CHOKING SUSAN @ 13th Note Café, Glasgow – 26th July 2011
We Scots like value for money. We’ve built our identity around it. And with entrance to tonight’s gig set at a mere £5, it just doesn’t come much better than this!
Four excellent punk / Oi! Bands, two of which I’ve been a fan of for many years, no car, lots of beer and an excellent small venue! The term ‘pig in shit’ comes to mind.
First up is Glasgow band SPOUTMOUTH – a four-piece who don’t ‘do’ audience interaction much and simply hammer on through their fast and frantic set of punk / post punk songs. A good ‘opening’ band for the night, there didn’t appear too much by way of variation in their songs but it was enjoyable all the same.
I’ve been a fan of SHATTERHAND for many years now and have all bar one of their albums in my collection. Having not seen them play live for a couple of years I’m excited at the chance of catching them again – and they don’t disappoint. Of course, their set concentrates on the latest album, ‘Complacency Is Not An Option,’ which is the one I don’t own, so much of their slot is unfamiliar to me.
But that doesn’t really matter. They have a knack of writing and playing some really catchy punk tunes that are delivered with a zest and enthusiasm sadly lacking in many younger bands. Vocalist Stuart is animated as always, lurching his tall, lean frame back, forward and across the stage area, leaning on the shoulder of guitarist Dave, whose head is most often bowed as he concentrates on thrashing his low-slung, left-handed guitar. On bass, Mike may have lost his Mohawk and opted for more of a skinhead style, but he’s lost none of the punch and drive that propels the SHATTERHAND sound. And behind them all is the maniacal drummer Brian. If there’s a drummer on the circuit right now who throws more effort into their playing, then I’d like to meet him! Wild!
Australian Oi! band, RUST are next up. I’ve heard great things about these guys from a mate in Oz and although I’ve not heard any of their material before, by about two songs in I am a confirmed fan!
Frontman Gazz cuts a mean and somewhat threatening figure as he piles through a boisterous set of bounce-inducing, anthemic Oi! songs, the content of which is probably best summed up in the opening lines of the following:
But it’s Detroit punks CHOKING SUSAN that most have come to see. It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since they last played Glasgow, so this has been eagerly awaited!
The ‘face’ of CHOKING SUSAN is of course the effervescent, gorgeous, slightly mental and possibly at times to the unaware, a little imposing, Colleen Caffeine. Killer Keith on guitar is the other mainstay with bassist Paul Bearer now joining on a permanent basis. On drums tonight is the excellent stand-in Goth / Cousin It look-alike whose name completely escapes me! (So sorry! The evils of drink, I’m afraid!)
Like Shatterhand, the set tonight concentrates pretty much on the band’s new album ‘Goes To Cuntopia,’ (reviewed elsewhere) although some of the standard favourites like ‘You’re So Pretty,’ and ‘Dolly Parton,’ are given an airing. We are also treated to the first public playing of ‘I Married Joey Ramone,’ from the new album as well as covers of Johnny Thunders’ ‘Born To Lose’ and Iggy Pop’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog,’ which sees Colleen crawling out amongst the crowd and pawing at their legs!
Colleen is totally captivating in her performance, but if you allow your eyes to roam the stage, you see three other players all tight as f**k all having a complete blast, their interaction with the Queen of Sleaze Punk confirming that this is indeed a ‘band’ and not a solo effort.
Like RUST, CHOKING SUSAN are playing a series of gigs around the country, centring on the REBELLION FESTIVAL in Blackpool at the beginning of August. Once again I’m personally gutted that I can’t get down, but what with tonight’s show and The Old Firm Casuals last Sunday, I feel in a very small way that I’ve had at least a flavour of what several thousand lucky Punks and Skins are going to experience.
(This video is from the previous night’s show in Stoke. Once again the evils of drink played their hand … and I forgot to film any of tonight’s set!)