South Parade Pier, Portsmouth

Punk By The Sea

On an unusually mild winters night in Southsea it can only mean one thing, the Punks are in town! Tonight’s extravaganza is aptly named “Punk By The Sea Does Christmas” and certainly doe not disappoint. In a small room tucked away around the back of the Portsmouth South Parade Pier, a smattering of the usual suspects are gearing up for the first band.

A late very disappointing pull-out from Bournemouth’s The Sporadics means a hastily arranged spot for Southampton’s The Flying Alexander’s. They play a clean sharp brand of Punk with a hint of Ska. The bass is heavy almost throughout while the vocals are strong and clear on nearly all the songs. Singer Jon has more than a passing resemblance to comedian Jason Mamford but the similarities end there. There’s lots of yeah yeah yeah’s in the choruses while some of the songs are anthemic. Standout song of the set is ‘Rough Justice’ although there are no weak tunes. All in all a decent opening set to kick off the evening with.

The Flying Alexanders

Pompeys Night of Treason are up next, familiar faces in these parts, tonight they drop the covers in favour of a mostly originals set, showcasing their new bassist Mick for only his 2nd live outing. “Teddy Boy” borrows heavily from the Clash’s “Spanish Bombs” yet there’s an almost intentional Clash influence to their music. At times Pinky’s well delivered vocals are sadly drowned in a wall of sound, yet on some songs they appear more clear. Despite this he continues to cajole this expanding crowd and gets the first dance floor activity of the evening going. Bill (guitar) continues to impress with his mighty riftage while Steve works well with the new bass player, giving a solid rhythm section. There are no real standout songs (for this reviewer),however they have no duff ones either. I just feel this crowd would have liked a bit of ‘Janie Jones’ to end with. The band promise after nearly 2 years in the making their debut will be out in 2012. They leave the stage to generous applause from the ever expanding audience .

South Parade Pier: Night of Treason
Gallery: 123

Third up are Dragster, a no nonsense Thrash/Punk/Dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll band from Coventry. Appearance-wise they are striking in their differences. Drummer Alex has a ‘shock’ of red spiky hair,left handed bassist Alex could be a Rocker,they have a skinhead and a Goth on guitars and another (dyed) redhead in singer Fi. Try then to pigeonhole their sound at your peril. Its hard,brash and loud while the vocals are mostly shouty. Fi clearly loves audience participation while making regular forays into this crowd. Their songs have real attitude with titles like “Trailer Trash”, “Slasher Movie”, “Drunk”, and “Attitude” – it’s all here in spades and more. When not mingling in the crowd Fi is writhing on the stage,contorting her body for all to see. They end as they start in bullish mood and very loud with “Killer Bees”. They also leave to grand appreciation from the hard to please crowd.

South Parade Pier: Dragster
Gallery: 1234

Penultimate act tonight are Punk legends The Lurkers. Described in some quarters as Uxbridge’s answer to The Ramones they plough through a set of numbers from the past and present. They open with the truly underrated B-side “Freak Show”, followed by “I Don’t Need To Tell Her”. Only original member Bassick looks happy all night as he explains song origins and happily cajoles this crowd. The songs are delivered in the usual Lurker way-90mph! “Take Me Back To Babylon” takes me right back, followed by the impressive ‘New Guitar in Town’. “Go Ahead Punk Make My Day” takes an amusing poke at Clint Eastwood before they unleash their biggest hit “Aint Got a Clue”. They end on “I’m on Heat” and their oldest song “Shadow” but remain onstage for a great three song encore. Sadly (for this reviewer) they omit ‘Cyanide’ and end with comedy cover “And Then I Kissed Her”. The Lurkers are at their very finest tonight and leave to great applause which they well deserve.

South Parade Pier: The Lurkers
Gallery: 1

By the time the UK Subs reach the stage the air is filled with the acrid smell of stink bombs, a staple of tonight’s show. Someone’s idea of a Christmas present for this grateful crowd! Charlie who is in his 70’s as usual is in fine fettle and launches into perennial set opener ‘Emotional Blackmail’. The pit erupts as a sea of Punks start falling onto the stage. As with all good Punk shows the mood is friendly – so much so the band hand out free cans of Stella, most of which ends up sprayed over the crowd. Jamie on drums as usual is frenetic on his kit while Jet (guitar) cant keep still. Its the usual set of classics from the Subs. As ever the highlights are “Tomorrows Girls” and “Stranglehold” while “Warhead” and “Rocker” get the usual big sing-a-longs to which this crowd duly oblige. On the evidence of this gig the “Punk By The Sea” brand are starting to make a good name for themselves. With Rebellion being a Northern Punkfest its good to know there’s a Southern Punk Festival next year in the area. With more PBTS gigs coming up the future’s bright-long may it continue.

South Parade Pier: UK Subs
Gallery: 123

Set Lists
Flying Alexander’s
Quality Time
Oh Yeah
The Outlook
Small Town
Move Move
Rough Justice
Same Old
No Class
Fire Power

Night of Treason
Boys Brigade
Teddy Boy
Borrowed Time
Skate City
My Town
Rude Boy
Speed & Glue

Slasher Movie
Trailer Trash
Cyco Vision
Killer Bees

The Lurkers
Freak Show
I Don’t Need To Tell Her
1 Day
Miss W
Go Save
Take Me Back To Babylon
New Guitar In Town
Go Ahead Punk Make My Day
Aint Got A Clue
I’m On Heat

UK Subs

The Lurkers


Night Of Treason

More Videos from the show can be found here

Band Links lurkers

Review By Ross Ferrone
Pictures and Videos by Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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