So it's Friday the 13th the day of the election results that see the Tories get a huge majority so of course we need to go to Rockaway Beach number 44, as if there was ever a perfect day to see a band called The Suicide Notes this was it. No matter that just trying to convince us it's No Cause For Concern might be a bit more difficult but Vice Squad are more than up for that challenge. This is also a slightly bigger venue than the last London show I saw them play and they really ought to be playing far bigger venues than this.
First things first as there are no less than 3 bands called The Suicide Notes this is not the female fronted one or the hip hop rap one, but is in fact the one from Witney who sing about the sort of Suicide Notes written by junkies worried that this will be the time they OD or take the hot shot and need to explain themselves.
They begin by claiming it's the bands first gig even though it isn't and open with Black Dog that they also sound checked with that's a rambunctious skeazy rock ode to a breakdown that see's the bands bedraggled looking singer Billy T gruffly shouting the lyrics at us.
We Are On The Rocks was next and as well as nicking a lyric or two outta Chinese Rocks is a Dogs D'Amour meets Gunfire Dance sleaze riddled drug anthem. Dope Fiend Blues was next that owed a thing or two to the Victoria Spivey classic Dope head Blues from 1927 and kept with the bands drug obsession and sleaze riddled feel.
Rag Doll was introduced as crack doll and did sound a bit like The Rag Dolls at least one of whose members has played at Rockaway Beach and was a ode or tribute almost to a crack addled friend of the band who they obviously spend some time sharing a pipe with.
I think this was when Billy T sent his bottle of evil looking booze into the crowd and introduced the rest of the band as being Cunts no 1 to 3 although he also claimed the bass player was called Dave and that's apparently worse by way of introducing Shotgun that has lots of rasps of I'm A Demon in it and it was easy to believe that he's often called a demon.
Bullet is all about wondering if you would take a Bullet for him well with this sort of assault on us, I think a good few of the audience would, while one or two would have considered firing the bullets. Billy T then handed the lead vocals over to Guitarist Alex Holmes for a good rocked up run through Run Rudolph Run and it has to be said Alex seemed to have a better voice than his singer who eventually joined in on backing vocals it was great fun and most of us sang along to it.
They then closed with the bands single Smoke It Like A Cigarette which is a line I've used many a time when imbibing while out and about and this was a great swaggering ode to bad behaviour and was a good slightly messy ending to a good set.
Somehow while Vice Squad were setting up Timmy managed to put some Vice Squad on and both Paul and Wayne played along while laughing about it. Once they were ready Timmy introduced them and they launched into Citizen and Beki made sure we all knew what sort of punk rock Citizens she likes.
As Vice Squad have been since day one, they remain Defiant and having told us that after last nights results we must all remain Defiant I think we all got the message and they sounded super tight and super speedy with Beki's guitar raging along.
Punk Rock Radio really should be on every good punk's playlist and sounded cheekily upbeat and great fun as it should do.
Born In A War brought out the more serious side of things as they also made fun of some of our first world problems in between telling us this was the bands works do and how it would all end messily as all good works do's should.
Beki then put her guitar down for a song that seems more pertinent as the years go by yes If I Knew What I Know Now really hit a few nails on the head on the day the Tories assumed power again.
Out of Reach was pretty potent and Beki was having a lot of fun working the audience and Latex Love had its normal amount of suggestive taunts as Beki asked if anyone was wearing latex apart from Paul?
Punk Police is as ever a wonderfully sardonic piece of piss taking at the idiots who try to police what is and isn't punk as we all know the real deal when we meet it and Vice Squad have always been the real deal. It also got Beki into trouble as they were meant to play Ordinary Girl first but she'd already handed out the helmets that Paul and Wayne reluctantly donned for the song. Yes Ordinary girl was next and they all tried to hold back any giggling for its speedy duration.
We had more comments on the poor election outcome while Beki strapped her guitar back on as they made clear they wanted a different Voice Of The People to Boris and co who really meant the country really was Stuck In Reverse it was almost like this set was tailor made for this date even if it wasn't.
I Dare To Breathe came at us with a good breathless flat out speedy attack before Beki made sure we knew we should be helping out anyone who was starving and living in poverty by way of introducing the classic Starvation Box that really shouldn't feel as relevant as it does.
They then strafed the audience with Spitfire that seemed to be a last-minute addition to the set and a most welcome one at that. Beki then put her guitar down for what seems to be a running theme at the moment on Sniffin' Glue only a week after I saw one of the writers of that fanzine reading his punk poetry and got sent an album to review with a song about the fanzine too, although of course Beki is singing about actually sniffing glue and what it does to you.
We were then reminded that throughout whatever the Tories do to the country we all need to Stand Strong Stand Proud and I'm sure no one wanted to argue with Beki about that.
They then closed the set as usual with Last Rockers that was played a fairly furious place like they really were in a hurry to finish.
As expected they got a huge cheer and were soon back for an encore having not really left the stage and came back and with Beki back with her guitar gave a shout out to Uncle Lemmy before a breakneck run through Ace Of Spades that everyone sang along to when they could keep up. It was a great end to a really great set as ever Vice squad are always worth seeing and I look forward to seeing them at Rebellion again next year.