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 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.
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