The Redditch band describe themselves as “grit pop” but to us it sounds a little like the Buzzcocks, which isn’t a bad thing. “Lets Go Disco” is a catchy number as is “Snake Of The Charm.” They are a band who is standing on the very verge of their big break as they go on a European Tour with Brad in the early part of 2013. We will see them – hopefully back at full strength - on that jaunt.
Guitar Gangsters are another band we have never come across either. The three piece band from London claim that the last time they played in these parts was back in 1988, but their brand of punk belongs to an ear perhaps 10 years before that.
Singer Pete Ley – who looks like Billy Bragg – and his brother Phil – a dead ringer for The Fast Show’s Swiss Tony – have been in the band since its inception and their camaraderie shines through songs like “Guitar Shakedown, “ “Guitars, Bars And Getaway Cars” and “Class of 76.” “Everybody” is an attack on the Facebook generation and new song “Aftershow” is a jaunty affair. An extremely entertaining 40 minutes, if you like the Clash then check these Gangsters out.
In many ways the fact RTM is even here tonight is down to our love of The Almighty. Back in 1994 on the “Wrench” single there was a song called “Do Anything You Want to Do.” The 19-year old RTM didn’t have a clue about Eddie, or indeed his Hotrods, but we knew a great song when we heard it and investigated.
Well, the aforementioned tune is knocked out with casual ease about two thirds into the set tonight, and for us is the highlight, seeing as we’ve waited nearly 20 years to see it live. What we didn’t expect, however, was just how good the rest of the set was. “Get Across To You” and “Why Should I Care Anymore” sound as fresh as they would have 30 years ago and the old punks who largely make up this audience lap it up.
The Hotrods, though, were – like Dr Feelgood – never a punk band in the conventional sense, as they prove with the trio of covers they choose to end things with tonight. Mott The Hoople’s “Once Bitten Twice Shy,” “Gloria” by Van Morrison and “Born To Be Wild” might seem an odd choice, but they work well.
Really this was pub rock at its absolute finest. Eddie and the boys support the Quo this Christmas and, if they are as good as this, they will be fine way to start that bill off too.