Talking Heads, Southampton

UK Subs

It’s Sunday night, it’s a Bank Holiday and the Talking Heads is gradually filling up for the latest tour of one “Punk’s elder statesmen”. The UK Subs are in town to plug new material from LP number 25! Warming us up before the main event though are two South Coast acts of varying styles.

First up are Bournemouth’s “Skoisters”. With a moniker like that one can guess their style-in fact they have a range of styles including Oi/Punk/Ska to name three! They open with “Working Class”, which looking around the room is quite apt! Adrian (vox) has a strong, clear and audible vocal style; albeit a tad angry in places. “Graffiti” soon follows as they get into their stride. Liam (bass) is heads down for most of their set while Matt (lead/rhythm) holds a high line with his instrument. Shultz (drums) hits the skins hard, although it seems almost effortless. “Stick Together” is an early highlight, while later on the wholly amusing “Dr. Marten Boots (Liam’s Boots)” brings a smile to our faces! A confident set is brought to a close with a Sham 69 cover. Their take on “Borstal Breakout” is unique enough not to sound too much like the original. After 40 minutes they depart and receive generous applause.


Next up are a 4-piece well known around these parts. Having been around a few years now The Flying Alexanders know their way around a stage and waste no time in getting started. They open with “Oh Yeah” which reminds this reviewer of “Jet’s” “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”. “Small Town” soon follows and sounds “Mod Revival’esque”. John (vox) is hard to ignore-he’s a big lad and clearly enjoying all the free Birthday drinks being forced upon him! Perry (Guitar) is chief “shapeshifter” tonight and plays his instrument like a pro’ while smiling almost nonchalantly at regular intervals during the set. “Dog Food” is dedicated to anyone who feeds their dog, while “Patient 32” is described by John as being for those of us with “health issues”!!

The Flying Alexanders
The Flying Alexanders 

Describing their sound as “Thug Rock” who are we to disagree! It’s “barrow boy” Punk with hints of Strummer at his most passionate in a few of the songs. One thing is for sure, it’s deafeningly loud! They too end on a cover with Iggy’s “Search and Destroy”. Again it’s nothing like the original but they (almost) make it their own with a wholesome, bass-heavy wall of sound. They also leave to good applause from a hometown crowd.

And so to the main event. Spurred on by a near-full house the UK Subs take to the stage. A mixed crowd of Punks, young and old are in good spirits; ready for a mosh-frenzy on a Sunday night. With no setlist to refer to I shall just focus on the positives-there were no negatives. As with most Subs sets we get a mixture of classics, oldies and newies!!! From the outset they are highly energetic, most notably in Jamie’s (drums) ferocious hitting. Jet (guitars) as usual is head down in concentration while Alvin (bass) is chief shapeshifter this evening. Charlie’s vocals are loud yet audible throughout, most notably on new song “Suicidal Girls” among others.

UK Subs
UK Subs 12345

This Bank Holiday crowd are in dancing mood as a small but lively pit ensues. “You Don’t Belong” and “Emotional Blackmail” are early highlights while “Rocker” is as fast as ever. Charlie at one point complains of going deaf, which he could be forgiven for! “Stranglehold” is popular down the front while “Tomorrow’s Girls” and “Warhead” induce the now legendary singalongs. 50 minutes in they leave us before the customary 3 song encore. They leave us on “New York State Police” and take the plaudits. When the Subs are this good they’re up there with the best live bands around. Charlie is showing no signs of throwing the towel in just yet-long may that continue. And while the Subs are still touring regularly, we the fans know we will keep supporting. The UK Subs-ageless!!

Working Class
Cop Killer
Stick Together
Streets of Today
Cash in Hand
Dr. Marten Boots (Jamie’s Boots)
Borstal Breakout (Sham 69 cover)

The Flying Alexanders
Oh Yeah
Small Town
The Outlook
Dog Food
Quality Time
Soul Train
Patient 32
Move Move
Same Old
Search and Destroy (Iggy Pop cover)


Review and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone.

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