Sound Circus, Bournemouth, 21st January 2012

Its Friday night at Sound Circus and its Punk night. Opening are two piece The Snipers. If the White Stripes became a Punk band they’d be something like this. Neil (badger) is confident on bass,a skill he honed during many years with local blues-rockers Damnation Alley while “Thunder Drums” supplies the er “Thunder”! They open with Gunpowder Girl swiftly followed by “Sanatoium” and “I Don’t Wanna”. The format is simple; 1 2 3 4, heavy bass intro accompanied by a rat a tat style drumbeat!

The Snipers

First cover of the night comes in the shape of ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ which doesn’t disappoint although my only real criticism would be the lack of a coherent vocal. If they want to take this format further then the vocal is an area that could do with improvement. The Ramones are an influence worn heavily on Neil’s sleeves but that’s not a criticism, far from it. It’s a format they are clearly happy with. Neil then forgets the riff on “Thunderbird”, much to this sparse crowds amusement. An interesting cover of “Lets Dance” is not far away before set highlight “Cash Recycler” despite an obvious riff “theft” from the Ramones “Psychotherapy”. They end with a “Headbanger” and “Timebomb” to decent applause. If the White Stripes/Ramones mash-up is your thing you could do no worse than check out The Snipers next gig in Feb at the Cellar Bar.

Sound Circus: Escape From98
Gallery: 1

Next up are the relatively new Escape From ’98, a band I’m reliably informed are playing only their fourth gig. It doesn’t show on tonights evidence. They play straight up ‘post’ Pop/Punk. The sound is clean,the vocals audible and they have a clutch of decent numbers. They open with Punk Rock Princess followed by “Starting Anow”. A little banter ensues when Lee (bass/vox) asks “who likes porn?” – the response is fairly obvious so they launch into “Porn,Porn,Porn”!

The female percussion section is represented well tonight-Amanda (drums) also displays confidence behind Lennon (guitar) who is pulling some classic Punk Rock shapes. Yes there’s the odd Pop/Punk cliche but Escape From 98 are apologetically Punk and good at it. A mid-set string break doesn’t deter the band and they play set highlight “All I Ever Wanted” which is great. They end with a song about “Bens Mum” – more banter of the juvenile kind but finishing on a high. For this reviewer this is a ‘scene’ in its twilight years, but while there are bands like Escape From’98, and a following to match then one can’t ignore them. A great set and generous applause from a now bigger crowd. Expect to see these guys around for a while yet.

The Pistols

The Pistols (tribute) end the show in storming style. For those of us who have witnesses the “premier” Sex Pistols tribute in the form of The Sex Pistols Experience this was always going to be a tough ask. The lead vocals are great but the backing vocals need some work. The look is also authentic and if I’m gonna pay them one compliment its this-they play “No One Is Innocent” which the aforementioned don’t! No one is left disappointed tho as they save the classics til last ending with “Bodies”.

The Snipers
Gunpowder Girl
I Dont Wanna
Blitzkrieg Bop
Poison Ivy
Cretin Hop
Lets Dance
Cash Recycler

Escape From’98
Punk Rock Princess
Starting Anow
Past Present, Regret
All I Ever Wanted…
Wrong Side
Ben’s Mum

Words and pictures by Ross.

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