Saturday night was my first gig in 2020 and having not been to a gig for 19 days (it seemed way longer), I was eager to get back on it. This was one of those gigs that anyone who was there, will probably recall with a twinkle in their eye for years to come.
Since the Sex Pistols played Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976 Manchester has been a hotbed of the Punk movement spurning punk royalty from The Buzzcocks, Steve Diggle, The Smirks and of course who can forget John the Postman.
Last night's gig felt as magic as I think that night in 1976 would've have felt for those in attendance. The place was fizzing and I was lucky enough to interview Tinfoils in the green room just before the gig - during the interview Feral Family and Black Clyde all arrived and so it was chaotic, but fun and an indicator of how the evening would unfold.
I also got to hang out with the lovely Kaylee my mate from Sheffield before the gig and we were both very excited we were to see Tinfoils. We actually met at The Sheafs in October last year and Tinfoils were one of the support acts. They didn't disappoint - more on that later.
Up first were the Glaswegians Black Clyde & The Tube Disasters - the name makes you think of a dark murky sound and it's anything but. Pure, Buckfast infused mayhem! The lads were clearly up for it with their grunge/punk debauchery and the Manchester crowd lapped it up! They played an extremely fast set including crowd favourites Bad Ronaldo and with a song about Crazy Golf. It was utter carnage and utterly brilliant!
Next up were Sheffields Feral Family who were minus a drummer, so having to play their drums from a laptop - but this took nothing away from their performance. They've been gaining a lot of momentum since being championed by BBC Introducing Sheffield as one of the most exciting acts to come out of the steel city and based on last nights performance it's easy to see why. Punk is all about raw energy and the lack of a drummer seemed to add another edge to their performance if anything. They were utterly brilliant and you can see that with It's All Fake live video below.
Next up were Chupa Cabra who started with the blistering track Violent Urges (below). By now the place was packed and it went fucking nuts! I was at the front and dancing with the lads from Black Clyde and honestly it was the most fun I've had in a while. Chupa Cabra were sensational! They remind very much of Sex Pistols and it's not just because their lead singer is a red head! I had the pleasure of meeting the bass player Nathan in the green room before the gig. Chupa Cabra are from Deeside and have been supporting the likes of Cabbage over the last year or so. They definitely deserve to share a stage with bands of this stature. If you love music that makes you smile and also you want to go all out dancing crazy with a fuck it to it, then this band is for you! It was chaos but oh so much fun
Last and definitely not least headliners Tinfoils. I was very impressed with them when they supported Sheafs but honestly last nights performance they turned it up a notch. From first riff to last despite several technical issues, it's as near as you're going to get to punk rock nirvana! It was really good to see lots of women at the front and dancing as frenetically as everyone else. George is almost possessed when he plays, Will's bass is the underpinning flow to the tracks and as for Alex's drumming? I stood still for a few tracks and watched them without dancing or filming anything as I wanted to take it all in and he's an absolutely phenomenal drummer! I used to play the drums and so I can appreciate a great drummer and believe he's up there with the great ones! Tinfoils played 13 songs and then took one request - Call of the Abyss got a fantastic reaction from everyone as did I'm not Angry and The Royal Baby Machine.
Punk deserves to be mainstream, and for the greater part it probably never will. The Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols and The Clash went mainstream - based on last nights performance every single one of these bands deserve to do the same. The spirit of Punk is very much alive and well! Long live Punk!
As usual all pictures and videos are ones I took. You can subscribe to my YouTube for more videos of gigs, I'm also on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where I share reviews, playlists, and some amazing interviews.
If you like this review and are a fan of Tinfoils then keep your eyes peeled for my interview with the lads - it'll be dropping on all platforms on Tuesday.