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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Memory Lane - part two

Inspired by finding an envelope of tickets and Kenny from Days of our youth waxing lyrical on the Swinging Utters I thought I'd have another stab at sharing some memories.

Rancid had already played Glasgow previously in the basement of a bar called Nice and Sleazy's, but as I'd missed that I wasn't going to body swerve their return. This was for the Out Comes the Wolves tour and although I've seen the band a few times since then I don't consider that they have matched this gig. It had a pretty mixed crowd, from older punks to the skater kids, and the place was heaving. In hindsight if I had to choose one concert that reignited my love of punk then it was this show.
This one is a bit fuzzy in the memory bank. All I really remember is how loud it was, how fast the played, how fuckin' great the horns sounded and buying a Sludge Nation 7". In the aftermath of this I was pretty disappointed to read an interview with the band where they showed themselves up to be ignorant homophobes. Since then I've given them a miss. let's just say that I'm intolerant of intolerance.
Over the years I've lost count of the times that I've seen the Vandals. So what is it that had me going back time after time? Basically it's because they're a band that you can guarantee to have a good time going to see. Grab some beers, hit the venue, dance like a fool with good mates and just leave all the hassles of everyday life at the door. The Vandals deliver every gig. For this style of punk I reckon they are seriously underrated. Great tunes and great humour.
...and here's one for Kenny as the Utters are his mates. What a gig this was. There wasn't a single down point to it. All the bands were up for it and the pace didn't slacken from the moment the Suicide Machines stepped on the stage to No Use For A Name stepping off it. I was there with a fella called Budgie who while pissed decided to grab the 'see you Jimmy' hat from Johnny Bonnel's head resulting in a wee game of 'chase me' around the small venue. I found it funny, but in hindsight most of the punters there probably thought we were acting like drunken cunts........and they're probably right.
Strange gig this one. I mean Avail and Lagwagon were strange touring partners. It didn't ruin my enjoyment of the night though. Bouncing Souls were a bit hit and miss and I've seen them better. They gave the impression that they had indulged a tad too much pre gig. Avail however were very tight and very powerful and set the benchmark high for Lagwagon to follow them. Lagwagon were just as entertaining, but were pissed off as so many of their younger fans had been turned away at the door. They thought it was an all age gig, while in fact it was for over fourteens and they had to be accompanied by an adult. I lost count of how many teenagers got a knock back from the venue and you could see the impact this had on the size of the crowd. Bit of a rip off really. Selling tickets to kids and then refusing to let them in and failing to provide a refund.
This was the first time that the DMs had played Glasgow and it wasn't in the 13thNote as the ticket says. Due to demand it was moved to the larger capacity Cathouse. (Note the ticket number)
Scotlands own Newtown Grunts stole the show and as their CD is out of print I may add it to the blog at a later date. They really blew the place apart and then Belfasts Oi boys Runnin' Riot ripped the roof off. By the time The DMs were to appear it was touch and go whether they could match their supports. I'd say they matched them, but didn't surpass them. I was a bit disappointed in Als vocals as he seemed out of breath most of the time and urged the audience to sing along to cover the bits that he wasn't up to. This doesn't mean that they weren't good though. They were. Unfortunately since then it's been a case of diminishing returns in my opinion.
As it stands I wouldn't cross the street to see them now. Many Americans with Irish roots miss the point of the sectarian troubles. There is a romaticized view that is the polar opposite of the reality. The west coast of Scotland has been blighted by bigotry, with the are you a proddy or you a tim shite raising its ugly head far to often to mention.
I now consider The Dropkick Murphys are a prime example of this missing the point. A few years ago they turned up at Parkhead, home of Celtic Football Club, played for the crowd and then handed out free CDs to them. In one fell swoop they managed to alienate anyone of a Protestant descent and all the other people who don't want sucked into the bigoted crap that goes on here who were previously fans.
I've had plenty an argument about this over the years with people pointing out that they don't sing sectarian songs.
I've never said they have, but they do pander to a republican crowd by releasing the Irish Folk song 'Fields of Athenry' about the potato famine, a firm favourite of Irish Catholics and a song sung at every Celtic game, and gearing everything they do towards pouching Pouges fans. This sends a less than inclusive message.
Even their forthcoming date in Glasgow it falls on the same day as the Rangers/Celtic match. (What a coincidence) A game that is notorious for being a powderkeg of sectarian hatred from both sides of the divide.
It's a shame that they have chosen to go in this direction as I actually thought they were a bit more sussed than that, but then again there is a prifitable market for that niche crowd.

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