ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE + PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES + VIKI VORTEX & THE C**SHOTS – PATTERNS, BRIGHTON 09.02.19
Well our night started out very windy and wet along Brighton seafront on the way to one of my favourite venues ‘Patterns’. The lineup tonight looked great with 3 bands that I love to see and reviewed two of them (‘The Test Tubes’ and ‘Viki Vortex’) back in December 2018. More HERE. It was almost exactly a year to the day that the Anti-Nowhere League appeared at Patterns and you can read last years review HERE.
Doors tonight opened at 7pm and Viki Vortex And The C**shots were due on at 7.10, so we were on a tight schedule with the 3 bands tonight. Right on time the first act fired up the crowd ‘Five To Five’, was the first track and Viki showed her amazing presence on stage as she is great to watch. The vocals sounded great tonight and her facial expressions just brighten up the night. Next up was ‘Plastic Fantastic’.
This band are so much fun the watch. Theo on the drums provided the fast rhythmic beat that drives all of the bands songs. Steve really played the guitar hard and fast throughout the set tonight . It was great to see the crowd piling into the venue and getting into this band and by all accounts it appeared that the gig had sold out. Viki launched into one of my favourites ‘Fluffer’ and people around me were saying that they hadn’t heard of them before but how good they were. I think that this band will have a bigger fan base after this performance.
The set progressed with crowd pleasers ‘Lollipop People’ and ‘Police Car’ and the final song of the night being ‘Grab Your Life’. I really enjoyed this and my highlight was ‘Police Car’.
The full setlist was: ‘Five To Five’, ‘Plastic Fantastic’, ‘Something Wrong’, ‘Hold On’, ’Fluffer’, ‘Countdown’, ‘Hypocrite’, ‘Cover Up’, ‘Don’t Tell Me’, ‘Lollipop People’, ‘Cover Up’, ‘Police Car’, ‘Thank You’, ’Grab Your Life’.
The band are:
Viki Vortex – (vocals/bass)
Steve Manuell – (guitar/backing vocals)
Anthony Theodotou – (drums)
Next up were the original Peacehaven wild kids, Peter And The Test Tube Babies. For those of you that have read my reviews of the band before, you will know they are one of my top 10 of all time.
Tonights tight schedule meant it would be a fast set. On they came and kicked off with the classic ‘Moped Lads’. This immediately kicked of a small mosh pit up the front and the crowd all knew all of the words. A great start but then Nick’s Bass guitar amp stopped working. This led to an unwelcome 5 minute interlude, whilst the roadies fixed the problem. Del Strangefish however delivered a new Test Tubes song called ‘How Many Roadies To Fix An Amp?’, which had us all laughing. Amp fixed and they were off again with their awesome tune ‘Jinx’. This fired up the crowd and an even bigger mosh pit formed. The sound of this band is so awesome – real “Loud Blaring Punk Rock”. as it should be heard. Next ‘In Yer Face’ and the crowd were loving it. At this stage I moved position as the energy in the mosh pit was frantic at the front.
The slightly shortened set meant we were going to miss a few tunes, which included ‘Never Made It’, ‘Unlucky Day’ and ‘Every Second Counts’. Peter is such a brilliant front man and has been right since the first time I ever saw them. He brings a real fun element to the bands performance, which I have to say last night was spot on. Del Strangefish has always been brilliant on lead guitar and drives the sound of the band. I was watching Sam on the drums tonight and boy can he play, he also has a real flair about how he delivers too. Nick’s bass was totally enthralling and combined their sound is gripping and it always lifts me, I am left with wanting more. I think this was true for everyone In attendance.
The full setlist was: ‘Moped Lads’, ‘Jinx’, ‘In Yer Face’, ‘Up Yer Bum’, ‘Spirit Of Keith Moon’, ‘None Of Your Fu**ing Business’, ‘Maniac’, ‘Banned From The Pubs’, ‘Blown Out Again’.
The band are:
Peter Bywaters – (vocals)
Del Strangefish – (guitar/backing vocals)
Nick Abnett – (bass)
Sam Griffin Fuller – (drums)
After a very brief interlude it was time for the main act and everyone’s favourite Tunbridge Wellians, the Anti-Nowhere League. The first time I saw this band was in around 1980/81 as my brother was massively into them. They are an English hardcore punk band, formed in 1980 by lead singer Animal (Nick Culmer), guitarist Magoo (Chris Exall), P.J. (Persian John) on drums and Clive Blake on bass. They released their first single in November 1981, which was a cover of Ralph McTell’s ‘Streets Of London’. The single went to No. 48 in the UK Singles Chart for 5 weeks. It was however the naughty B-Side entitled ‘So What?’ that got everybody’s attention and this became an ANWL anthem. Copies of this single were seized by the Metropolitan Police’s Obscene Publication Squad shortly after release. ‘So What?’ has however been covered by rock Gods Metallica, which is a fitting tribute to a great ditty.
When the Anti-Nowhere League, who are now Animal (vocals), Tommy ‘H’ (guitar), Sam Carnage (drums) and Barnsy (bass), came onto the stage I was quite surprised by the look of the band as I hadn’t seen them for some 38 years ago. They were wearing biker leather chains and long hair. The set however was full of well known ANWL ditties such as their track ‘Animal’. As soon as they fired up, the crowd in the venue, (which was by now packed) wend ballistic. The mosh pit was huge and I have to say was one of the most active I have witnessed for some time. There was some big characters in there. Unfortunately I was unable to get a setlist for the gig as they were launched into the mosh pit and I couldn’t get near to grab one. I can tell you that this was a fast and furious hardcore punk performance.
The band are fantastic musicians, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I will give you my highlights as I saw them. The crowd erupted to lead singer ‘Animals’, tribute to the one and only Charlie Harper with their song ‘Uncle Charlie’ (from the album ‘Caged’), it was brilliant and a shame Charlie is on tour currently in Europe with the UK Subs. ‘Streets Of London’ was brilliant and to hear it live again after all these years made the hairs on my neck stand on end.
The songs on the list I believe were: ‘Can’t Stand Rock ’N’ Roll’, ‘Snowman’, ‘I Hate People’, ‘The Last Cowboys’, ‘Uncle Charlie’, ‘Good As It Gets’, ‘So What?’, ‘Woman’, ‘Streets Of London’, ‘For You’, ‘Pig Iron’, ‘God Bless Alcohol’, ‘F***ed Up And Wasted’, ‘Animal’ and ‘We Are The League’.
All in all a fantastic gig with 3 bands that are so different and great for very different reasons.
Find more photos of this event by visiting www.punkinfocus.com