Nothing goes smoothly in these troubled times . The area close to tonight’s venue was cordoned off from three directions due to a bomb scare at nearby Waverley Station . No problems for the headliners Spizzenergi however who beamed down from their starship to entertain with a set of uplifting space punk. Songs of the highest quality featuring the well known favourites like Peel classic Where’s Captain Kirk and ex NME single of the week Soldier Soldier. Spizz added to the spectacle with a bag of interesting props – flashing rings on the fingers and a ray gun which must keep the band safe whilst they are touring other planets .
The props , the mirth and the madness did not distract us from the superb musicianship of Luca Comencini and Phil Ross trading guitar lines and Ben Lawson’s bass and Alan Galaxy’s drumming keeping the sound tight. At times , they sounded peak Stooges. Despite there still being 45 days to visit a merch table until Xmas , Spizzenergi played The Day Before Christmas which was greeted enthusiastically. Generally punk audiences like a sing song and the covers of Roxy’s Virginia Plain and I fought the law send folk home smiling.
This had been a joint headline show with Newtown Neurotics playing their first live show in Scotland. Still politically charged and as relevant now as under the dark days of Thatcher , the band sped through a set including songs from the first time – Mindless Violence and Kick Out The Tories . Since they re-emerged , the issue of climate catastrophe is at the front of the bands mind . A new album , Cognitive Dissidents , features songs Climate Emergency and When The Oil Runs Out . Steve Drewett is supported perfectly by Adam Smith and Simon Lomond . This is a tradition punk sound , still fresh , and with a message that has not diminished over the years . Let’s hope it doesn’t take them 34 years for their next trip north of the cheviots.
It was Attila The Stockbroker who popped Newtown Neurotics back on my radar and it was great to see their set preceding by some excellent ranting from striking London Underground poet Janine Booth . It looks like there will be a long winter of industrial action ahead and as a sign of solidarity, one of Janine’s pieces had the lines :
Rather stick my genitalia in the mouth of dead swine
Than cross a picket line…
Local punks Doss had opened the show very much in the style of Sleaford Mods, Many of the audience had been stymied by the street closures outside but Doss are very much in the notebook to catch their full set next time .