As it's Easter weekend this month's Rockaway Beach club at The Hope & Anchor in Islington was on a Thursday night rather than the normal Friday spot and proved to be a perfect way to kick off the long weekend.
I arrived towards the end of the opening set by Young Francis who is a one man Punk blues band who plays guitar and drums and sings and sensibly handed out tambourines and shakers etc to allow the audience to help with percussion so the room was shaking when I walked in during what I guess was I Want You To Know I Want You he's set up maybe basic but damn it was effective and everyone was shaking along nicely to it.
He closed his set with Girls Like You that was just about bitter and twisted enough while being good and catchy. I'd really like to catch a full set as Young Francis sounded cool and worth seeing.
It was soon time for Black Bombers to kick start there oily greasy machine into gear with the opening Instro/That Kind that opened the band's Debut album that had Dave Twists rock solid drumming propelling things along as Darren Birch's low slung bass got a good rumble going before they changed it up and Alan Byron finally started singing and yelping at us about That Kind it was good and gritty.
As you'd expect they complained it was too quiet and once things were turned up to one louder it was time for Relentless that kicked into gear nicely so that even a band with as battle-hardened hearing as this lot have could hear it clearly. Break It Down was played at well break neck speed like they had decided to try the new traffic system at Highbury corner out before it's completed next week and don't care if no one has a clue how it's meant to work they're going through at 70 mph and just don't care.
I think the next song was Sometimes although from my notes it could be anything at all, either way it kept the urgent pace up as if they were in a hurry to get somewhere. Day After Day sounded more menacing live than it does opening the bands latest 10" single Vol 4 it was like they were grinding the riff into our brains.
Crazy had more than enough angst and mania in it to live up to the title and to Alan Byron's growled yelps of Maybe I'm Crazy. They then played a song for our times sort of in Early Warning that felt like not only had the fuel light just come on but the oil light too and they were miles from the nearest garage and frantically trying not too panic.
They then closed the set with there immense cover of Green On Red's Hair Of The Dog that will be perfect by the time we get to the end of the long weekend rather than at the start but never mind as they are all 24/7 rockers who live the 7 day weekend lifestyle that this song taps into. Damn it was great to sing along to it and raise a glass of not so cheap wine to it too.
Soon it was time for me to See Last Great Dreamers play there annual April show in London this being the fourth year running I've seen them in April. This time is the first show I've seen since the band's drummer Denley Slade exploded and was replaced by Rik Pratt and the band also has a new Bass Player in Tim Emery, but don't worry Marc and Slyder are still making sure Last Great Dreamers still sound as they always do.
From the opening Primitive Man that was a full on adrenal blast of Glam punk they sounded just as tight and kinetic as usual. I think I Like it rushed passed us as if they had all just had some speed it was magnificent and they were all really enjoying themselves.
New Situation sounded as great as it always has live and both new men did everything they could to sound as if they'd always been in the band. They did their best promo routine before playing the title track to the bands most recent album 13th Floor Renegades that seems destined to be played in far more basements than anything as Tim really gave it some on the bass while battling it out with Slyder.
Glitterball Apocalypse went down a storm like normal with most of the audience singing along to it. Yes Marc really was trying to claim that jealousy was his Only Crime and with that deliciously twisted tune backing him up most of us sort of believed him.
Broken Things was next and with how things are right now it seems like a perfect anthem for our broken times as more and more our country seems broken while this band sound and look anything but broken.
For Miles Away Slyder stepped up and sang a good part of the vocals before Marc joined In and they both nailed the sentiment within the songs lyrics as the rest of us sang along with them.
White Light Black Heart sounded as darkly pained as it can while everyone is having this much of a good time and again as it got good and bouncy everyone sang along as Marc did the call and response bit on the chorus and came out into the crowd.
They then gave us the bands anthem to Ghosting as they told us over and over again that they'd Messaged you a 100 times as they asked us Whose Side Are You On well to be honest that would be there side. I guess that Far From Home was next but I'm not certain of that before they ramped up the pace for the closing classics of Dope School that was as urgent as a junkie chasing his dealer for his drugs and the ever classic Oblivion Kids that had us all singing along to it as a perfect set closer.
Of course, they got an encore and came back and did a cool version of Last Great Dreamer to make sure they left us all smiling and wanting to see them again soon.