Kicking off the night was our good Kirkcaldy pal – Rebecca Radical – the second time we were seeing her following New Hellfire Club’s Carnival Of The Dark Arts in September.
Armed with not much more than her acoustic guitar, she delivered top choices such as Punk Ideology, War Is Sh*t and Be Intense, featuring engaging, down-to-earth lyrics that had us and a lot of other folk hooked and hanging on every word backed by genuine emotion, as well as sharp bitterness where applicable.
She’s slowly but surely improving her live game, making an effort to address the audience as she played and not simply staring down at her instrument all the way, and she’s only getting more confident too; even when dropping her pick or accidentally playing the wrong song, she was cool and dusted it off without much hassle.
Some may be turned off by how raw and bare her material and style are on the surface, but that’s the appeal in our opinion. It’s both DIY and punk in a nutshell – two qualities that Rebecca perfectly personifies – stripped to their basic foundations, and she pulls it off nicely.
We got a tasty preview of the young trio Death To Noodles during their soundcheck, so we were looking forward to them. We walked into a bizarre kazoo intro, something we don’t see enough at gigs honestly, but that was only the beginning.
They blazed into a line-up of fast and frantic tracks, both originals and covers, that had this blistering, off-the-wall energy to them that was just constant and satisfying. In particular, the charmingly titled P*ss On The Cops was a catchy belter, and we even got a cracking rendition of Rancid’s Radio.
The riffs were swift to the point of being a blur, the bass tones were seriously punchy and the drum beats were kinetic. The dual vocals were great too, even if it sounded like they were giving out on a couple of occasions.
We were damn impressed. In a room full of older, grizzled veterans who knew the score, the youth got the chance to showcase their huge potential, and we’ll definitely be keeping a close watch on these three moving forward.
And speaking of grizzled veterans, long-running Yorkshire legends and featured act of the night The Underdogs were next, and it became quickly apparent why they have earned such a following over the years.
The frontman U.G, loaded with fire and booze, was well into it, being blunt in everything he sung and keeping a firm grip on those watching. It was impossible to take your eyes off him. Meanwhile, we got slick, screeching riffs courtesy of Col, solid bass tones from Martin , and Bill, utterly soaked in sweat, was belting it out full force on the drums.
The lads were putting in their all in the process, and their rocking numbers were both rampant and energetic; so addictive that we and the audience couldn’t get enough of it, culminating in a sea of skinheads going bonkers in the middle.
They were as raw and old school as it gets, and it was entertaining stuff to watch.
After that scene, it was now time for the rough and gruff quintet Half Charge to finish off the show, and what a way to do so.
Leading bloke Joe, flanked by his stunt double, was as ruthless as they come, armed with a fiercely rugged voice that was thunderous, especially when he was lobbing out his F’s and C’s left, right and centre. A beast of a man.
He was at the forefront of these banging, barbaric tracks dotted with profane lyrics that struck a chord with the working class locals in attendance – Snowflake, White Trash and Razor’s Edge being the undisputed highlights for us personally – and loaded with aggressive guitar work by Danny and Ross, and driving rhythms from Tezz and Stu that were just intoxicating.
Everyone in the room was infused and endlessly begging for encores, and who could blame them? It was a bloody good, no holds barred set to wrap things up in the most punk fashion possible. OI, OI, OI!