The Joiners, Southampton

Angelic Upstarts

On a mild winters evening a packed Joiners Arms awaits the arrival of one of Punks “elder statesmen”, none other than the Angelic Upstarts. At just £12 adv, we seem spoilt tonight with no fewer than 3 great supports.

Opening for us are local experimentalists the Lo Fi Poet Band. I say experimental as I wouldn’t expect a band like this on a Punk bill. They come on in their ramshackle way and ‘entertain’ us with their unorthodox approach. It’s trippy and psychadelic in places with a smattering of Mondays-inspired Indie. In fact I would go as far as to say if The Twang and the Happy Mondays were put in a blender they would sound like the Lo Fi Poet Band. The vocals (to this reviewer) seem a little flat, but this doesn’t detract from the overall sound. It’s bassy in places and the keys play a major part in most of the songs.

“The System” and “Police Car” are the standouts in their set yet the unrehearsed nature of their delivery and presence makes them hard to ignore. They leave to generous applause.

Lo Fi Poet Band
Lo Fi Poet Band 1234

Southampton Punks The Reaktors take to the stage next. They ply an unapologetic nod toward the past with their “anthemic” Punk songs. They open with a popular rant called “Tories Out”. Brian (vox) insists on wearing his shades the entire set and reminds me of a young Nicky Cash. Resplendant in his Buzzcocks T-shirt he covers every inch of space afforded to him. On “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” they wear their “Clash-isms” firmly on their sleeves. It’s a stomper of a track and doesn’t disappoint. For me Brian “over-eggs” the “oi oi oi’s” but the crowd seem to like it. “Dole Q” and “The Enemy” up the ante before they sing an ode to their idol, one Ricky Lambert.

The big sounding guitars and pounding bass, coupled with the “terrace chant” vocals are not lost on this full house, who respond once again with generous applause. The generosity is returned later in the evening with a free 10 track album.

The Reaktors
The Reaktors 1234

Main supports tonight Crashed Out take to the stage with little fuss and blitz us with some old skool,anthemic Punk. It’s fast-paced from the outset and there’s no let up. Chris (vox) responds to hecklers with his native tongue, simply responding “I cannie understand a word yees sayin” (you get the picture)! It’s all very lighthearted and he’s smiling throughout! They open with ‘No Fear’ which is rather apt and then “Break It Down”. “Town That Died” could be all of “our” towns at some point while “Fat Punks Don’t Pogo” could be disputed during this performance! An interesting cover of “Paranoid” gets a mixed reception but generally they go down well, ensuing the first pit of the evening. There’s no let up for Jonnie (drums) who is playing with the Upstarts as well. His ferocity and power is relentless and I find myself transfixed by his hitting. Crashed Out leave to good applause having warmed us up for the main event.

Crashed Out
Crashed Out 12345

And so to the headliners. After a 34 year wait the Angelic Upstarts are in town and they don’t disappoint. They open with “2 Million Voices”, “Never ‘ad Nuffin” and “You’re Nicked”. Mensi is in humourous mood and regularly banters with this crowd-almost apologising for leaving it 34 years before coming to Southampton! He takes time to lament the Thatcher years as the subject of “Woman In Disguise”, which gets a rousing response. “Anti Nazi” and “England” are impeccably observed while some well researched footie banter goes down well with the locals.

Angelic Upstarts
Angelic Upstarts 123

One punter is likened to Matt le Tissier and even he sees the funny side! Let’s not pretend we are here for anything other than the “classics” -“Teenage Warning” gets a mid-set outing and the terrace chant chorus is well versed by all. “Liddle Towers” is a singalong highlight and they end on a high with “Police Oppression”, which we all sing along to.

Mensi’s voice still sounds as good as ever some 30+ years later and he takes great delight in self criticism, smiling throughout! Seeing a show like this reminded me of Rebellion 2013 in many ways-a wonderful trip down memory lane. If this is a prelude to more Punk shows down South then we can only look forward to the next instalment. A great show in a great venue, enjoyed by all.

Punks Not Dead – in the words of Simple Minds, it’s “Alive and Kicking”!

Lo Fi Poet Band
High And Dry
Gotta Get Thru’
Call Centre Blues
The System
Dream Away
Need To Be Calm
Police Car
Tracy Land

The Reaktors
Tories Out
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Left On The Shelf
Dole Q
Rickie Lambert
Taking Control
You Don’t Know

Crashed Out
No Fear
Break It Down
Town That Died
What Do You Know
Fat Punks Don’t Pogo
Drunken Song
Paranoid (Sabbath cover)
One Ov The Boys


Band Links

Review & Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone
Videos By Annabelle Jordan

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