LIVE REVIEW: The Take + Force Fed Lies + Mind Crisis, The Black Bull, Gateshead, Tuesday 12 November 2019
‘A new band with old players’ was how the merch man described New York band The Take, who were playing their second-ever UK show in preparation for a prestigious tour support slot with NYHC legends Agnostic Front.
For a band who are new to the punk scene, the trio have certainly seen some action. Guitar-playing vocalist Scott Roberts was in Biohazard and Bloodclot, and drummer Will Shelper was in Agnostic Front and Madball. The line-up is usually completed by Carlos Congote (45 Adapters and Urban Noise), but his ethnic background means he’s unable to be here due to travel restrictions put in place by Donald Trump.
Instead we have another time-served face, Stoney Strike – who’s not from New York, but Yorkshire – deputising on bass. Formerly of Keyside Strike, and currently in Juratory, he’s played with all sorts of bands, and self-deprecatingly describes himself as a journeyman. He’s much more than that though, as he shows tonight.
Given the background of the respective members, it’s no surprise that The Take began life as a hardcore band. But other influences and interests were quickly brought to the table, so their self-titled debut album, released in June on German label Demons Run Amok, also has elements of oi!, hard rock and street rock ‘n’ roll.
Ten of the album’s 11 tracks made the setlist tonight, starting with No Tolerance, and including The Skins Are Out Tonight, People Like You and my favourite track, Dead To Me.
They’re surprisingly tight, given that bass player Stoney only had five hours to learn the songs. Roberts’ voice sounds much better live than on record, he throws down some great heavy riffs, and Shelper’s thunderous backbeat is unrelenting.
Their set, lasting almost an hour, also includes a couple of covers, and they even manage an encore, of Elton John’s Saturday’s Night Alright For Fighting, like you’ve never heard it before.
If you’re going to see Agnostic Front on their upcoming tour, The Take are well worth taking the time to see, so get there early and check out. I’ll certainly watching what they do next with interest.
The two other bands on the bill also deserve a mention. Mind Crisis, who opened proceedings, are a young band from the Newcastle/Durham area who play out and out hardcore, and this was their second-ever gig. They showed few signs of nerves, and have a handful of fans who certainly made the area in front of the stage a lively place to be. A name to watch…
The main support were Force Fed Lies, a trio from the South Tyneside area consisting of Carlton (guitar and vocals), Steve (bass and vocals) and drummer Kev, who is a relatively recent addition. Their sound is hard to nail down, but has elements of 77-style punk, Discharge and even a dash of Motorhead.
This was the second time I’d seen them in a month following their set at Loaded 44’s EP launch at Trillians in Newcastle, and I made sure I bagged my copy of their debut album Begging For Change before they packed away their merch this time.
Their 10-song set was basically the album played in a different order, with my favourite tracks (now I know what they are!) being Killing Time, Eye For An Eye and SNAFU (Situation Normal: All Fucked Up). Again, they’re a band well worth seeing, and they gig regularly, both in the North East and further afield. They’re also hoping to bag a spot on the Introducing Stage at next year’s Rebellion Festival, so if you’re reading Darren Russell-Smith…