Life has gone on as usual really. We have a couple of friends staying with us who found themselves between homes for a couple of weeks. That’s bee fun, like having the tidying pixies move in! My wife is worried that they’ve set a high standard and I might become used to it. Of course having people in the house means we have looked for alternative ways to spend time with each other so last night, even though it was a school night, we sneaked out to see a band.
My friend Carl from work has been posting on Facebook about his son’s band —Sugarmen— and how great they are. It took a while but I finally made the interwebs work and secured some E-tickets to get us into the Kazimier to see the guys. We arrived bang on eight and took in the scruffy but friendly atmosphere you come to expect from a punk gig. (Yes, you did read that correctly). We found ourselves chatting to a couple who, having older teens for children, had begun to venture out to random band nights and this was their favourite place. I’m beginning to think it might become a favourite of ours too. I guess you’d call it intimate. The official capacity is around 450 but that would be a tight squeeze. It’s a weird octagonal shape and has no ideas above it’s station. This is a place people come to hear music not to pose with their mates. Great crowd by the way.
Sugarmen were first up. I’ve never seen a dad look so chuffed. He was checking the sound and checking the crowd. I should say Carl is Carl Hunter, bassist with The Farm. As I’ve added the soundcloud link above you can check out the band for yourself. Their performance was slick and they are a tight unit. If you like the Clash you’ll like these boys…..and rumour has it there may well be a single out soon.
Next up were Oxygen Thieves from the Wirral. A different feel and higher up the bill because they have some product out no doubt. The Fewtrell brothers at lead singer and lead guitar have that vocal compatibility that only siblings can achieve.
Top of the bill. Radkey. You may have caught them on Later with Jools Holland. Three brothers from Missouri who play punk. By now my wife, you remember she was here with me, seems to have lost her nerves about being at a gig. The nerves stem from a sad part of her history when an old friend was murdered and she didn’t leave the house for six weeks and when she did it was to a gig we’d had tickets to for months. These events still trigger that stuff so it’s hard. I have to say that Radkey helped her to forget all that.
They are loud and brash and all you would expect from a punk band. They are also, as were all of the evenings entertainment, politically active and politically aware. So great to see young people with something to say beyond ‘love, drugs, dance’ (though there was that too).
It was great to see my wife relaxed and enjoying life. I loved seeing Carl excited about his lad. All three acts were excellent and I urge you to get out and see any or all of them. In fact just get out and see some live performance, step away from the recorded materials for a moment. This felt like getting back on the horse I left a long time ago. Yes, there were fire exits to check and security and bar staff to watch, old habits die hard, but I left the gig with a tipsy and happy wife, and a card from a man who is trying to get young people into active citizenship. if I was to take on the #100HappyDays challenge this would definitely fit.