COMEBACK CL*T – TOUGH LOVE, ST. LEONARDS-ON-SEA 22.4.23
Saturday, April 22nd will go down as the day I lost my Record Store Day virginity as I had promised my eldest daughter Iona that I would endeavour to get her a copy of ‘Folklore’ by ‘Taylor Swift.’ In my pursuit of said album I popped into ‘Tough Love’ on Bohemia Road, St Leonards on Sea, for the first time on Friday during my lunchtime. Once inside I realised that I had found a little treasure trove with plenty of local music being promoted. As luck would have it the new flexi disc from my favourite local band ‘HotWax‘ entitled ‘Treasure’ arrived whilst I was in the shop, as did my copy when I arrived home. The member of staff on duty, Flick, was extremely helpful and advised me that there were only a couple of Taylor Swift albums in stock. I hastened to add that it was for my daughter and not the 59 year old man stood in front of her!
Having this information available I return to the store at 5.45am on Saturday morning, some 215 minutes before opening time. To my horror though there are two fellow ‘Swifties,’ at least for today, sitting outside the shop on their camp chairs. I get speaking to the young women and much to my relief only one of them is purchasing the album whilst the other is there for moral support. The dream for my eldest is ever closer. Meanwhile Iona is getting up and ready to visit her local record store in Huddersfield.
No-one else joins the queue until 7.45am, which in effect means I could have had an extra two hours in bed. 8.30am arrives and as I am one of the first five people in the queue I qualify for a complimentary cup of coffee from the wonderful people at ‘Tough Love.’ My cappuccino order is taken by Flick who greets me as her favourite ‘Swiftie’ in front of everyone. I have to laugh. I feel somewhat revived after my drink and I’m ready to take on RSD 2023. On entrance we are greeted by store manager Anja who has managed to get out of her sick bed for the shop’s first Record Store Day.
BREAKING NEWS: Iona has been successful in purchasing a copy of ‘Folklore’ so have I wasted three and a quarter hours of my life standing in a queue for nothing? Will I actually be able to purchase something for myself? A further request comes through from Huddersfield (where Iona currently is) as a future present is asked for. I manage to purchase the ‘surprise’ gift from a band three quarters of the way through the last century! Again there are only two copies in stock and I am lucky that I queued up early as the two friends in the queue behind me both want the album so sadly for them one misses out. I feel their disappointment, but that turns to joy when a ‘Swiftie’ latecomer picks up the remaining copy of ‘Folklore’ and is over the moon with her purchase. Lucky for her I’m not one of those people who purchases RSD vinyl and then sells it on eBay to make a quick buck, as I notice some copies are going for almost three times the face value on the actual day itself. I also make use of the generous 15% off all store purchases for anyone to buy something from RSD, snapping up a copy of ‘Club Classics’ from ‘Knife Club’ who really impressed me at Rebellion last year.
In spite of only having had three and a half hours sleep last night, I return to ‘Tough Love’ at 2pm in the afternoon as local Hastings punx ‘Comeback Cl*t‘ are putting on a free show. I have been meaning to see this band since they formed in 2021 but despite them playing numerous local gigs I always seem to have missed them up until today. I manage to squeeze into the packed shop and even get a front row view. In a different venue I’m sure there would have been a mosh pit but obviously no-one wants to destroy this gem of an independent record store. In return for my attendance I am treated to a wonderfully fast paced 25 minute, nine song set, including not so fast paced repairs to Annie’s drum stool which collapsed on the penultimate song. With only two songs exceeding the two minute mark don’t be expecting any lengthy guitar solos, this is raw punk how it should be heard. There is a lot of justified anger in their music, with one of my favourite songs of the set, ‘Cheer Up Luv’ calling out the cat-callers.
It’s amusing to see members of the general public walking past the shop looking bemused at what on earth is going on. My favourite observer is a young girl, probably about five years old, eating a pretzel, who hangs around for a couple of minutes and seems suitably impressed by the drumming, and brings a smile to Annie’s face. Maybe she will be the future of Hastings punk. The Postie is possibly a little less impressed, or maybe he just had to finish his round.
I enjoy the set so much that I even purchase their debut EP ‘Howl Still’ on CD, which can now be heard blasting out of my car as I cruise the streets of Hastings and St Leonards.
The band are next in action locally when they play a matinee at The Prince Albert next Sunday, April 30th. If you are a lover of hardcore punk then this is an afternoon not to be missed. Find out more HERE.
Siobhan Slattery – vocals
Kathy Butler – guitar/backing vocals
Maddie Painter – bass
Annie Tanner – drums
Comeback Cl*t setlist (from the memory of guitarist Kathy):
‘Cop Thrash’ (from 2022 split EP with Ättestor)
‘Silence Is Violence’ (from 2023 ‘Howl Still’ EP)
‘Volcano’ (from 2023 ‘Howl Still’ EP)
‘P.R.L.C’(from 2023 ‘Howl Still’ EP)
‘Untitled’ (it’s new and doesn’t have a name yet)
‘Cheer Up Luv’ (from 2023 ‘Howl Still’ EP)
‘Drunk Mums’ (unreleased)
‘Howl’ (from 2023 ‘Howl Still’ EP)
‘Out Of Sight’ (from 2023 ‘Howl Still’ EP)