The Boys/Heavy Drapes/The Vulz – London, The 100 Club – 6 January 2018 Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Monday, 15 January 2018 04:40

It’s always a pleasure to find myself in one of the world’s most well-preserved and treasured concert venues right in the heart of London's Oxford Street. When all around it is gentrified and sanitized, I often wonder how this treasure trove keeps its heart beating with live music when everywhere else is pillaged in the name of progress, or bigger foyers for tube stations, or turned into office space, and everything else that remains around it is tat-peddling emporia.


Tonight, as part of the week-long Resolution Festival celebrations, Saturday night belongs to The Boys. The sell-out crowd is in the house early, and it's The Vulz who have the first golden ticket, and they turn in an entertaining set with much of their albums material getting aired, with the highlight going to 'C'Mon' and the excellent 'Kassablanca' - minus Gary Pierce's E string… or should that be Honest John's E string?  With time being at a premium the boys flew through their set and did a sterling job once again opening for The Boys.


Heavy Drapes 100 Club


Next up, you can feel the expectation rise and all of a sudden there seems to have been a sudden influx of bodies closing in on the stage for the set from Heavy Drapes. Quite the buzz is currently surging around these four punks, and boy they didn't disappoint in delivering a rather fine set that ticked all the necessary boxes and made it crystal clear why there is a buzz about the band: they've clearly got something going on, and I think they know it. The bottom line is always the songs. On tonight's evidence, they've got plenty under their belts.  With a sound that straddles several obvious camps and comparisons, the band has a job to do and, with a healthy dose of attitude, they absolutely smash it.


From the impressive opener 'Number One', there was an excitement in the room, and the band was delivering the goods and proving that sometimes the hype is justified. One minute I closed my eyes and heard the Lords Of The New Church mixed in with some spikey Britpop (how does that work I hear you cry). 'Should I Suck Or Should I Blow' was like the Kinks on speed and flexing a power chord or two: sharp riffs and a full-blooded bass line. It was a shame to see their half-hour set come to an end because I, like many others, weren't going to get enough of the band tonight.  The excellent 'Lets Free The Working Class' which showed some fine lyrics and arrangments, was just another example of how good a live band can be.  Confident, exciting and with their finger on the pulse, Heavy Drapes have got the chops kids, and, on tonight's evidence, they are going to cause quite a stir. It won't be long before they are headlining venues like the 100 Club any night of the week. What a bonus!


The Boys 100 Club 2


The night was flying by and it was time for tonight’s headliners to take the stage, with the added quality of Chips joining the band tonight. It was once again a pleasure to hear such an immense band run through classic after classic: with the added kick up the backside of tonight’s support putting a spring in their step, 'Soda Pressing', 'Terminal Love' and the frantic 'USI' rubbed shoulders with the likes of 'Global Warming' and 'Punk Rock Girl'. Tonight’s audience was bouncing around as the energy from the songs was a force of nature. 'I Don't Care' was frantic, even if it was John-less: he had to take a breather due to feeling unwell but made a welcome return for the (non) encore, and it was great to see him back on stage to finish the set.


Of course, they played 'Brickfield Nights' and everyone sang along like the place held thousands, as the audience fed off the band and continued the seasonal celebrations: before you knew it, almost 90 minutes had flown by and 'Sick On You' was knocked out like the heaving audience needed a livener to throw them about for another few minutes - and then they were gone.  Another year, another stunning Boys performance: plenty of drama but another chance to hear some of the finest tunes penned anywhere in the last 40 years.  They play so infrequently in the UK, or anywhere for that matter, it’s always going to be a bit special when they do rumble through the city for one night only.


It’s always a pleasure and never a chore to be in the presence of Matt, Cas and John - not forgetting Kent and Martin, as well as Chips for again standing in.  How about we make next year the hat-trick? When we can all get to London and see some real rock 'n' roll played properly by some true legends.


The Boys Rebellion poster


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