Live Reviews

OFF! live at The Haunt Brighton

The Haunt,


This gig starts early, really early. We arrived just before 8pm, and opening (local) band Gnarwolves had already played. Yeah, that early! And then maybe 20 minutes later Trash Talk takes to the stage. My mate Tony confirms we last saw them in Brighton in 2008 (supporting Paint it Black) – jeez, time flies. One thing’s for sure, Trash Talk have been going hard at it in the meantime, with relentless touring and recording that has gained them a strong young fan base, which is evident tonight. From the opening brutish chords, band and front stage crowd go off. Ok, I’ll be honest; much of Trash Talk’s short, blunt, metallic hardcore doesn’t have that killer impact on me that it promises to, but they are still a captivating live act, amped on anger and loaded with surly attitude.

I managed to catch OFF! on their initial blaze thru the UK last summer, but the gig I went to in Portsmouth was in a huge room, far too big for the show, with a small crowd, stage barriers, lacking atmosphere – a situation not conducive to a good night you’d think. Wrong! OFF! were ace, and we drove home stoked on having witnessed a very great band. So, in the much tighter and more populated confines of The Haunt, they are gonna be really great, right? Right! If, like me, you’ve had the OFF! 7”s and recent album on steady rotation, then you pretty much know you are in for a salvo of fast, tight, belligerent hardcore heavily inspired by the music singer Keith Morris originally cut his chops on, way back in the midst of time, but is delivered in 2012 sounding fresh and totally revitalised. And that’s down to the 3 fellow band members he’s aligned with, all accomplished musicians in their own right, and totally on it in keeping up the intensity.

4 songs bursts are interjected by Keith’s thoughts and anecdotes, and it’s good to know he’s still questioning and refusing to accept what his Government tells him. In other words; Punk Rock. Memories of his long deceased buddy Jeffrey Lee Pierce still cast a shadow on Keith, who questioned whether The Gun Club ever played in Brighton. I can confirm they did, late ’82, or early ’83 at The New Regent in West Street, which is now just another shitty bar, but back then was a hot bed of activity. Ack… the stories I could tell. Meanwhile, back at The Haunt, and approx 50 minutes after they started, OFF! departs to rapturous applause from the crowd… and we gather outside in the fading light, and acknowledge we have just seen a very great band. Intense, in your face and on the road with a vengeance, go see them!

Pete Craven