The Godfathers – Islington, Academy – 11 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Martin Haslam   
Saturday, 18 February 2017 04:30

If ever there was a band that refused to die, it’s The Godfathers. Having recently reviewed their magnificent new album, ‘A Big, Bad, Beautiful Noise’, it was obvious that I had to be here tonight to witness the new songs in their natural, live environment.


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Unfortunately, I only caught the last three songs of The Membranes’ opening set, but they channelled the energy and weirdness of their ‘Dark Energy/Dark Matter’ album with passion and humour. And John Robb still wears the same shirt which was standing up by itself after Rebellion 2015.


Then, the lights dim, the Ennio Morricone intro begins, and The Godfathers take the stage. 2017 sees them in rude health, the ‘new’ line up now settled and, if anything, more powerful with Darren ‘Birchy’ Birch on bass. Complementing Mauro Venegas and Steve Crittall’s twin guitar assault (and it is assuredly an assault) while providing a solid rhythm section with Tim James on drums. Peter Coyne has chosen well. ‘Cause I Said So’ kicks off proceedings in style, with new song ‘Defibrillator’ fitting in perfectly. The set is nicely balanced to reflect the quality of the new songs against the classics. So, ‘If I Only Had time’ is followed by ‘Till My Heart Stops Beating’, while new single ‘You Don’t Love Me’ is as good as ‘I Want You’.


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‘Unreal World’ still packs a mighty punch and I’m pleased that ‘Some Reaction’ is available as the single B side, as it’s too good to lose. Peter Coyne is still berating the audience in his inimitable style. Yes, a venue in a shopping centre, with a 10pm curfew, might not be rock n roll, but The Godfathers make it so. They have, against the odds, made the best album of their career. Seriously; it’s that good. And it’s clear that they’re having a great time up there; Mauro and Steve grinning and feeding off each other.


There are so many highlights, old and new. ‘Feedbacking’ is a glorious racket, and ‘A Big, Bad, Beautiful Noise’ sums them up. With an encore of ‘Let’s Get Higher’, ‘This Damn Nation’, ‘Birth, School, Work, Death’ and ‘Lonely Man’, I leave with a spring in my step, safe in the knowledge that, no matter how weird the world gets, The Godfathers are still the soundtrack to your personal revolution.


PHOTO CREDIT: All photos © James A Grady.


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