BAD MANNERS + MAX SPLODGE + THE FISH BROTHERS – CONCORDE 2, BRIGHTON 23.12.18
It’s that time of year again for all the old faithful fans and the new younger ones to follow Bad Manners at the Concorde 2 in Brighton for a knockout show.
We fought our way through to wind and the rain to the gig tonight. I was fortunate to see Bad Manners earlier this year at Lewes Con Club, so was really looking forward to this. On entering the venue the Brighton crowd tonight seemed very different to the Lewes punters several months ago. This evening there were lots of mature skinheads and also quite a large proportion of young people. I wondered how the crowd would react to the wonderful Ska sound and the 5 piece brass section. Well it was to be brilliant!
The first support band tonight were the Fish Brothers from Brighton, who incidentally supported Bad Manners last time they were down this way, when they played the aforementioned Con Club gig last April. With 4 albums under their belts Martin Fish and his band really know how to work the crowd, plenty of banter (sometimes pretty crude!) and sing-along tunes. But it’s not surprising that they have mastered their craft – they have been together (in one form or another) for twenty years and have toured the UK and Europe with the likes of The Damned, The Blockheads and The Levellers, amongst many…
More Fish Brothers facts HERE.
I had a fabulous surprise for the second band on, which was Max Splodge from Splodgenessabounds. Max’s original band ‘ Splodgenessabounds’, was formed over a taxi cab office in Queens Road, Peckham. The band won a recording contract with Deram Records and their first release in 1980 was a three track 7” EP which had the lead track A-side as ‘Simon Templer’. However, it was shifting by the bucket load and reached as high as No.7 on the official singles chart, but this was due to the masses of radio play of the second of two tracks found on the reverse B-side, namely ‘Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please’, with the first being ‘Michael Booth’s Talking Bum’.
Tonight, Max came on stage and he and his backing band kicked off with a cover version of the Toy Dolls punk rendition of ‘Nellie the Elephant’. This instantly got the crowd up the front moving and put us all in the mood for a good old mosh or dance, whichever was the individuals preference. I didn’t know all of their songs performed, but certainly knew the cover versions tonight. A decent cover of Tenpole Tudor’s ‘The Swords Of A Thousand Men’ had the crowd dancing and singing and their version of Sham 69’s ‘Hurry Up Harry’ stirred it all up to the first frenzy of the evening.
I couldn’t get a setlist tonight, but we strongly believe the tracks were: ‘Nellie the Elephant’ (Toy Dolls version cover), ‘I Fell In Love With A Female Plumber From Harlesden NW10’, ‘Mouth and Trousers’, ‘My Socks Gone Down My Shoe’, ‘Swords Of A Thousand Men’ (Tenpole Tudor cover), ‘Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?’ (The Singing Postman cover), ‘Hurry Up Harry’ (Sham 69 Cover), ‘Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please’.
More info on Max Splodge and Splodgenessabounds HERE.
Well what a warm up and we were all ready to go.
The Concorde 2 was absolutely packed to the gunnels tonight, with young and old and boy were we ready for the main act. Bad Manners play Brighton every December and the fans we met have been coming to see them every year and it forms an important part of their Christmas year and after tonight I can absolutely understand why.
Bad Manners originally formed in 1976 and although Buster Bloodvessel (real name Douglas Trendle) is the only original surviving member. His 10 piece band (including himself) really know how to get the crowd moving! But Buster has had a bit of practise – let’s not forget that in the 80’s Bad Manners had a string of 12 UK chart singles (covering a period of 111 weeks), 4 successful albums, ‘Top Of The Pops’ performances, and worldwide tours.
When the band came onto the stage I realised that all the band members played in the previous band with Max Splodge. That was great so this was gonna be awesome. The first song started and off we went into a full torrent of full on Ska. I couldn’t get the set list so you will need to bear with me and my recollection of the order. The highlight for me tonight were ‘Lorraine’, ‘Walking In The Sunshine’, and ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’.
The crowd went ballistic at this point with the mosh pit extending right into the venue, young and old having a ball. This was awesome to see. ‘King Ska’ indeed! You know what? It was all brilliant. The band are amazing, both guitarist, drummer and the brass section. Buster you nailed it and Brighton salute you and your fabulous band. I for one will be there next year and I want it to be part of my Christmas too.
Setlist (maybe) ‘Echo 4-2’, ‘This Is Ska’, ‘My Girl Lollipop’, ‘Lorraine’, ‘Feel Like Jumping’, ‘Walking in The Sunshine’, ‘Sally Brown’, ‘Fatty Fatty’, ‘King Ska/Fa’, ‘Pipeline’,’Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, ‘Just A Feeling’, ‘Inner London Violence’, ‘El Pussycat’, ‘Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu’, ‘Red River Ska’, ‘Wooly Bully’, ‘Don’t Knock The Baldhead’, ‘Lip up Fatty’ ‘Can-Can’.
If you enjoy ska and the 2Tone sound, then you can read our concert report on Madness who played in Brighton on the previous night. Read it HERE.