Queens Hall Nuneaton
After the success of last years bash this event set up to celebrate Dudes birthday was always going to be something special, especially as it marks Dudes 60th.
Friday 7th July 2023
The Friday kicks off with Year Zero from Birmingham/Black Country playing their brand of late 70s punk. They throw in the aptly names Dudes a dedication to Bowie and the glam rock set but this is also dedicated to main man who is not only the birthday boy but the main organiser of this whole extravaganza.
They play tracks from their album Brace for Impact and new song Astrid which also has a rock and roll story to tell. They finish with the atmospheric Tonight to end the festivals opening set.
Crash Mats from Oldham I have played on the same bill as and their punk and ska infused punk is infectious.
Whilst they are all about fun, with a number of songs about sausage rolls, their playing is seriously tight and they shift tempo at ease.
They have a song dedicated to footballer Freddy Adu and In one song ask if we want the punk or Butlins ending, but they are no cabaret act.
Get Me Off This Ride about dropping acid and riding a rollercoaster was the perfect crazy finale to their set.
Locals Shackleford go from strength to strength playing as they describe melodic punk with shitloads or harmonies like what your older brother used to listen to.
Their set was well crafted with some excellent changes and guitar licks that moved the music. Their harmonies were spot on.
They acknowledge and dedicate a song to Dude quipping that these days some of us older guys need a seat now and again.
Links to their eps album and live stuff can be found on their Facebook page and are on all streaming services.
Their Facebook page is a great read and as well crafted as their songs/set. They obviously have a great sense of humour. Have a gander.
Thee Acid Tongue
From this performance it’s hard to believe this is only their third gig since the departure of vocalist and punk legend Tommy Drongo.
With Tracey now on vocals and the Canadian guitarist switching to bass (nice shirt), they as ever deliver a great rock and roll set. They are very powerful and probably register as the loudest band of the day. (Fuck me he hits those drums hard).
Great set full of their memorable tracks. 36 needles and electric head are class. They know how to do choruses.
They dedicate the excellent Lorraine , a song about a prostitute to Dude which he clearly enjoys singing along to.
I look forward to seeing them at rebellion again in a few weeks as they kick off the proceedings.
This is a full band set tonight unlike the recent solo performance here supporting ruts dc.
They play a shorter set than anticipated and deliver their train related punk with gusto and some cool intricate drumming.
They are a real gigging band and this is a polished performance with a take on the state of the rail industry Mick Lynch would be proud of.
The punters in Plymouth the day after we’re in for a treat assuming they and the band get their on time whichever way they travel.
As most will know Guitar Gangsters have been around for a while and are a class act. They deliver a set full of their catchy punk tunes with killer choruses we can all sing along to.
I have to be honest I have never seen them live but had heard great things. Stand out tracks for me were Going to London, with top notch backing vocals, Fifty Dangerous Things, Fortune Favours The Brave, Everybody Wants to be my Friend, Class of 76 and Undefeated.
From their sound they obviously grew up on the Pistols, Clash, Ramones, The Boys and the like.
Dude is invited to the stage for what appears to be an impromptu version of happy birthday. However Dude has others ideas and they deliver a cover of The Boys track First Time with Dude on vocals. You can’t hold a good man down as they say and I would guess like me, Dude probably saw the Ramones/Boys gigs back in the day.
On a separate note, it is a bonus this venue has the classic rock bands downstairs. I saw an excellent rendition of Deep Purple’s Highway Star in the break between the bands.
Saturday 8th July 2023
Kicking of the full day is probably the hardest spot to do. Cool Rekz play a good opening set despite the guitar hitch. They treat us to some of their own tracks and throw in The Clash should I stay or should I go and Ramones Blitzkreig Bop for good measure.
They clearly enjoy being here and look to be having a whale of a time as they get the days punk mayhem underway.
The Dregs, (I play in them), originally formed in 1979. They play their authentic 1970s punk rock and roll some with a political edge. This is a mixture of old and new stuff some of which is planned for recording later in the year.
I have seen this band before at a gig in Manchester and have spent a lot of time in the North East so do get their North East punk rock rage.
They are a tight 3 piece and belt out the tracks some from their 2022 album. They all join in on the choruses which pushes the songs home. The anthem ‘Song From Northern Britain’ has a killer guitar riff.
I must catch these again and be good to see them on home turf but I know not to mention the football.
Nottingham’s Tinseltown Rebellion are an excellent late replacement as a band had to pull out and they play their polished set like a headline band.
As ever, their quality shows and their set is a full on assault of the senses, confidently fronted with killer tunes and drum licks. They move from heavy punk to ska and reggae and clearly have metal influences too. This is powerful stuff.
They play tunes from their comeback album Blood Sweat and Beers such as looting and other tracks like he’s a nonce, lanyard wanker and moose. They don’t do subtle.
Glad they decided to make a comeback after their 18 year sabbatical as on this performance and the quality of their recent album I will definitely be seeing them again.
Apologies to the remaining bands on the night re reviews of their performances. I was gutted to have to leave with the party in full flow but had to head to Cornwall. From listening to all of these bands before the gig through various media and seeing a lot of them live I know Logoz, Hot Rockets, Effervescent, Knock Off and Hung Like Hanratty will have provided an excellent end to the festival.
The Queens Halll is a place that like punk has a real community feel.
Thanks to everyone involved in the weekend, all at the crew and the queens hall as the organisation was second to none. From those who organised bands. the sound sound man, the roadie/barman/parking sorter outer, those who ran the door and the bar and the owners of this gem of a venue.
Thanks to the bands who not only played their hearts out but also helped each other out on the day re gear and change overs.
There are loads of photos on the Facebook page but I thought this one of Dude was worth sharing. You never know he might form a band and play himself next year.
Listen to his punk show he plays some real gems.