The Easter weekend is traditionally a time for a lot of things. For some, it’s the chance to catch up with family, for some it’s time off work, for others it’s the actual meaning of this time of year, for many it’s chocolate and alcohol, but for the lucky people of Hereford this year, it was this double-header of live music (along with plenty of chocolate and alcohol too!) that made this an Easter to remember.
With a variety of bands and an eclectic mix of styles over the weekend brought to you by the wonderful people of HeyLittleMonster and The Underground Revolution, there was something for just about everyone to enjoy and every band played their hearts out.
RAPTOR, NEW REVIVAL AND AS MAMAS
“It’s a thankless task to be both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at the same time, but Fletcher did an awesome job of trying while the band’s talented rhythm section did their best to be the best Bonham and Jones they could!”
The Underground Revolution Presents Doghouse, Reality Attack
and Wolf Cryer
Music Review by Gavin Brown
Following hot on the heels of the immense Steve Ignorant gig earlier in the month, it was with great pleasure to be able to witness the formidable music machine that is Doghouse, an outfit with the very same ideals and outlook as the great Mr Ignorant. Add to this a great supporting lineup courtesy of the down and dirty punk of Reality Attack and the grungy hard rock of Wolfcryer, and you’ve got a recipe for a great night. And a great night it was with a healthy turnout from an enthusiastic audience showing once again how vibrant the musical climate is in Hereford nowadays.
Kicking off the night wereWolf Cryerand the local lot got the night off to a brilliant start with their grunge-inspired rock, which was a definite highlight. The band’s extended heavy jams were completely mesmerising as was the powerful groove that they laid down and the vocals of singerClaire Perkins were undeniably impressive and topped the bands sound off perfectly. Wolf Cryer have that grunge influence with heavier bands like Babes In Toyland, or even Gruntruck with their more metal sound and even a hint of the Melvins in there too. These bands seem like an influence on their sound, but Wolf Cryer do their own thing with it and this is definitely a band that need checking out again. Having not heard the band before, I was blown away and won’t hesitate to catch them when they next play live, which will hopefully be soon!
Reality Attackwere up next and their raw punk didn’t disappoint at all, with their defiant and in your face noise a joy to watch. The speakers were tested to their limits as the band thrashed through their set as if it were the last one they’d ever play! Their crust/anarcho punk sound went over so well with the dancing audience, and they debuted some new material that will be forthcoming on their new EP. It is just as pissed off as their older material with the brilliant You’re A Cunt a highlight of the bands set.
Reality Attack rallied against the system throughout with a heartfelt tribute to the young Russian punk stabbed to death for standing up to fascists a few days earlier only adding to the band’s anger – and the band certainly told it like it is. They finished their set with their bassist up on vocals singing his heart out and ended things on a high. Reality Attack are definitely the real deal and proved this tonight beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Between each of the acts, BDS of Last Tree Squadwas spinning tunes and this added to the eclectic nature of the night as well with bass, heavy dub, reggae, dancehall, hip hop and grime cuts testing the Booth Halls speakers to the max! Heating songs like Murder She Wrote, Raggamuffin, Welcome to Jamrock and 99 Problems really loud definitely added to the atmosphere.
Formed out of the ashes of cult Cardiff techno punk band Sicknote, tonight’s headliner’s Doghouse play a much-anticipated set and are another band who don’t disappoint either with their defiant and cutting lyrics really hitting home over energetic and hard techno beats that got an enthusiastic response on the dancefloor throughout their whole set. Their spirited performance has much in common with Steve Ignorant as they spew bile about the current state of the nation and like the former Crass man, they do it with an element of humour and cleverness, never coming across as preachy with the techno elements adding to the warm and energetic atmosphere. Doghouse has a massive performance art and cabaret (that they have dubbed Cabarave, a description that fits perfectly) element to them that works so well, from costume changes to some inspired dancing, you couldn’t take your eyes off the duo all night.
Delivering songs, mainly culled from their debut album Idiot Savant, their passionate delivery on topics ranging from council tax to unemployment and thinking for yourself was very inspiring too. The band were as informative as they were entertaining all night. A great performance from two true musical mavericks that deserve to be heard by all.
Overall, this was a brilliant night that saw so much variation in musical terms, but this certainly united everyone in attendance as the atmosphere was amazing and that can only be a good thing.
Feature Image: Nick Vidal-Hall for Booth Hall Photography
Seminal is a word that gets thrown about quite often when bands or records are talked about or discussed and it is often a word that gets overused, but when that word is used to describe the influence of Steve Ignorant then it is definitely spot on. A founding member of the legendary Crass, a band who were always about a message just as much as the music as well as Conflict and many others, Crass were about a legacy and that legacy is still resonating today and their ethos and spirit can be found in everyone from the Levellers to Napalm Death as well as countless numbers of punk bands and is still being carried on today by bands like Sleaford Mods.
Steve Ignorant is still carrying on that legacy today too and who better to do it than him, and that is what everyone at the Booth was here to see tonight. The gig was postponed from last November and since then, the anticipation has been electric in waiting to witness a true British icon live in Hereford and the gig didn’t disappoint anyone in attendance in the slightest.
24 February 2017
Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life, Headsticks and Terminal Rage at The Booth Hall Hereford
The night kicks off with local rabble rousers Terminal Rage and they make sure things go off with a bang in a set that was has to be the tightest and most focused that I’ve seen them play. Going straight for the jugular from the get go, the band take no prisoners with their pure, angry and loud punk rock and get things off to a great start. The bands energetic performance sees them dedicate songs to enemies like Ian Duncan Smith with digs at the likes of May and Trump and tracks like Guilty and brand new song Class Crime (which is dedicated to “fucking, fuckers, politicians” go down a storm and as they finish with their cover of Pretty Vacant, the audience consider themselves truly warmed up.
After that fiery opening,Headsticks follow and their glorious mixture of punk and folk is treated like reunion with a long lost friend with the likes of the rousing World Away, a stirring rendition of Mississippi Burning (dedicated with utter hatred to the BNP), a prophetic version of Killing Me America and even a new track get the audience stomping away with singer Andrew coming on like Stoke On Trents answer to Jello Biafra with his heartfelt statements. A great set from a great band that deserve all the plaudits they get and hopefully they will come back to Hereford soon.
STEVE IGNORANT’S SLICE OF LIFE
After those two great performances, it was time for the main event and Mr. Ignorant ably assisted by his Slice Of Lifecohorts definitely didn’t let anyone down with a passionate set consisting of inspiring anthems and tales of real life that had the audience transfixed from the very start. Despite being in this game for 40 years, Steve Ignorant showed that he still has the same fire and anger raging through him just as he did in the heydays of Crass and Conflict and the enthusiastic crowd responded in kind.
All sorts of topics are addressed tonight from animal rights to mental health issues, each done so with a mixture of infectious passion, warmth and humour as well as focused rage and the audience listen intently to every word that comes out of the vocalists mouth and he is on fine form throughout and his band show that they are a talented bunch too with their acoustic and keyboard attack being the perfect backing for Steve Ignorant. Songs like Slice Of Life and a version of Stratford Mercenaries Killing Time are despatched and are stand out moments of a set that is packed with them and Ignorant shows exactly why he is highly regarded as a lyricist as well as a frontman, and as a frontman he is highly formidable, at ease with the audience but purveying a sense of authority for the duration and this was a real treat for everyone in attendance.
With the political climate, not only in this country but all over the world becoming more worrying all the time, it is people who speak the truth like Steve Ignorant as well as Headsticks and Terminal Rage that we need to inject some right into the world and having witnessed all three on top form, everyone here tonight can agree on how inspiring it was.
I was fortunate enough to interview Doghouse and receive a stream of thoughts and information that has brought to life an even more fascinating character. Let’s just say I have unearthed some of the mystery that makes him a special part of the festival and live music circuit.
The former front man of Punk Rave band Sicknote, Doghouse will be gracing us the 24th of February at The Booth Hall in Hereford with support from Hardcore Traveller Punk band Reality Attack and local Noise Rock band Wolfcryer. Expect the building to shake with the latter two. Hey why not? You want a good party we will give it to you.
“I would say that my lyrics are a call for action, a condemnation of the status quo. I like to use humour, to elevate the role of the fool and re-affirm his unique position, as someone who can scathingly criticise the powers that be. The only man who can tell the king the truth and get away with it”
Then prepare yourself to be put into the DOGHOUSE where you find your toes and minds tapping. I mean really…our minds will do little cartwheels. In between acts you will get a chance to get your dance on while DJ BDS Last Tree Squadfills the sound waves with some pretty bomb reggae, hip-hop and bass tunes. Will you ever be the same again after this night? We hope not.
We have also been fortunate enough to team up with the‘No Herefordshire Cull’ Benefit gigon the following Saturday night (February 25th) headlined by Citizen Fishand two other great support acts –Reverend Schneider and The Band of Angels and Owain Price. We are offering a Weekender Special price of £11 for two nights of great live music with a purpose.
HEREFORD CITY CENTRIC:So tell me a bit about what the name Doghouse represents?
Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life band will be headlining and are supported by one of the latest bands to make waves the past few years on the Folk Punk music circuit, Headsticks from Stoke on Trent.
The opening act will be Hereford punks Terminal Rage who are playing Rebellion this year and whose Nigel Farage rants get the audience pumped for what’s to come. This will be a night of working-class heroes, live music and spoken word that will inspire the punk and revolutionary within us all.
Terminal Rage Drummer Bob Griffin received his first drum kit from big brother Dale Griffin who was in Mott the Hoople and the rest is history. The other members are no less intriguing, consisting of mountain boarding champion Raphael La Roche, also known for his permanent Mohawk (I would be lost without it on his head) and Wolverhampton transplant Rich Lovell whose first Clash experience changed him forever (much like The Clash did for Steve Ignorant). Rich sings and plays guitar for Terminal Rage and is also one of the founders of The Underground Revolution Hereford.
Rich is anticipating this gig in a big way and says “Crass were my political inspiration, got me thinking, challenging my teenage views on life, on society and as such Steve Ignorant is a bit of a folk hero to me.”
If you were at our last gig of the year in December and enjoyed Sons of Clogger or attended our Under a Banner show in 2016, you will definitely connect with Headsticks music and may even find yourself dancing around with a pint in your hand. I really wanted to know what their songs were about so I asked. They are heavy on the mind and light on the feet. There is a lot of talent there – both musically and lyrically.
Frontman/Lyricist Andrew Tranter says about their songs “It’s a social commentary that the working classes can easily relate to…..we aim to make people stop and think with our songs and it does seem to do that! It’s not so much about smashing the statues and setting fire to the government buildings, but more of asking people to look outside their own bubble, basically to start giving a shit before it’s too late!” We need to listen folks so bring beer money, a keen mindset and your dancing boots.
STEVE IGNORANT’S SLICE OF LIFE
We all know Steve Ignorant from his Crass and Conflictdays but he recently has taken his talent in a new direction with his Slice of Life tour sharing his opinions with us through spoken word and acoustic songs.
Steve once chased (not literally) a girl to a Clash concert in Bristol and then found himself inspired enough to start his own punk band with friend Penny Rimbaud. He then became the youngest member of Crass and had fans listening to his every angry word. Steve isn’t very clued up on mobile phones or even Spotify according to an article in The Quietus and we like him like that…authentic and old school…who is running his Twitter account then?
All in all, it will be a beautiful night for Friends of the Underground Revolution Hereford carrying on from last year’s theme…A whole lot of good shit!