Les Paul Jnr - £599
Toll bridge into Wales - £10
Amp valves - £20.50
Punk rock show - £7
Pure rock 'n' roll entertainment - priceless
For most other things in life there is Mastercard
South coast punk rock soon-to-be-legends XX Cortez unleash their music on The 'Port like men possessed with their Les Paul Jnrs strapped to their hips and a mighty fine bunch of songs they play too. At breakneck speed and reeking of bad attitude, things kick off with 'Brainwash' from the superb album 'Hands Up' which will be released in the coming weeks - read the Über Röck review here!). With no time for chitter chatter frontman Rob Castle launches into song after song and wave after wave of the finest punk 'n' roll you're going to hear anywhere at the moment.
Unfortunately suffering from a poor mix, the vocals were getting lost which was a shame but, undeterred, the band played on regardless even when the lead guitarist's amp started playing up and cutting out (these things are sent to test you gents and testing you they were). We had some sparkling versions of 'Creatures', 'Hands Up', and set highlights in 'Slut' and 'Same Old Shit'. It was brought to an end all too soon with two spectacular covers that they nailed with aplomb; 'Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth' which was played with some real venom and damn fine and dandy to hear some young punks play it as it should sound. Then to end the set we were treated to a brutal version of 'I Gotta Right' - when singer Castle fell to his knees to sing into the mic that was now on the floor he took off his Les Paul and went to lay it down and as he did the head snapped clean off taking the bridge piece with it as a result! Ooops... all very rock 'n' roll but I wouldn't have blamed him had he wept like a baby at this point.
So their first venture out of England and onto foreign soil I'd say was a success and I for one enjoyed what I heard and saw and look forward to the next time. A headline set with a decent PA will see these boys destroy all before them - people take note and remember the name, XX Cortez - they rock like a fuckin' monster truck tonight even if the PA was fit for a mini coupe.
Next up were Reno punk three piece The Cobra Skulls who played their brand of early Green Day meets NOFX type of noise and all with a heavy dose of cowpunk thrown into the mix. They seemed to go down well with the audience and were tight as a gnat's chuff but again suffered from Le Pub's poor mix. They had some decent tunes in there but having not heard them before it was difficult to get into them on such a short set, and sandwiched between two heavyweights like XX Cortez and The Danger-fuckin-fields is a big ask tonight.
Following on from that were Belfast band The Dangerfields; singer/drummer Andrew Griswold is the powerhouse behind these bad boys who proceeded to deliver a frantic 40 minutes of pure unadulterated masterclass in punk rock from 'Gimme Gimme Rock 'n' Roll' to 'Rock Club' and 'Anthem'. They belted out some top tunes and some top banter to those present, they managed to put a smile on my face whilst delivering some damn fine music to boot. Excellent stuff indeed, the only shame being there weren't more people there to see them. I think I heard right when frontman Griswold uttered "scream for me Newport!" Oh, how we all giggled together, class band!
Finally to the stage we have The Hip Priests with a brand of Turbonegro shock rock with homoerotic interband snogging and full-on face fuckin' punk rock. Ok, so every song is about fuckin either blokes or birds or both but fair play, credit where credit is due, these jolly bad boys know how to kick up a shit storm. 'I Love To Fuck', 'Fuck The Priests', 'Hanging With The Boys', 'Cream Ma Jeans', 'Super Whore'.......you're getting the picture with these boys, right? Not the band to take your mother to see but, then again why not? She might like some punk rock action! Loud, fast and lewd, fuckin' right they are, the dirty bastards. In fairness they have a right diamond in Austin who plays the old six string like a demon. All hail the Hip Priests, they rock like a demented Dwarves meets Hank von Turbonegro for sure and make grown men lose a little sex wee with their crazy beats - I loves it.
All in all a great night's entertainment from some great bands, XX Cortez who I expect big things from and a few old hands at this live gig lark who I will be looking to catch again. Keeping music live and real in the 'Port - God bless punk rock! And those of you who missed it for shame on you, now toddle off to confession next time the Priests are in town and ask for forgivness, I'm sure they'll come up with some.