It’s a toss between staying in to watch the Olympics or getting a lift from Chris and Josh to go see Kill Pretty in Hebden Bridge with a load of other bands….. I take about a millisecond to decide and then after a few texts I hop into Dutton Seniors’ motor and we are off – after a quick stop for petrol. After we leave the M62 motorway, and get past Rochdale going toward Halifax, it becomes obvious that the fairly straightforward route I had checked on Google Maps has been abandoned by Chris’s Tom Tom.
Indeed, we leave the relative safety of the Halifax Road for a mind-blowing route through narrow country lanes, I begin to wonder if I’ve drifted back in time to some rural idyll…..notwithstanding this we arrive safely park up and find we are the first to arrive. We catch Evil Eye and then The Mob sound-checking – Moet and then Mike arrive and we sit and admire Dutton Seniors new Gibson as a set-list is worked out. The group settle on playing three of the new songs and a first performance of Kill Pretty (the song), plus a hark back to the days of the Hamsters with the inclusion of a classic- the reason being is it is 33 years to the day since the historic Stuff the Superstars gig at The Mayflower Club.
Aubergine Curry is eaten, beers are acquired and we sit down to listen to Evil Eye – a band not on my radar up until this show. Lead by the visually arresting “Lard Tramp” – who wears a cassock and is a memorable front man – the band set the scene for the rest of the evening with a high powered punk rock. There is enough variety in the set list to maintain interest and there is interesting dynamic in the performance. Any bass player wearing a Hunter S Thompson T-Shirt is OK with me.
Next up the utterly captivating Kill Pretty motor through a stunning set. Kicking off with a stunning rendition of “The Year of 13 Moons” which immediately gets some appreciative head nodding from the crowd. As mentioned we get the first live airing of the pop-tastic “Kill Pretty” which is followed by two newer tunes “Clever Man” and “Breakdown” both great and coincidentally being recorded by the band for forthcoming releases the following day. These are followed by a sparkling rendition of The Hamsters classic “I’m A C*nt” with guest vocals from Andy T and Mark Wilson from The Mob. A bit of a crowd pleaser. A blistering version of “Emperor’s New Clothes” with Moet in vein-popping form is followed by the jaunty “Rob a Bank”, then new track “Mirror Factory” (which is a bit special) and the set closes with superfast version of “Stress”. An appreciative crowd and a great performance from the guys.
By now it’s getting a bit warm as the place fills up so I switch from bitter to Peroni to cleanse the palate. The place is filling up nicely and the atmosphere is building well.
Next up are The Autonomads who play a fiercely mutant version of punk ska complete with some pretty intense polemic. The twin guitar and sax leads offer a unique sound and whilst the rhythm section is playing recognisable riffs and beats the delivery overall is sufficiently different as to warrant further investigation (check out their split with Black Star Dub Collective here).
Andy T is up next with a selection of tracks from his excellent album “Life at Tethers End” which I acquire for Mr Doyle on the evening (excellent packaging and full of great images and words). The very excellent “Sophie Lancaster” is again the highlight for me and by now there is some serious moshing going on and the crowd are fully appreciative of Andy’s words and the fine musical backing. On my second time of seeing this band live and I am growing to appreciate what he is all about.
The 80s Anarcho Punk Band The System have recently reformed and deliver a vital fist pumping set of classic tracks – at one point a punter climbs on stage and yells “I’ve waited 21 years for this….” – by now the brownian motian in the mosh pit is approaching chaotic levels with some serious fist pumping and pogoing. The band still retain the vitality they demonstrated thirty years ago – it does what it says on the tin – it’s punk at it’s most primal and evocative. I treat myself to the their album from the merch stall.
Headliners The Mob have moved on a tad since I saw them in Bradford a couple of months back. Continuous touring and a trip to America has honed their craft down to a powerful and mesmerising wall of noise. Moet observes that the band seem more at ease with that they are doing – I have to concur – it’s a great set with the classics “Another Day, Another Death” (two versions), “Witch Hunt” and “No Doves Fly Here” extracting an ecstatic response from a frenzied audience. Curtis Youe delivers a mammoth bass sound which is the bedrock for Graham Fallows to drive a combined motorik/punk beat under Mark Wilson’s wall of sound guitar. Mark is one of the great rhythm guitar players and his vocal attack continues to impress. Two encores are delivered and we start to plot how we can get them a gig in Salford/Manchester.
Given we have to negotiate the windy roads and it looks like the heavens are going to open up at any minute we only catch a short bit of Pedagree Skum and are long gone before Total Bloody Chaos hit the stage, however the latter have clearly got their marketing right as they are around earlier in the afternoon selling their new split with Touched By Nausea.
Off into the increasingly damp night and back round the windy narrow roads which are even more scary in the pitch black we reflect on a great evenings entertainment.
Congratulations to Andy Thorley for making it happen and using an excellent venue in the Trades Club.
Is this the sound of the golden age This is the sound of my rage