Well, its been a few weeks since I was there and now most of the alcohol is out of my system and I can think properly back on everything I thought it was suitable for me to write a review of what I saw.
My third straight year of being there and to be honest this was probably the lineup I was least looking forward to on paper, however I caught a few surprises and had a year on par with the last two from the Thursday right through to the Sunday. I’ll stick a playlist down the bottom of one song by every band listed.
On the first day I basically took to looking at what stuff I could buy more than anything at first before catching
- Goldblade, who were great as usual, thinking back they were technically the first band I saw live supporting Stiff Little Fingers back when I was 11. The energy of the music and the frantic stagemanship of singer John Robb was what was really needed to get things going on a Thursday afternoon.
- The Selecter – were just as good as they have ever been it seems, with one of the tightest rhythm sections I’ve ever seen combined with Pauline Murray’s unmistakable vocals I had one of the best hour long dancing sessions of the weekend.
- The Dickies – I have wanted to see for as long as I remember and I wasn’t expecting much to be honest but they managed to blow me away, with Leonard’s vocals being just as they were way back in their Banana Splits heyday.
Friday and Saturday were the most hectic days for me with bands clashing left right and centre meaning I had to miss some that I wanted to see, but that’s kinda what happens at festivals right?
As I saw so many I’m gonna have to list all of the bands and say what I thought in detail about a couple:
- Brain’s All Gone – Polish all girl band who had a few decent songs but the mixing wasn’t great so it was hard to properly gauge what they were singing
- The Talks – A good ska-punk sort of thing here, a good dance more than anything
- The Filaments – Quite a heavy-ish punk band with a brass section, some pretty catchy tunes here and there
- Fire Exit – Oi band with some great sing along songs, notably the ones about drinking get the best crowd reaction
- Men They Couldn’t Hang – A friend dragged me along as I really hadn’t heard much by them but I really enjoyed it and it was a good contrast to everything else
- Slaughter and The Dogs (the last half anyway) – Not as good as they once were, but Situations really got the crowd going
- Stiff Little Fingers – Played basically a greatest hits set with one new track thrown in for good measure, may be a little biased to say of me being the first band I truly loved but they stole the weekend. They managed to get a packed room of a good few thousand punks all singing in unison, I would have personally preferred maybe one or two new songs thrown in but I assume half the crowd wouldn’t have known them as the album is literally around a month old as I am writing.
- 3CR – Funny band, don’t take themselves too seriously, worth a listen if you’re into the more obscene musical humour
- Choking Susan – Very Stooges-esque female fronted band with some catchy songs, shame their cover of I Wanna Be Your Dog trumped any over their own material
- 999 – Classic band who never disappoint (Aside from when the singer called me fat the day after, but that’s another story)
- Dirtbox Disco – Second favourite performance of the weekend, a band who will soon be doing their own arena shows guaranteed. They get the crowd into a frenzy like I’ve never seen, getting kicked in the head by crowd surfers left and right is the sign of a good band, catchy, singalong songs with humour and aggression, personally I prefer them live to their recordings which aren’t too great.
- Peter and The Test Tube Babies – As good as I’ve ever seen them, on stage but the crowd was pretty dead in all fairness, that’s a sign of three days of drinking I suppose.
- Penetration – Although I only know a few songs by them I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard, granted I was absolutely knackered but I enjoyed them and it was a good setup for the UK Subs straight after.
- UK Subs – Charlie and co. managed to put on a great set playing all the obvious tracks from their extensive catalogue, and even squeezing in a couple that I never expected (Down on the Farm being an example). They managed to get me going again, singing along to Warhead with the rest of the crowd is always surreal and a highlight of my weekend, not bad for a guy who is 70 now and still constantly touring or recording.
- Maid of Ace – All female band, some good songs but sound wasn’t great in the room.
- Kunt and The Gang – Always the biggest laugh of the weekend, great for those with a twisted sense of humour.
- The Dirty Folkers (Vice Squad Acoustic Folk Thing) – A good relax sat on the floor watching Vice Squad do acoustic renditions of their own songs and others – Motorhead’s Ace Of Spades coming to mind first.
- Roy Ellis and The Moonstompers – The Lead singer of Symarip (Skinhead Moonstomp) giving one of the big surprises of the weekend with a great set giving ample opportunity to sing and dance along. A surprise addition was Roddy Radiation from The Specials playing on stage also, doing a good cover of Rat Race before Roy joined the rest of the band.
- Mad Sin – A psychobilly band from Germany who weren’t really to my particular taste however they were basically the last band of the weeknd so I went to see them, fun and upbeat though so a good way to end a great weekend.