West Hill Community Hall,
The Sceptres are running late, but soon plug in, tune up.. and go! I’ve seen this band a lot of times and like a lot of what they do, with their twisted exuberant Dangerhouse styled L.A. punk explosions. “Snake” from their EP comes over especially well tonight, most rocking.
Next up… London trio Methodist Centre, whose unique setup consists of 2 singing drummers, a lone guitarist, and snappy meat ‘n potatoes sing-a-long punk, that is from the Hard Skin school of.. errr.. hard knocks! Yes, funny band… and the “does your boyfriend know you’re here, does your girlfriend know you’re queer” song about a sneaky night in Brighton is mighty topical. Good work. Southampton’s Whole in The Head to follow… and they are in typically ferocious form, belting out crushing breakneck political hardcore fury. Don’t think I’ve seen this band play a bad set, ever. And their closing mangled heavy cover of “Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite” is a winner with the crowd.
Limp Wrist are four openly gay guys from the USA with a long track of playing in hardcore bands, and have long threatened to hit our shores. Finally, they are here, and Brighton is their first port of call in the UK. The venue is packed to the rafters and on one of the hottest days this summer, the temperature is at boiling point by the time they hit the stage. No shit, the place goes totally nuts… and although singer Martin (formerly of Los Crudos) is nursing a twisted ankle, there is no holding him back as the full tilt assault from the band creates pandemonium in the pit. One poor kid ends up lumped on his head and is carried staggering outside, only to return a few songs later for more. No-one wants to miss out.
But tonight wasn’t just about slamming to some way-pumping old hardcore; Whilst Limp Wrist’s music may break no new boundaries, their posi-gay stance really does make them stand out. The underground punk scene has long prided itself on embracing racial and sexual minorities, and fighting narrow minded bigotry. And, as Martin dryly notes, is a place for ‘freaks’ like him. And us. Outsiders. Punks. A great gig this, definitely. But also a celebration of values, spirit and community.