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Anti Nowhere League with support Fight Back & Leech Bleeders – Friday 27th October 2023


Fight Back
Opener, Fight Back are a UK82 band from the East Midlands who also have elements of Oi and Street
Punk. I am reliably informed that the singer once played in the Exploited which might account for his
choice of t-shirt and the sound the band put out. They storm through their songs like a head charge,
starting with ‘Psycho Sam’ and ‘Fight Night’ laying the ground for what is to come. The t-shirt lasted
about 4 songs before the singer bare chested with tats on display was bouncing around the stage as
if he was about to have a scrap.
‘Pillar to Post’ is introduced as for women who abuse their husbands and had a great riff and
structure, ‘Unsung Heroes’ is dedicated to those who gave their lives for their country. The crowd
got more involved as the set went on with people dancing around at the front of the stage and
singing along. ‘In the Gutter’ had a very Exploited feel which isn’t too surprising and lead into their
signature tune ‘Fight Back‘, which for me was more like the Ramones.
‘ACAB’ for the skinheads in the now packed room was a real rocker as was ‘Dole Queue Rocker’.
They end with a cover of the Exploited classic ‘Dead Cities’ which is probably truer today than when
it was written, the singer in the crowd with punters singing along. With some great rhythm and lead
guitar, thumping bass and tight fast drums this was a lesson in how to do UK82 which the crowd
appreciated and was a great start to the night.

Leech Bleeders
I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since I reviewed the Leech Bleeders album, ‘Leech Bleeders are
Burning in Hell’. They now have new members and have released so much more great music since
then, I suggest you take a look at their Bandcamp. Leech Bleeders have always been pretty unique,
and style change almost at will, and unlike most bands, actually within songs. They have a lot of
banter with the audience and always have a story to tell about the inspiration for their songs, most
of which have crazy titles with some related to friends and band members. Beginning their set with
‘Hot Tubs of Piss’ probably proves my point.
They have been on the circuit for some time and are accomplished musicians. Their tunes move
between chugging punk, thrash punk, ska type rhythms and at one stage even a bit of country. For
me this makes the set interesting and engages the audience. ‘Mine Sweeper’ about drinking other
people’s pints when you have no money is ace as is ‘I Am Hot Sauce’ which shows how they can all
push out the choruses. They can all sing and drummer Jim (who apparently can fix things) sings a
wonderful song– ‘Jim Ruined it for Me’ which has some reference to the drummer and the infamous
Mr Saville.
‘Too many T-shirts’, which I can definitely relate to ends their own tracks before they break into an
excellent version of Damned song ‘Neat, Neat’, Neat’ encouraging people to share photos and videos
of the show. On this performance it will be good to see their show in mid-November.

Anti Nowhere League
One of the first times I saw the Anti Nowhere League was at the Queens Hall over 40 years ago – it
was the Queens Hall Leeds ‘Christmas on Earth Festival’ 1981. I can’t really forget catching the bus to
New Street Station at 6am with my band mates in sub zeros temperatures and six inches of snow
much to the amusement of the bus driver. Nothing deterred us in those days. The Anti Nowhere
League then and now have always been a great rock and roll band with catchy songs and killer
choruses we can all sing along to.
Starting with the anthem ‘So What’ shows they have the quality in their locker to be able to throw in
classics from the off and the crowd react immediately. Animals voice is as good as it’s ever been, and
the rock guitar so key to their sound is quality. Recruiting Jamie Oliver on drums has given the songs
added zing which it is clear the other band members recognize and appreciate.
They take us through many of their classic hits, such as ‘I Hate People’ a personal favourite ‘Let’s
Break the Law’ and ‘Branded’, before throwing in a powerful rendition of Del Shannon’s ‘Runaway’
for good measure. Their biggest hit, a take on 1960s track ‘Streets of London’ with its London Bridge
is falling down opening is probably even more relevant now that it was when it topped the indie
chart in 1981.
‘Medication’ sees the band leave the stage for guitarist Tom to deliver as good ‘as it gets’ before
they all remerge to deliver rousing versions of ‘For You’, ‘World War III’ ‘Can’t Stand Rock ‘N’ Roll’
and ‘Woman’ with the audience in full voice. ‘Uncle Charlie’ is a tribute to their early champion and
inspiration the UK Subs front man. They wish him well in his final tour then launch into the mass
singalong of ‘I wanna be like Charlie Harper’. They clearly love playing these songs and local boy
Jamie seems to play with a permanent smile.
‘(We Will Not) Remember You’ and ‘Pig Iron’ lead into the finale of ‘God Bless Alcohol’ and ‘Fucked
Up and Wasted’ to bring a frenetic end to the set with the packed crowd punching the air. The band
take to the stage one final time. They play ‘Animal’ which these days takes on a different guise
aimed at the likes of Saville, Harris and co who when the song was written were household names
and adored by millions – how times change.
Their own anthem ‘We Are the League’ is the only way this show could end, with Animal and the
band thanking everyone for their support, supporting live music and venues as great as this. This is a
band that has lost nothing over the years and their songs still have the same appeal and relevance as
in that freezing cold December all those years ago. Pure rock and roll and hopefully they will be back
soon.

Steve Brain

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