Talking Heads, Southampton

UK Subs

My second Punk gig in a weekend takes me along the South Coast to Talking Heads in Southampton. Tonight we are once again in the company of Punk aristocracy. But first the supports.

First up are 5 Go Mad, a Pompey quintet with a penchant for “UK82-style Punk” with a few curveballs (their words)! They open with the Sultans of Ping FC’s anthem “Where’s Me Jumper” and promptly murder it! Having seen the Sultans perform the song many times live I’m saddened to hear it done this badly. The one redeeming part for me is Alan’s (vox) ability to smile, snarl and gurn all the way through his delivery. It’s also very loud which with the overriding wall of noise they create doesn’t do them any favours. The interestingly titled “Crashed Course” comes next-oh the irony with Alan’s musical past! His gravelly delivery continues, angry in places – I’m afraid it’s totally lost on me.

Alan and Brian (lead/guitar) partake in some between song(s) banter while things slightly improve with the amusing “She’s Not Right”. “Punk Police” swiftly follows before “Thatcher” – again I have to question why Punk bands are using her for song writing material? “Just Another Anti-War Song” has real relevance and is one of their better songs, while “Ginger Beer” is just a little odd! Patriotism comes in the shape of “England Belongs To Me” before they end with 2 covers. A hard ‘n’ fast “White Riot” is just a warm-up for their best song of the set (for me), Exploited’s “UK82”. And so it ends. Not a set for the purists and on another night I might be less critical. In discussion with Alan afterwards I politely say it’s “not my bag”, to which he replies that’s fine!

5 Go Mad
5 Go Mad 12

Next up are another Pompey Punk band Second Hand Citizens. They have an altogether clearer sound while their bassist; (Smarting, knowing it’s his last ever gig with them) appears to have lost his plectrum(s)! They open with “Un-UK” for which they garner decent applause early on. Whilst the bassist rummages around for plectrums they continue unfazed with “Vacunt”! The vocalist has a good, strong voice-humorous in places. He also banters with a largely Pompey/South Coast crowd and smiles almost throughout. I would say in fact, they have a slight political edge. It’s more 3rd generation Punk than anything, but they have a clutch of decent songs. Their bassist, however, cannot keep still; patrolling the stage throughout, before someone offers him a plectrum! Banter and piss take this evening reigns supreme and this largely Punk crowd are joining in. Their largely one-word song titles are as brief as the songs themselves but titles like “Nigel” and “Bonehead” particularly stand out. They end on “Media’s Hell” and leave to great applause.

Second Hand Citizens
Second Hand Citizens 123

And so to the headliners. It’s been six months since their last visit and once again they are rewarded with a near-full room of the South Coast’s Punk fraternity. The Subs come on and yet again blow us away with an incendiary set of classics from the back catalogue. The “usual suspects” are played, along with some newer material preceding LP number 26. “You Don’t Belong'” is an early highlight, as is “Down on the Farm”. “Tomorrow’s Girls” gets the more energetic among us moving while “Warhead” as ever is greeted with the usual whole room singalong. Charlie is in fine voice but stood at the front as I am, I’m mesmerised by Jamie’s hitting-no half measures here! Alvin once again is chief shapeshifter while Jet out on the right just plays fast. If anyone is in any doubt about the Subs longevity they needn’t worry, it’s just another day at the office! “Emotional Blackmail” is played at breakneck speed, as is “Left for Dead”. A couple of ‘relative newcomers’ are offered, including the now live favourite “Suicidal Girls”. A 50 minute set comes to an end, followed by a 3 song encore. Everyone shouts for “Party in Paris” and despite some reluctance at first, they oblige. Charlie dedicates the song to the wonderful people of Paris. We all sing along once more while they receive long, loud applause afterwards and are vindicated for their choice. An hour came and went and yet the Subs can still put on a show. With LP number 26 in the offing I think we can safely say there’s plenty still in the tank.

5 Go Mad
Where’s Me Jumper (Sultans of Ping FC cover)
Crashed Course
Knife Edge
She’s Not Quite Right
Punk Police
Just Another Anti War Song
Ginger Beer
England Belongs To Me
White Riot (Clash cover)
UK82 (Exploited cover)

Second Hand Citizen
Media’s Hell

UK Subs: No setlist available!



Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone

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