Ivory Blacks in Glasgow is the venue for another G.O.Y.A (DIY) gig. Roddy O’Donnel’s brainchild to keep the punk ethic going and it’s obviously working as it’s a busy gig. There’s a good number turned out to see GBH and a host of great punk bands tonight. Regular visitors to Scotland, GBH bring their brand of punk rock to an energetic audience, hungry for some action and they won’t be disappointed. It’s a full line up tonight, with bands from the east, west and south of Scotland as well as south of the border.
First up, local Oi band Half Charge kick off with a “charged” performance. There’s absolutely no doubt what they are about, it’s pure Oi, Oi, Oi and they make no apologies for it!
It’s not often a promoter also features in one of the bands on the bill but in this case, Roddy O’Donnel will play in two bands tonight! In Zero Hour, Roddy is the front man and along with Davy Frew (Drums) these guys have a lot to get through tonight! Zero Hour bring us anarchy, chaos and anti-establishment songs, delivered in the style of Exploited and Discharge meets Motorhead.
Razor Sharp Death Blizzard
We’ve had Oi and Punk so far, so just to mix things up, here’s some Metal, Hard Core with some Punk running through it. Hailing from the Scottish borders, the last thing you’d expect would be some full on in your face doom punk but it’s alive and well and flourishing! Jamie’s throat vocal style compliments the crushing guitar and the hard hitting drums are balanced with growling bass. With songs that include “You Will Burn”, “Fascist”, “Dirty War”, “The World is Fucked” and “Riot” these guys have a message to deliver, with attitude! But, they do end the set with “Have a nice day” so it’s not all doom and gloom and a nicer bunch of punk/metal merchants you couldn’t meet.
Old School punk rockers up next. Fat Albert are a great no frills punk band, that has a busy schedule and they just make it in time tonight having driven up from Workington. Straight from the road to the stage, no rest for the wicked and they get through their set in super quick time. Kicking off with some back to back songs, there’s an urgency that matches their rush to the gig. “Control”, “Decay” and “Get Clean” are finished before the band get a breath. Their usual set is cut short due to time constraints so we miss out on their seminal “Living in Workington”. It’s not all bad though, after a rushed day, the guys get time to have a pint with the appreciative audience.
Roddy and Davy are up next for the second time. On guitar this time, Roddy adorns his signature old German soldiers helmet and Davy is behind the drum kit again. Launching their new E.P. tonight “Savage Soul” the band are on a high as they’re keen to get their new self-funded music out there. With some lively banter, the crowd is kept busy as Razorblade Smile keep up the tempo throughout their set. It’s been 10years since they formed and the self-styled punks will no doubt be doing this in another 10yrs as it’s a lifestyle, not a fashion and you could not get more down-to-earth, no bullshit people.
Another band, with a busy gig schedule, they make their way up to Glasgow from Penrith. Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, No Thrills are another die-hard punk band, which seems to be the flavour tonight. They’ve also supported a who’s who of punk bands through the years, so being on the bill for GBH, suits them down to the ground. The frantic four-piece keep the crowd busy on their first appearance in Glasgow, I’m sure going by tonights showing, it won’t be long before they’re back. Pez (Vocals) looks like he’s having a great time as he bounces through the entire set. No doubt you will see them at a venue near you soon as they’re lined up for a load of gigs before the end of the year.
The “Pot Vics” as they’re affectionately known, are no strangers to Scotland. They love the journey north to visit their extended family. There’s a different look tonight as Tony (Bass) and Martin (Guitar) are replaced by Derek (Bass) and Raymond (Guitar). Derek has filled in on a number of occasions but it’s not only Raymond’s first outing with the band but the first time he’s played with them, having learned the set from Youtube and CD’s! The Potential Victims kick off with “Hate Crime” and get the busy crowd moshing. “Revolution”, “Smart Arse” and “Control Freak” all get their regular outing before crowd favorite “Punk Rock Police” brings the banter between Spider (Guitar/Vocals) and the eager audience. The signature double drum beat start to “Chewing Gum for The Brain” raises the tempo and energy and the band ends on a high.
These boys are back with a bang in 2018. The anti-establishment anarcho-punks from Edinburgh look like they mean business. Fortunately, singer Jon Bones has recovered from a recent bout of flu, but you wouldn’t know it, as adorned in a black boiler suit and matching black balaclava but with mowhawk sprouting from it, he crashes around the stage like he’s trying to escape an asylum. Frantic but focused, Jon’s energy level is maintained through out the set. As the band rip through “Victims of Hatred”, “Police brutality” and “Wage Slave” there’s hardly time for a breath before “Drones of War” and “Tranquilised” keep the frenetic pace up. “Burn All Flags” and “Don’t Suffer in Silence” show the band clearly have a message to get across and mean what they say. “Up the Punx” is a fitting last song as it’s epitomises the whole evening.
Without any fuss, Jock (Guitar) and Scott (Drums) take the stage with stand-in bass player Nick (as Ross can’t make it tonight). The crowd gives a loud cheer as Colin takes the stage, sporting his iconic leather jacket. It’s like times stood still as GBH launch into their set but the crowd will be treated to some newer numbers tonight as well as the greatest hits. “Birmingham Smiles” from their latest album “Momentum” is the first song tonight. As Colin sings “Everybody’s got a hometown, Not everybody’s got a home” the band sounds like they’re at home even though it’s been a year since they’ve been in Glasgow. The next six songs are from their first album, Leather, Bristles, Studs, And Acne. Playing almost non stop, bar a few song name titles, Colin looks like he’s been transported back in time as his stage movements are almost identical to those early energetic days when the band was raw and full of energy. GBH still deliver to this day. It’s brilliant to watch Colin wrestle with his mic stand and strike those iconic head down poses as well as the leg splitting jumps. Another new track, “Fifty What?” kicks off the next batch as GBH continue to play through their back catalog which includes “Sick Boy”, “No Survivors” “Diplomatic Immunity” and “City Baby’s Attack” and “Revenge”.
As the set draws to a close, Nick (bass) looks like he’s played with the band for years as he’s thanked for filling in. 25 songs tonight and the crowd savored every minute. The moshpit was manic and the interaction brilliant as Colin shared his mic with the boys on the barrier who were always keen to singalong. Let’s hope it’s not another year before GBH return.