Kasbah Club, Boscombe, Bournemouth

Gutter Rats

Ok; so it’s Friday night, and my weekend of Punk is about to begin. Tonight it’s a short bus journey to a venue I know. Normally the Kasbah Club (Pokesdown) serves as a “pub sports” club, but with their entertainment licence they also put on the odd gig. Although not advertised tonight’s gig serves to raise money for local Cancer charities-both bands have donated their fees and once this gets a mention the coins and notes of those around me start filling the pot.

Kickin' Bambi
Kickin’ Bambi 12

And so to the music you ask. Support tonight comes from local “Crust/Punks” Kickin’ Bambi. They are new to me and new on the scene, but won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Their (slightly) political (tongue-in-cheek) Punk is a breath of fresh air, delivered in a laid-back style vocally by the affectionately monikered “Big E” (vox). They open with ‘War’ and set out their stall early. “Bigot” follows and their power is evident straight away. There’s not a lot of movement but tonight’s stage is not conducive to wandering. I’m reminded of Subhumans in places, but they have a few influences I could muster. However, this is far from 80’s Anarcho-Punk and delivered articulately. “Frack” is another song that I imagine is in theirs and the public conscience while “Love” takes the set down a notch and rightfully receives a few groans on announcement! Shultz (drums) keeps almost perfect time throughout; notably on “Whiskey”, a set highlight. They end (politically) on “Maggie” and while the song itself is pretty good, I just feel it’s a subject matter too many Punk bands rely on. That said, I’m impressed with their set and would happily seek future gigs of theirs.

And so to the headliners. Once again it’s the fans who have come out in relatively small numbers to see them tonight. On the back of a storming set at last yearís Oxjam where they literally stole the show, they are back where they belong as the headliner. With a large time slot to fill they include most of their repertoire of covers, fleshing out a set of what can only be described as near-perfect Punk classics. Opening with a classic they avoid the obvious and a blistering “Janie Jones” fills the room. So much so that Jordan (lead) breaks a string. Kev (owner/DJ) quickly puts Sham69 on the decks and the band jam along, this time “Hamster” (bass) taking centre stage. An original follows in the shape of “Put Your Clothes Back On” before an improvised “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is delivered in shambolic fashion. Jase (vox) has had laryngitis all week but one wouldn’t know it, the snarl and spite in his voice is ever present. His likeness (IMO) to the late Malcolm Owen (Ruts) is never more apparent than on their cover of “In a Rut” – again they could do “Babylon” or “Starin’ at the Rude Boys”, but I feel the lesser known singles suit their style much more.

Gutter Rats
Gutter Rats 12345

Jase bellows “for those of you who know us well, you will know we really love this next band” – cue The Stranglers “Bring on the Nubiles” to great gusto. Their best original song “Bluebottle” precedes two more originals before they try out a cover they’ve never performed live. The Vaselines “Molly’s Lips” gets the Rats makeover and it’s not a bad first attempt. Crowd and live favourite “Shadowplay” comes next before a newie for me “Chantilli Lace” (Big Bopper). A frankly humorous “Swords of a 1000 Men” starts the singalongs in the room while “Turn To Dust” precedes the more well-known covers. “Bodies” and “I Hate People” prove popular with this audience but what comes next is a surprise to most. Jason’s girlfriend “Dani” steps forward to take the lead vocal on “Problems” – with lots of encouragement from an army of female friends she smiles, then delivers. For a first time performance, she is decent and gains good applause.

There’s no encore tonight-they literally play straight thru’ until they run out of songs. Live fave “Fisticuffs in Frederick Street” is their penultimate track and as ever their most popular. Damian (drums) then takes centre stage with their final song (and cover), “California Uber Alles” – the ferocity of his hitting is as impressive as ever and he remains one of Bournemouth’s finest (and fastest) Punk drummers. Jase wants to do one more song but Jordan has broken another string, so that folks is that.

The Kasbah Club may not be the kind of venue one might ordinarily associate with a Punk show, but the sound is decent if a little echoey in places. There’s a certain harshness that came from Jordan’s mic, but that simply added to the overall sound. Free entry and a competitive bar tariff made this a must see gig-I just wish it had more promo, these two bands deserved a bigger crowd. That said, with two other notable Punk gigs in the area on the same weekend, some may have chosen to go elsewhere. The Gutter Rats remain firmly at the forefront of the local Punk scene by virtue of good original material and choice covers, rather than the blatantly obvious. Tonight they cemented their growing (local) reputation, shambolic at times but never dull.

Kickin’ Bambi
This Is

Gutter Rats
Janie Jones (The Clash)
Put Your Clothes Back On
I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges)
In A Rut (The Ruts)
Bring On the Nubiles (The Stranglers)
Porno George
Mushroom Cloud
Molly’s Lips (The Vaselines)
Shadowplay (Joy Division)
Chantilli Lace (Big Bopper)
Swords of a 1000 Men (Tenpole Tudor)
Turn To Dust
Bodies (Sex Pistols)
I Hate People (Anti Nowhere League)
Shred to Ribbons
Problems (Sex Pistols)
Fisticuffs In Frederick Street (Toy Dolls)
California Uber Alles (Dead Kennedys)



Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone

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