Working Class Holocaust'. Respect to Bad Sam they are everything you could want in edgy, give a damn, punk rock.
How the fuck do you follow Bad Sam then? Well, why not do a side step? Because trying to out heavy and power away a performance like that which has just gone before would be futile. So instead you get your glunk on and book dragSTER as main support. That's what you do, and tonight Fi and the boys knock out another impressive set of glamorous punk. Whilst the supports are two very different kind of bands they are also two very good bands that actually compliment one and other perfectly. DragSTER frontwoman Fi is in fine form tonight even if she does have a few minor technical problems with her mic (I guess it just wouldn't be a dragSTER gig without them) and rising to the challenge it's on with the show. Airing a lot of the excellent 'Here Come The Meat Robots' is a bit of a no brainer and highlights are a plenty with 'Drunk' and the super sleazy 'Silent Violent' sounding tighter than ever. With a short but oh so sweet set there was time at the end to crank out 'Dead Punk' the only new tune on offer tonight but another fine example of how it should be done. Far be it for me to speak out of turn but it would be nice to have a new record from dragSTER whether that be an EP or full length album it matters little, so how about it? This was a superb double warm up for Charlie and the boys and many lesser bands would never have had such strong support. Bring on the next time these bands swing past this part of the country I'd imagine there will be a more than expectant crowd awaiting them. (Dom Daley)
“Charlie, Charlie Harper, Charlie, Charlie Harper!” The terrace chant goes up as said punk rock legend saunters onto the stage alongside Alvin Gibbs, Jamie Oliver and Jett with the frontman barely batting an eyelid at such casual devotion. Instead he immediatley flips the whole situation on its head by declaring “Charlie? There’s barely enough left for us, never mind all of you” and then boom! We are straight into ‘Creation’.
Then for the next hour or so, what we get is a demonstration of how to play punk rock from a band really at the top of their game. I mean If any band can leave a song like ‘Endangered Species’ out of their set yet still not have any sour faces or complaints then it is UK Subs, a band who can just as easily slip in such pure gold as ‘Hell Is Other People’, ‘The Chaos’ or ‘Riot’ without anyone really giving a fuck what isn’t being played.
The ever present ‘Emotional Blackmail’ sees The Globe raining beer, whilst ‘Detox’ sees Charlie name checking The Sick Livers, thanks in no small part to a punter crushed up against the stage wearing said band’s T Shirt. ‘Warhead’ tonight sounds apocalyptic with the Welsh choir of pissed up punks in fine voice, ‘Stranglehold’ meanwhile sounds like its being played by a band a third of the age of at least half of the current Subs line up.
Encoring with ‘C.I.D.’ ‘I Live In A Car’, ‘Party In Paris’ and ‘New York State Police’ tonight’s performance hammers home the fact that however many times we have covered UK Subs here at Uber Rock they have never done a poor show. Come to think of it they have also never released anything substandard album wise either. However as Charlie reaches the milestone of 70 years of age next April, and with 2 albums still to complete in his alphabet of punk rock, you do get the sense that this really can’t go on much longer, but for however long it does eventually continue, we the faithful will always be there. So for anyone who hasn’t seen UK Subs in a good few years (like those here tonight who last saw them in Cardiff Top Rank in the eighties), make sure to check the band out before it is too late, this line up really is as an explosive live experience as you’ll see anywhere right now.
Born A Rocker Die A Rocker. Long Live the UK Subs. (Johnny H)