Friday 25th May – Day One
The 13th Nice N Sleazy festival is upon us. Big Ivan has pulled it off again. The Trimpell Sports and Social Club, yet again is the perfect location for the next three days of Punk and Ska music. The on-site camping lends itself to the holiday atmosphere and the relaxed feel of this festival, set it apart from many other festivals of it’s type. The entire team has made sure it will be an incredible weekend and there’s many people to thanks for making sure it goes without any drama’s. Stu Taylor (STP Records), School of Rock Media (SORM), The Trimpell Camera Club, Security, Catering and the many crew members and volunteers will make this an event to remember. The Line up is incredible and the scene is set so, let’s get this party started. (Yes, there was a pre-show last night but, hey ho, let’s go)
Hailing from Falkirk in Scotland, Thirteen have the opening slot at Nice N Sleazy this year. They proudly take the stage and fire straight into their set. The songs have a reflective theme running through them harking back to the glory days of punk but with a modern feel to them. Quoting influences from SLF, NOFX and The Wildhearts, this blend of UK/USA – Punk and Rock comes through in the music. Dolly (Guitar/Vocals) gives a shout out to the bands from Scotland much to the amusement of a few who respond with references to kilts!!! “10,000 Record Sleeves” goes down well as Dolly brings some nostalgia about his record collection, then “Days Gone By” follows on with Craig (Bass/Vocals) and Greg (Drums) provide the solid foundation for the tuneful guitar licks. “Tattered Sleeve” is the next song up, but there’s no evidence of any sleeves tonight as the band are sporting cut off jackets and T shirts, necessary as the temp gets hotter from now on all weekend! The plug for their current E.P. “Spirit of Resistance” introduces the title track.
Rumours were out that Guitarist Dave Kemp was stuck on the motorway as Stuart Meadows was warming up his kit. It was true, Dave, stuck in traffic and driving for over 5 1/2hrs for what should’ve been an easy afternoon drive. To compound things, the gremlins played havoc with his amp/guitar to the point where Arthur (Bass) had to play stand up comedian by rattling off some jokes. The irony was not lost, Morecambe being the home of one of the best loved comedians in Eric. Arthur does a great job keeping the crowd amused with his impromptu stand up and once the gremlins had been sorted, The Lurkers got into their raucous punk set with some real attitude. “I’m on Heat” gets the gig off to a flyer and there’s no respite as Stu fires into the second song “Sure and Steady”. Mental Health is a subject that will be referenced by many bands over the weekend as Arthur introduces “In the Rubber Room”. A tune from the last album “Come and reminisce if you think you’re old enough” is up next and Arthur sings about the hey days and cleverly makes reference to some of the original punk bands, slipping in one liners from their hits. The New York Dolls song “Pills” is a Lurkers favourite and Dave Kemp delivers the opening lick superbly. Dave’s great rock n roll lead solo during the song makes for a memorable version of the cover. As the audience shout out their favourite songs in the breaks, Arthur goes with “Mass Media Believer” the “B” side to “Freak Show” which is up next. There’s a great mix of new and old tonight and “Shadow” and “Little Ol Wine Drinker Me” close an eventful performance with a spirited display from the threesome. The Lurkers overcome adversity to deliver a cracking live set.
Up next, some delightful Punk Humour and cleverly crafted lyrics from the solo acoustic Captain Hotknives. With song titles “Anarchist Squat Punk Band” and “I Skanked my Nana” he can’t fail to go down well with the crowd. The room is busy and show their appreciation.
Drongos for Europe
Tommy Drongo (Vocals) greets the crowd and wonders when the last time they played Nice N Sleazy…. It may have been a while but launching into “May Day”, he reminds everyone how relevant the band are to this day with their aggressive anti-government/anti-establishment songs. The passion and delivery are there right from the off as “there’s gonna be a riot” has a rousing effect on the audience. Dek (Bass) opens the next song “Whose Army” up next has Tommy asking if we we’re going to war, who would it be with? The set continues with a “best of” feel as “Stand Up Be Strong” and “Who’s Got The Power” are played with real purpose. “Who’s the drunkest person in the room” asks Tommy as he fires into the next few songs launching the mic at the barrier for the singalongs. “Ain’t No Way We’re Backing Down” has Mac Mayhem (Guitar) thrashing his way through the song chopping chords at the verse until Danny (Drums) and Dek (Bass) are left at the bridge with the crowd in full voice. “Freakazoid” builds up the frenzy until Tommy announces the last song and “Revolution Times” brings the charged set to a close. The Drongo’s never disappoint and tonight was no different.
“Hello friends…. Alright” screams Nick Cash (Guitar/Vocals) before 999 get their set off to a blistering start. Early favourites “Inside Out”, “Hit Me and “Feeling Alright With The Crew” get the set off to a great start as Nick is thankful for a good crew at Nice N Sleazy. “Lie Lie Lie” up next and shows the band to be on form with Guy Days (Guitar) showing off his talents with some great punk/rock n roll licks. “Some of the Places I Used to Go” and “Boys in the Gang” draw upon the bands influences and keep the gig on track. It’s Arthur (Bass) and Stuart Meadows (Drums) second appearance of the night having played with The Lurkers earlier as they begin the recognisable “Titanic Reaction” from the 1st Album. Guy takes over on vocals for “I Really Like You” and Arthur demands the crowd have a pogo! Stu’s furiously tight drumming drives the song along at pace for the 2 minutes it lasts. Nick starts the next song with a howl warning the audience that the big bad wolf or Donald Trump might get them! “Little Red Riding Hood” is followed by the frantic “No Pity”. A new song “Last Breath” from the bands last album keeps up the tempo with a singalong “La,La,La” chorus and great drumming from Stu at the bridge with some heavy toms/kick to help the singalong. Nick thanks the crowd for their support over the years, making comment that they’re still there after all these years. An enthusiastic crowd are rewarded with a great version of “Emergency” with Guy thrashing out the robotic chords to suit Stu’s powerful drumming, “I’m back in full attack” sings Nick and he’s not far wrong as 999 have given a great performance tonight. Nick asks the crowd for a singalong to “Nasty Nasty” and they oblige with a rousing “What the hell is wrong with you”!!!! The song bursts into life and 999 turn the clock back as band and crowd show their energy. Guy’s guitar solo and Arthur’s driving bass match the urgency of Stu’s drumming. The hits keep coming with “Homicide” as the set nears the end. Nick thanks the crowd for a great evening before they launch into an encore of “My Street Stinks” – “Long live the music” is Nicks parting cry and they depart.
Local band Litterbug from Blackpool bring their highly energetic, manic thrash pop punk sound to Nice N Sleazy. Quoting influences from The Pixies/Buzzcocks/Nine Black Alps, their sets starts off at a furious pace with some incredibly tight drumming and edgy bass complimented with great short sharp chords reminiscent of the early punk songs of The Buzzcocks “times up” but sped up. Stuart Diggle (Guitar/Vocals), Andy Higgins (Bass/Vocals) and Cas Streetly (Drums/Vocals) form this frantic trio who were formed in 2005 and have honed their performances since then. “Introvert”, “Prozac Zombie” and “I will Not Explain” get their night off to a great start and some great banter from the band with the audience keeps the evening going. A shout out for Paul Carter as Stu dedicates a song to the well-known punk practitioner as they sing “Don’t Change”. There’s time for punk fanatic Dave Colton to get the band to pose for a “Get Well Kaz” picture for his daughter who’s recovering from surgery. Back at it and the tempo gets faster towards the end of the set before it’s brought to an end with “Petrol Situation”. A great set well delivered by Litterbug so check out their upcoming gigs.
It’s gone midnight before Slaughter II take the stage, some delays earlier in the evening have meant Edweena Banger (Guitar/Vocals) takes the stage to the die-hards that are left to see the headline act tonight and they are in for a treat. The heavily 70’s influenced rock’n’roll is delivered by the three members of Slaughter II, Brian Grantham (Drums) an original member of Slaughter and the Dogs and Rick Sullivan (Bass). The set opens with “Now I Know”, “The Bitch” and “Boston Baby” without interruption before Edweena takes a breath to welcome themselves to Nice N Sleazy. The “Mystery Girl” is up next followed by “”Love In New York Tonight” which has a real flavor of The Stooges to it. MC5/New York Dolls wouldn’t be out of place on the bill tonight if they were to follow on but for now, we have “What You Do to Me” to singalong to before “God Save Us All”, a song from the latest album. ”Runaway” and “It’s All Over Now” keep the crowd bouncing with a great version of “White Light / White Heat” going down a storm with the faithful audience. Edweena now brings the “hits” with “Are You Ready Now” and “Cranked Up Really High” being instantly received by the crowd as they crash around until the seminal penultimate song “Where Have All the Boot boys Gone” bring the set to a near frenzy. The crowd demand an encore and “Calling Me” see’s the band end on a high.
Nice ‘n’ Sleazy – “Other Stages”
As if one stage wasn’t brilliant enough, outside the Trimpell Sports Club, there were two other stages. The large marquee (Old Republique Stage) and the open sided event truck (Benchmarx Elements Stage). In between the acts inside, it was great to catch the other bands. To be fair, there were many people stayed outside to watch and only popped inside now n then and why not. The bands onshow were incredible. I was lucky enough to catch “Fat Albert” and “Hospital Food”. These two bands put on a fantastic show, I didn’t get the whole set but to give you a flavour of what you missed if you weren’t lucky enough to see them, check these links below. Unfortunately, I did miss the other bands on the bill but will hopefully catch them again.