Deafened in Brighton by Guitar Wolf

Posted On 11 Nov 2019 at 12:49 am

Guitar Wolf live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 08.11.19 (pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click pic to enlarge!)


When I put together the preview for tonight’s gig, I titled it “Loud raw energy band Guitar Wolf set to deafen Brighton” and boy was I accurate with that, as my ears were seriously ringing afterwards despite having earplugs!!

I knew what to expect prior to going along, but blimey, serious dB’s (decibels) were achieved last night! All three acts were loud and raucous in their own styles and the Hope & Ruin punters were seriously lapping up what they were witnessing.

Goldie Dawn live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 08.11.19 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click pics to enlarge!)

First up were a Glasgow based quartet going by the name of Goldie Dawn which consists of Kate Thorburn (vocals), The Ripper (guitar), F Voight (bass) and Jordy H (drums). I couldn’t find out too much background on these guys, but Kate used to be in an outfit called Asian Babes – check out their Bandcamp page HERE.

Goldie Dawn are for fans of Destroy All Monsters, Crime and Paul Gray era The Damned. They are purveyors of loud garage punk, so think a heavy version of The Photos meets the Sex Pistols, coupled with Kate’s ‘I don’t give a damn aura’ and there you have it. Sadly the vocals well down in the mix or drowned out by the boys, but it’s toe tapping stuff indeed and Kate certainly does look the part. We were treated to half a dozen tunes and all of them were most enjoyable and full of power and I would certainly love to see them crop up at the HRH Punk Festival in Sheffield next year or even Brighton’s Great Escape – Hint! Hint! Guys!

Goldie Dawn setlist:
‘Caveman’, ‘Killed By Death’, ‘What’s Inside’, ‘Ramrod’, ‘Crime’, ‘Wild Wild’

Little is known but there’s more to come. Find them on Instagram: goldiedawn666

Young Francis Hi-Fi live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 08.11.19 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click pics to enlarge!)

Next up was Young Francis Hi-Fi which I must confess was my whole reason for attending this evening. This was because I’m a fan of newly disbanded Rotten Foxes, who have morphed themselves into the former one-man-band solo act of Young Francis and thus have created a brand new ‘Hi-Fi’ collaboration. The Rotten Foxes singer Rhys aka Rusty Nails had a severe case of wanderlust and despite the band making serious inroads and creating a local buzz, he has gone off on a world tour and at this very moment is in New Zealand. We covered the final Rotten Foxes gig – read it HERE.

Turns out that the three remaining Foxes, MacDaddy (guitar), Jimi Dymond (bass), and Danny Camelot (drums) suggested to Jimmy Lacey aka Young Francis to work together! Glad I’m not a betting man, as I would have guessed it was the other way around as German born but Brighton based Jimmy is certainly quite a character and certainly not the quiet retiring type. So he has all of a sudden got an instant band and tonight was their second outing.

Musically, I certainly get the ‘Hi-Fi’ collaboration as the Young Francis concerts that I have previously attended have learnt towards The Stooges in sound and the Foxes were a boisterous raucous version of much the same. So would there be any crowd surfin’ this evening from the former Foxes? Answer…no. Clearly the trio had toned-down their previous style, whereas Jimmy would have to be more animated, having previously sat whilst playing guitar, drums et al at the same time. I tell you what, this new ‘Hi-Fi’ is a match made in heaven as they sounded really great! Thus we had The Stooges meets trad 1977 punk and Jimmy still kept his trademark Toy Dolls style glasses and clothing from his previous shows. This was indeed Young Francis on steroids from previous encounters and I’m glad that they had the support in the crowd from local acts SKiNNY MiLK and Black Cat And The Boy.

We had eleven Young Francis compositions tracks and several Young Francis poses during the most enjoyable set. It’s down to these guys to take it to the next level now and get out and play a few more gigs and hopefully release something. I would most certainly want to see them as well as Goldie Dawn perform live again.

Young Francis Hi-Fi setlist:
‘Julia’, ‘Gimme A Kiss’, ‘Jealous’, ‘I Want You To Know’, ‘Suzie’, ‘Bad Attitude’, ‘I Wanna Hold You’, ‘Same Old Story’, ‘Short Hair Girl’, ‘Girls Like You’, ‘101’.

I guess that you might be able to suss what it’s all going to be about by listening to Rotten Foxes Bandcamp page as well as the Young Francis Bandcamp page.

Guitar Wolf live at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton 08.11.19 (pics Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus) (click pics to enlarge!)

Final act on the night was the seriously cool looking leather clad shades wearing Japanese trio Guitar Wolf, who’s music is very extreme and very loud; just like Rock’n roll should be.

Guitar Wolf were formed in 1987 by Seiji and Billy and after a while Toru joined their black leather clad ranks. They started pushing the boundaries of society’s accepted vision of one-dimensional rock trio. With this particular band, style is as important as sound and as a result their fanbase across the world has grown massively since their inception.

Guitar Wolf were courted from across the pond and in 1993 Goner Records, an independent label based in Memphis, USA released Guitar Wolf’s debut album ‘Wolf Rock’. After that,they signed up with another independent label in the USA, namely Matador Records. Their home breakthrough occurred in 1997, when they debuted with the major label Ki/oon Records in Japan and they released ‘Planet Of The Wolves’ at the same time.

To date, they have now unleashed over a dozen long players, with their latest May 2019 10-track offering being ‘Love & Jett’, which features tracks from a mere 1 minute 49 seconds right up all the way to 3 minutes and 7 seconds! So you get the picture! Hard, loud, fast and short! Click HERE to watch the video for one of the longer tracks – which to me sounds as if the Dead Kennedys have moved to Japan!

Guitar Wolf now operate on a worldwide level as in their time have played gigs all over the planet from Japan, USA, South America, Australia and all across Europe. Check out this lively video of them in concert down under HERE.

Sadly in 2005 founder member Billy died and so the current trio here tonight consists of founding member Seiji (Guitar Wolf), Toru (Drum Wolf) and GOTZ (Bass Wolf).

Prior to them entering on stage I noticed how compact Toru’s drumset was as it’s just like a child’s set, but it sounded OK. The trio entered the stage and immediately in order to get into the zone downed a pint of beer each, with a certain percentage being deliberately split down themselves. Clearly things were going to get hot and this was their way of cooling down.

After various screeching they were off! BANG! Christ this is loud! The noise was astounding and I feel as though the noise level was in the band’s mind almost as important as playing. I picked up on a Cramps vibe and then the continuous ‘1-2-3-4’ of The Ramones. In fact ‘1-2-3-4’ was virtually the only words I picked up all night it was that distorted. Oh and I heard “muthaf**ker” too and what appeared to be Eddie Cochran’s ‘Summertime Blues’ although it’s not listed on their setlist, but The Beatles ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ was definitely performed as part of their encore. For the rest of it, who knows? I couldn’t make out virtually every word, but maybe I wasn’t meant too and I was trying too hard.

There was a part that reminded me of GBH’s ‘No Survivors’ during their set, with songs often stopping and starting, just as you try to get into them. The continuous barrage was as I said loud and a foray stage dive by one of the guys was well received although he could have done himself an injury. There was a small crowd mosh at the front at times, but many were happy to stand and take it all in.

We had many nods psychobilly and the trio were certainly giving it there all as the sweat was virtually running off of them as opposed to just dripping. The punters enjoyed themselves, but being honest I found their tunes were often too long drawn out affairs, which was a surprise and thus I was fast becoming bored. They played for an hour and went off only to return for a few more tunes, but it took one of them four minutes to tune the guitar, 4 minutes, really, with music sounding like this, it shouldn’t matter. To me personally Guitar Wolf had the most energy on the night, but the least inspiring set.
And that was it, time for me to scoot off home.

We have tried our best and have endeavoured to translate the Guitar Wolf setlist for you – Arigatō, Michiko (ありがとう、ミチコ), so here goes:

Guitar Wolf setlist:
‘Planet Of The Wolves’
‘Sex Jaguar’
‘Kan-Nana Fever’
‘Invader Ace’
‘Gimme Some Lovin’’
‘Jet Generation’
‘Kenka Rock’
‘Bowling In Takada-No-Baba’
‘Wild Zero’
‘Mars Twist’
‘Kick Out The Jams’
‘Kaminari One’
‘Fujiyama Attack’
‘I Saw Her Standing There’
‘Missile Me’
‘High School Action’

So if you’re a fan of trash rock, punk rock, psychobilly, rock’n’roll and the like, then you need to visit their official website for further information –

Guitar Wolf’s setlist

(Left to right) Goldie Dawn setlist; Young Francis Hi-Fi setlist; Running order

Gig flyer

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