Chaplin’s Cellar Bar, Boscombe

Screaming Dead

It’s Saturday night in “Bosvegas” and the Cellar Bar is hosting a night of all things Punk. Tonight plays host to two bands of the “3rd wave”. Cheltenham’s finest Screaming Dead are in town and greeted by a full house, most of whom I’m sure are acquainted by the support band, local heroes Self Abuse. If that wasn’t enough for discerning punters soundman Conrad has brought along his finest Punk greatest hits cd to play between bands.

Self Abuse

Self Abuse 123

Self Abuse kick things off with a scratchy soundcheck, then launch head first into their set. They open with “Torn Apart” – considering the volume this is how my eardrums would have felt had I not brought protection-it’s loud!! Andy (vox) is in typical humorous mood as he attempts to banter with this full room. Early on we are treated to (in my opinion) their finest song, the brilliant “State of Mind”. Those opening chords never disappoint. Andy continues to ad-lib while deliberately missing lyrics in equal measure. “Teenage” follows “Screenage” and numbers come and go including the (relatively new) “Under Attack”, before the rather apt “Celebrity Death Squad” (it is Saturday Night after all)! Andy then jokes “it’s time for the hit” – and they launch into their crowd pleaser “Soldier”. Jarvis (guitar) to his left has barely looked up all night, shoegazing almost the entire set. Dom (drums) is tucked away at the back but we can certainly hear him. Dave almost nonchalantly to Andy’s right provides the bass. They end with a storming cover of Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody” delivered Sid Vicious-style with added gutso and gurning. And that folks, is that. Generous applause is given before a speedy changeover and Screaming Dead take their place.

Screaming Dead
Screaming Dead 123

As an early “disclaimer” I’m gonna say now I’m a Screaming Dead “virgin”. Labelled “Horror Punk” in some circles I watch and listen open minded and unbiased. They open with “This Is The End Of The World” and straight away set out their stall. If anything, it’s got louder. On “Valley of The Dead” Hugh’s (drums) ferocious hitting drowns Sam’s vocal somewhat, and while the song titles scream “Horror” all I’m hearing is straight-up loud Punk. It’s fast and it’s furious and they create a huge wall of sound which reverberates around this compact venue. I have to say I’m not bowled over and no sooner am I thinking to myself they’re a Ramones/Damned hybrid that they deliver 2 midset Damned covers. A dirty R’n’R version of “New Rose” is followed by a better take on “Love Song”, and it’s at this point I feel that they really “open up” and relax somewhat. Sam (vox) is trying to get some movement down the front but it is literally packed, however, one or two punters take him up on his invitation. They carry on with a set of largely original material with Mark’s hitting being the overriding feature. On such a small stage Mal (bass) and Mazzy (guitar) barely have room to swing a cat, let alone move around. But it’s all about the songs tonight as a few punters are rewarded with requests. Sam pays tribute to Cheltenham “hero” Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) and dedicates “Paint It Black” to him. They end with “20th Century Vampires” and leave the stage to great applause, and we leave with tinitus! Another great night of Punk was witnessed tonight, albeit a little too loud!

Set List
Screaming Dead
This Is The End of The World
Valley of The Dead
Schoolgirl Junkie
Dammned Generation
New Rose (The Damned)
Love Song (The Damned)
Night Creatures
Lying in the Street
War Cry
Tower of Babel
Paint it Black (Rolling Stones)
20th Century Vampires

Self Abuse
Torn Apart
Burn Trash City
State of Mind
That’s Progress
Under Attack
Celebrity Death Squad
(I Didn’t Wanna Be A) Soldier
C’mon Everybody (Eddie Cochran)


Words by Ross A Ferrone
Pictures & Videos by David Chinery (Chinners)

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