The Underground Revolution brought Punk Hero Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life To Hereford

 

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

TERMINAL RAGE

Terminal rage photography by Nickie Bates

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.

HEADSTICKS

Headsticks, The Booth Hall Hereford, The Underground Revolution, punk, folk punk, spoken word

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

Steve Ignorant's A Slice of Life, The Booth Hall Hereford, The Underground Revolution, punk, folk punk, spoken word

After those two great performances, it was time for the main event and Mr. Ignorant ably assisted by his Slice Of Life cohorts 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.

Steve Ignorant's A Slice of Life, The Booth Hall Hereford, The Underground Revolution, punk, folk punk, spoken word
It appears Terminal Rage need to go on the naughty step From Left: Rapahael La Roche (Terminal Rage), Rich Lovell (Terminal Rage) Dave Tomlin and Far Right: Dave Owen (Sons of Clogger)

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.

Music Review by: Gavin Brown 

All Photography by:  Nickie Bates Distorted Image

Slap Mag Worcester The Underground Revolution Hereford

‘Sounds From the Sofa’ The ‘Terminal Rage’ Interview…Advice For Young Musicians, Punk Idols & The Fight Against Austerity

Imagine if you will, three amazing characters who have come together to form the punk band known as Terminal Rage sitting before you under the effulgence of The Booth Hall stage lights.  I was aware these gents were characters, but as the interview progressed my “impressed” button was pushed many a time.

Terminal Rage-Rich Lovell-The Underground Revolution
Terminal Rage frontman Rich Lovell. Painting by Arran Vidal-Hall

Continue reading “‘Sounds From the Sofa’ The ‘Terminal Rage’ Interview…Advice For Young Musicians, Punk Idols & The Fight Against Austerity”

Rich Lovell’s Most Excellent ‘Hereford Blues Club’ Line Up Review

Hereford Blues Club opening night at the Booth Hall, Hereford
Saturday 13th February 2016

hereford blues club, booth hall

Blues….who needs it? Is it decades past its time? Is it relevant, or does it even have any context (given its cultural roots) in a city like Hereford? What do you wear to a Blues gig? Does any of that matter?

Well it matters to some, and that “some” have set up a Blues club here. Not only that, but this opening night drew a damned fine crowd. Now I admit, I have dabbled, but…..well……I’ve always seen it as one of those “guilty pleasures”, so it was with mixed emotions that I waited as opening band Sweet Talk climbed on to the stage in that great hall at the Booth – what happens if someone sees me, or I enjoy it, or someone sees me enjoying it?

Sweet Talk are way too young to play the Blues aren’t they? Err no they aren’t. A talented trio fronted by singer/ guitarist Owen Whittall, Sweet Talk were a great choice to open the opening night. They were bright, they smiled, they looked like they were having a damned fine time and life is good for them – this isn’t what Blues set out to be was it? And that is what made them a great choice in my eyes – this is a new club and Sweet Talk don’t represent the traditional.

sweet talk, hereford blues club at the Booth Hall
Sweet Talk frontman Owen Whittall

They are absolutely influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan and did a great version of his ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ mid-set along with a fine cover of Freddie King’s ‘Big Legged Woman’ – I know! I actually recognised those two tunes – no help from anyone. A fine set.

We know that Troy Redfern has played quite a few times in Hereford, and for all those that disapprove of this, well, he attracts attention, good sized crowds, consistently so why not, really.

He’s proved his worth to the genre locally, as far as most are concerned (more about that later), and he’s written and recorded enough material to shake off the detractors. I’m in a bit of a bad mood writing this because I bought Troy’s albums a while ago via download and then my laptop went bang and I’ve lost them, which means I need to buy again – guilty pleasures are bloody expensive.

“And although, as I think is obvious now, I’m not a student of the Blues, I know music and this was a bloody good night of it”

Yes, I have seen the Troy Redfern Band play quite a few times, including when I booked him for the Down on the Farm festival, but tonight there was a spark, a fire that shone – they were up for it big time. Whether it was the change of bassist, or that they wanted to lay a marker for the Club, I don’t know, but the performance was electric, loud, rocking, interactive, angry and passionate. ‘Salvation’ was spat out through gritted teeth and ‘The Other Side’ was beaten out with more of that fire. He chucked in a reworking of Muddy Waters’ ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ ,and then…to add to the glory of it all, Will Killeen was invited up to jam – I had, before tonight, no idea who Will Killeen was. I do now. See, I’m learning!

A fitting start to this model of the Hereford Blues Club – I’ll watch with interest as it develops.

To answer some of those initial questions, yes Blues is relevant, yes it can still be contemporary and relevant to today and my Blues-wear was my Anarchy leather jacket, UK Subs shirt and DMs – always guarantees a place at the bar.

As an aside – people are strange – I overheard a conversation between songs from someone who said he’d seen the bands before and there are better ones out there. So what the hell he was doing there is beyond me, other than to be seen. And although, as I think is obvious now, I’m not a student of the Blues, I know music and this was a bloody good night of it.

Another aside – there were more photographers than you could shake a Fender Strat at the gig, but they failed to get a shot of the only Punk in the village *sulks*…..

Just one more aside…..go on, please…..shouldn’t Blues Clubs be excluded from the no smoking laws? The air in there was just too clean for that music…….

Hereford Blues Club   Facebook / Twitter

The Booth Hall, 3 East Street, Hereford HR1 2LW   Facebook / Twitter

Photography by Jonathon Paul     Facebook / Twitter

BBC Introducing H&W take over The Victory Pub

BBC Introducing In Hereford and Worcester came to the Victory Pub in Hereford on 31st January 2016.  If you are not familiar with BBC Introducing….in a nutshell; local unsigned bands upload their music, the BBC crew listen, and select four bands to play a set in a local venue. They bring recording & lighting equipment, making a real show of it.  The sets are then played on BBC H&W’s Introducing show, giving much needed exposure to the acts.

I popped along to see what they do, how they do it and to see a couple of bands that I’ve got into over the last twelve months from my time in Hereford Live, namely Atlas and Last Tree Squad. 

It was the latter of these bands, Last Tree Squad – normally a seven piece, but tonight an eight piece dub reggae band, that kicked the event off. Front man Loftie is well known on the Hereford music scene, a man that works hard not just for his art and his comrades, but for all those making music in the city.

Last Tree Squad

Last Tree Squad, Hereford

 

The stage area at the Victory is pretty snug at the best of times, so as you can imagine getting eight on to a stage was some feat of engineering.  After the introduction by Andrew Marston, the band kicked off with “We don’t want it”, which has quite a roots reggae feel to it, and a strong anti-violence message.

Last Tree Squad really mix it up as they go through “Oh, Oh” and “Streets” before finishing up with “What you gonna do”.  As you would expect with such a large band, there is loads going on in the sound, with the heavy bass lines that I love, leading the songs’ grooves.

The eighth member tonight was Jenny Frost, who sings in the Hereford Soul Choir, and brought some more depth to the vocals that was a bonus. I could go on all day about Reggae – coming from the West Midlands, bands like Steel Pulse are part of my younger days soundtrack – and what a great band Last Tree Squad are, but really you just need to look them up and go see them.

Sin Eso

Sineeso

 

Next up were Sin Eso from Bromsgrove. A new band to me, they play a great brand of melodic metal – their band page says a “mix of romantic Rock and love Metal”, and there’s definitely some Evanescence in their style, but Toby Bowett, lead singer & guitarist, has a voice reminiscent of Ed Kowalczyk, the ex-singer from post-grunge rockers Live.

Sin Eso, BBC Introducing, Hereford and Worcester
Sin Eso Performing live @ The Victory Pub, Hereford

‘Eye of the Storm’ was a particularly catchy (sorry to use that awful word) track and just to prove they are their own sound, they chuck in some rap vocals from Matt J Owen, keyboard player for the band.  I suspect there is a great future ahead for Sin Eso; they have a cool aura about them.

They’ve already played at the O2 Institute in Birmingham and I can’t see that being the end of it.

Thank The Academy

Thank The Academy band, Bromsgrove

 

Third on the list were pop punk band Thank The Academy, hailing from Birmingham. Absolutely in the mould of Blink 182 and Sum 41, they have honesty, a humble nature and the fact they had just completed a four date tour of the country with Never Hill, meant they played a pretty tight set.

Love to see a bit more originality from their song-writing, there were hints of it – Navigation for example – but in a pretty busy genre scene I think they will be doing their damnedest to show they can be different from the crowd.  Their EP “Navigation”, a follow-up to their debut  EP “Worth A Try” is due out any minute.

Atlas

Atlas band from Hereford

 

Finally, local rock trio Atlas took to the stage. Well, they say rock, I say down-tuned riff chugging monster Metal. I loved their set – part Mastodon, with some Bolt Thrower guitar and a bit of James Hetfield on the vocals thrown in for a pretty full on sound.

Lots of latent menace before an all-out onslaught of grooving terror and if you listen to their album MMXV you’ll know what I mean from tracks like Breaking Under and Isolated Clone. A great end to the night.

Atlas, BBC Introducing H&W at the Victory Pub, Hereford
Atlas play BBC Introducing H&W @ The Victory Pub

The sets will be played on the BBC H&W Introducing show throughout February, so keep an ear out for them.

Links to the bands for more information:
Last Tree Squad: www.facebook.com/LastTreeSquad
Sin Eso: www.facebook.com/sineso.official
Thank The Academy: www. www.facebook.com/ThankTheAcademyUK
Atlas: www.atlashereford.bandcamp.com/album/mmxv

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY RICH LOVELL, Music Director/Reviewer – Hereford City Centric & The Underground Revolution, Frontman – Punk Band Terminal Rage