Nice N Sleazy / Morecambe / 25.05.18 – 27.05.18
Sunday 27th May (Main Stage)
Wow, we get to this all over again on day three. Every day so far has been brilliant. There’s really something for everyone. Whether you want to dance in the sunshine out doors, mosh in the marquee with your mates or stage dive over the barriers in the main stage, then this is the place for you.The entire team has made sure it’s been a great weekend and there’s many people to thank. Big Ivan Harrison, Stu Taylor (STP Records), School of Rock Media (SORM), The Trimpell Camera Club, Security, Catering and the many crew members and volunteers. There’s some fantastic charities benefit from this festival and it’s great to see them being supported by everyone who’s turned out. The Line up is jammed packed, it’s hard to juggle between the three amazing stages but luckily, they’re only yards apart. The sun is out and there’s more than 12 hours to enjoy the music.
There’s much anticipation about “The Signal”. There’s a good crowd for being so early on the Sunday and they won’t be disappointed. Visually, Nikki Signal (Vocals) stands out from the crowd with her long heavily braided hair which whips around her during performances and she has a real stage presence. She introduces the far travelled band from Inverness and lets us know it’s their first gig over the border. Up first is “Cakehole”, which might need some translation but its self-explanatory. The rest of the band dressed in black have a punk/metal look and the throbbing bass of Keiran J.E.Lochore and straight 4/4 hard hitting drums of Dave are overlaid by an edgy metal sounding fender strat until a flanged/wah wah chorus demonstrates this is more than a punk/metal/thrash band. The next song is a tribute (tongue in cheek) to “Jezza” (Jeremy Kyle) from the daytime tv show. The Signal have an E.P. out called “Suck It “ and “Living a Lie” kicks off at the same upbeat pace with Nikki’s aggressive forthright vocals right out front. There’s some great lead work from Lewis Goodwin but the hook line from the song title is very strong. The bands anti-establishment message is delivered in the next song “Wanker Banker”. The message is also on their T Shirts for sale so there’s no doubt how they feel about the system! As Nikki introduces the next song “Man Up” she gets over she’s no feminist, she’s an equal. And she’s more than equal to any front ‘man’ or ‘woman’ we’ve seen this weekend. The hard hitting song breaks out into a great funky section where wah is effectively used as Lewis shreds an incredible solo. It’s confession time as “Nikki” admits she has a potty mouth, coming from Scotland and “Get Tae Fuck” probably is universal language. The most thrash sounding song so far. The tempo increases with “Tesco Inferno” as the band continue in thrash/punk mode, Nikki’s visual stage presence is accented with her braided hair lashing the air every time she drops to head and throws it frantically back and to the side. “Read My Lips” a new song for the band is up next as they’ve just introduced it to their set. Sounding very much like “The Cure’s” “Why Can’t I be You” in chord structure in the verse it has a staccato feel in the chorus before it ends frantically. Very catchy. Another track from their E.P. “Suck It” brings the band back to what they do best. Sounding very much like a manic “Rage Against The Machine” on steroids they hammer out the tune until the final song “Black Sheep”, kicks off with real bang. The funky thrashing start, not unlike the chili peppers is backed up with a punchy bass and some heavy double kick drumming. Again Nikki’s relentless lyrics are like a boxer throwing punches at speed ball. The constant battering is almost hypnotic as she hammers out the words right in your head. All the way through the set, she never lets up. The delivery is like a cross between Steve Ignorant and Eve Libertine from Crass. It’s their first gig in England and I’m sure it won’t be their last!
Here we go with the second Scottish band of the day, a 4 piece punk band from Edinburgh, Vocals – Kev, Guitar – Chris, Bass – Chris and on Drums – Rik. The set kicks off with a furious into to Who Defends Me followed by “Going Mental”. From the bands First E.P. “Football Casual” is next followed by two signature tunes from the band. “Kill The Bill” and the rousing “King of Belfast”. The two songs always go down well. Another track on the E.P. but as Kev says, a better version of “Smash Down the Walls” . The band are hoping to record the next song soon as they play “Always A Rebel”. This next song, Kev’s shouts, is about one of the biggest bastards that ever lived, the song starts off running through the chords slowly until “THATCHER!!!!” is screamed out.”I Still Hate Maggie Thatcher” needs no explanation. “Live For The Moment” is the message from Kev to enjoy your life while you can, before “90 Minute Bigot”, a song about football bigotry, the biggest disease in the country says Kev. Just time for the last song “Target On Your Back” then its all over.
Shit shirt Saturday is a new tradition at Nice N Sleazy and it looks like these guys have bought into it big time! The Hawaiian shirts are actually quite fitting as the band play some great tongue in cheek punk tunes. Reminiscent sound of early Damned/Subs they belt through some great songs. A rendition of “Greensleeves” played on the lead guitar does sound rather odd as an intro but they burst into a song named after the “olde english” ditty. As a contrast, there’s a song about Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, called “Taliban Ted” which is followed bizarrely about Michael Jackson’s chimp called “Bubbles Bites the Dust”. Moving swiftly on, “Jehoho Weirdo” deals with the religious fanatics that knock at your door, uninvited, before the last song is introduced by naming the band members as Vladimir Putin on drums, Kim Jong Un on bass and Donald Trump on guitar! “I fell in love with a nuclear bomb” finishes off a lively performance.
The tomfoolery is not over for the afternoon as a very large blow up doll is standing right in front of the drum kit. The merriment carries on as the band play their set. The frantic four piece from Reading sing songs about being “unemployed and free, the only way to be” and “blow up your girlfriend” starring the very delectable inflatable that gets some attention during the performance! There’s a new album out called “Up Yours”, only took them 35yrs to release that difficult second album. Johnny Durex, Baz Nasty, Dave and Johnny Wah Wah keep the crowd amused with their comedic punk rock. Like all good thing’s it’s over to soon.
Princess Maha thanks the crowd for coming in (it’s hot outside!) so the busy room gets “DMA” as the opener. A great up-tempo beat with a real catchy chorus, released in 2013 it’s been 5yrs! The dual vocals work well as they fire into “I want you maniac” described as a grunge fused horror track on their bandcamp site, I can see why. “Alekhine’s Gun” is up next from their new album just released last month and this has some real hard edged guitar and screaming backing vocals. A new track to their live set is “If looks could kill” brings some great guitar work and vocal harmonies. The threesome made up of Diana Bartmann (Drums) and Stella Vie (Bass) complement each other perfectly. There’s lots of head thrashing from all three and visually they look like they’re loving rocking out. “I am vain” a great grunge/thrash tune from their album is up next has a great vocal lick of a chorus. Princess Maha sings like she’s possessed. The jacket comes off now so it’s getting hot. “Mario” next off the album, has a Cobain style wailing guitar. “You better run, you better run” sounding almost like the Nick Cave “Mercy Seat” song which show’s a diverse influence. Next track is about going out on tour. They do have a 40 date tour lined up so very pertinent. The next track would normally have a stage invasion but they’ll settle for a singalong, “The Bad Man’s gone Bad” shouts Princess Maha for the crowd to singalong to. Heavy drums and a muted verse build up to the chorus, where the vocal talents of Princess Maha are unleashed. “X-Ray Eyes”, again from the album, starts with a slower tempo but builds throughout the song. The last song “Hollywood Rock N Roll” is a full blooded rock song from the album, complete with some shredding at the end. The band call for a crowd shot and the barriers full as the photographers oblige.
Hung Like Hanratty
Time for some more chaotic comedy punk as “Scrap Metal” is the opener and right away, the signature “any old iron, any old iron” singalong has the crowd going. Religion takes a bashing as “Cardinal Kid *******” is up next. The Mobility Scooter mob get it next followed by Jimmy Saville! If you’ve never seen HLH then you shouldn’t be easily offended. “The Ghost of Jimmy Saville” has the crowd singing along and it’s a real riot in the room. “She’s a Monster” is a real scream. Simon Cowell gets the bashing next in the “Ballad of Cowell”. The crowd love it and singalong at the chorus. He’s a “Cuntstubble” is the next barmy song to blast out the PA but has the whole crowd singing along. “Disabled Parking” is the next subject which brings much hilarity. The story of Oscar Pistorius is told now with the glorious “Oscar You’re Taking the Pistorious”. If the thought of the messy bathroom left by Oscar after he shot his wife isn’t bad enough, then “Clean Up Your Dog Shit” should solve that. The whole Trimpell Club now has to do the “Dog Shit Dance”. “Danny is a Tranny”, does it get any more mental than this tonight! The crowd sing through the whole song. Well “Stop Playing With your Cock” takes it to another level. The stage is now filled with beautiful ladies on backing vocals who sing “Ooh Arr Ooh Arr” to “Farmers Keep Your Tractors Off the Road”. The next song is about “Ed” who fixes his car on a Sunday morning, the song ends in a frenzy with “Ed, I wish you were dead”. The crowd demand an encore and the band oblige with the title off their next album “What You See is What You Get”. What a belter of a gig. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say, there’s a very “short” ending! Check them out if you get the chance and find out for yourself.
In complete contrast to the previous band, there’s an air of decorum as the intro music “Thunderball” sung by Tom Jones. The music fades, the lights go down and the show goes on. The band take the stage and the first track from their 2016 album is up first. Peter R Jones bass run opens “Kings of The World” and Phil Thompson’s guitar lick runs up the fretboard to match. Eddie Roxy’s vocals are on point as he delivers a perfectly accurate rendition. The second tune is also from the recent album as “On My Own Again” continues the upbeat tempo and Phil’s guitar work sounds like there’s two guitar parts morphed into one and he picks and thrashes chords. Roxy’s jacket comes off as he says good evening and quotes :This ain’t rock’n’roll, this is genocide”. The iconic intro to The Dead Boys “Sonic Reducer” builds and the song bursts into life with Phil doing his signature stage jumps to match the urgency of the song as Alan Galaxy’s drums hammer in the background. There’s a different beat now as the band play an updated version of, as Roxy calls it “their shitty disco song”, but much re-worked “Going Left Right”. Pete’s funky bass runs and Alan’s syncopated drumming drive the song at a frantic pace and builds to a rousing end. The next song, from the 2016 album is called “Cause”. This is a 6 minute epic of a song with a feel of a gang of four style edgy funk bass. Phil’s guitar work all through the song has him swapping between screaming solos to 70’s rock chords. Another epic song “Wonderful Day” seems to have been re-worked by the band as it’s tempo and delivery keep the pace up. Jones and Thompson are at the stage front wielding their guitars in the air before Phil breaks into a killer solo. No Department S performance would be complete without the next song, yes it’s “Is Vic There”. An exuberant version of the song is played out by the band. Roxy’s very controlled, calm and demure demeanour is contrasted by the other members of the band, especially the guitarist whose constant up and down on the drum riser leaping into the air with some great pete townsend/ mick jones style leg splitting jumps. Without a break, the band fire straight into a great version of “I Believe” which has some great vocal work on it from all three front men. Roxy’s says, “is it me or has the set gone really quickly”, he introduces “When All is Said and All is Done”. They’ve saved the best til last. All through the performance, they’ve changed up gear and it’s a fitting end to what’s been a fantastic performance. The new wave/post punk/pop with a hint of disco and funk is brought to an epic conclusion as they demonstrate all their flair with this finale. Being played in a minor key and having an uplifting feel to the lyrics, the song is played out by the remaining three members as Roxy takes his leave. Each take it in turn to show their individual talents before they finish with one last chorus.
There’s not many bands like the UK Subs. Apart from being around for over 40 years, they are constantly on tour. Not sure how they manage it and they always deliver. This is their third night in a row having played on fri/sat nights at other festivals. They breeze into the Trimpell Sports Club like old school friends you’ve not seen for a while. Always accessible, only too happy for the odd selfie and a chat about gig’s and music, Charlie mixes with the crowd and has some tea in the canteen (which was awesome all weekend with fantastic home-made food). Stephen and Alvin also sampled the delights and chilled out in the atmosphere of the festival. Jamie was outside relaxing in the sunshine, the calm before the storm and I don’t mean the weather. Don’t be fooled by either Charlie’s age, or the bands relaxed demeanour, these guys mean business on stage and are a well-honed machine. Right from the start of the gig with “Fragile”, they’re on it. Firing through the set with “Lady Esquire” and you “You Don’t Belong” there’s no breaks between songs. After “Rockers”, Charlie asks for the bright stage lights to be dimmed before they light up the stage with a cracking rendition of “Down On The Farm”. The Subs maybe an “Endangered Species” but not on tonight’s performance. Up next, Stephen starts with the tuneful picking guitar of the Die Toten Hosen cover of “Here Comes Alex”. Next up the quick fire drumming of Jamie has the longtime set opener “Emotional Blackmail”. The crowds loving it. “City of the Dead” and “I’ve Got A Gun” end with Charlie stating he observes young bands drink water on stage, he points out that fish fuck in it! So he recommends they have a beer and play some rock n roll. A brilliant rendition of “Another Cuba” leads onto to songs about girls. “Fear of Girls” and “Tomorrow’s Girls” see the crowd happily moshing and it continues with “Teenage” and “Party In Paris”. The seminal song “Warhead” has the crowd singing along as the music breaks down til it’s just Charlie and the crowd. “Riot” is follow by a chaotic version of “Stranglehold” with an endless amount of crowd surfers coming over the barrier. The band play one final number “Keep On Running” before leave the stage to rapturous applause. Of course, they’re never gonna leave without playing “CID”. The crowd go wild again and are rewarded with “New York State Police” What a performance. The UK Subs leave us and onto the next gig. But don’t worry, they’ll be back.
Unfortunately, I completely missed the end of festival. By all accounts, the band were excellent and the after party was even better !
Sunday 27th May (Old Republique Stage)
Having spent most of the day in the Main Stage, it’s very difficult to do the bands justice that played in the marquee as I was only fortunate to catch half their sets but again, like Friday and Saturday, the line up in the tent was brilliant. Throughout the day, the attendance was great and some cracking music played by all bands.
BORN TO DESTRUCT
Sunday 27th May (Benchmarx Elements Stage)
5 GO MAD
Sadly, I also missed all the shenanigans in the acoustic lounge. There really is something for everyone at this festival. Best buy your tickets early for 2019 as they are well underway with preparations. Hope to get back to this again as it’s a fantastic event. Thanks to everyone who help me capture these memories over the last 3 days. It’s an amazing experience and one big happy family…..Punk for life.