LIVE REVIEW: Force Fed Lies + Boilermaker + Zero Tolerance, Trillians, Newcastle, Sunday 26 January 2020
Way back in 1968, The Small Faces sang about the delights of a Lazy Sunday Afternoon, extolling the virtues of closing your eyes and drifting away.
Well, that seems to me like a waste of a perfectly good day which could be spent drinking and listening to punk rock, and the good folks at Trillians Rock Bar in Newcastle obviously feel the same.
These Sunday teatime soirees are becoming a regular thing, when, instead of tea and scones, they serve up a generous helping of loud music to finish your weekend off with a bang instead of a whimper.
After a few crossed wires over what time the doors opened (an hour later than the advertised 4pm, as it turned out) and how much it was to get in (nowt, as it happened), we were ready for action with three of the North East’s finest punk bands on the menu.
The region’s DIY music scene seems to be in a healthy state at the moment, with lots of good bands doing the rounds, and any one of these three would have been worthy headliners.
As it was, Zero Tolerance took to the stage first, and their angry, menace-laden street-punk songs sound better every time I hear them.
The line-up is Graeme Kitto on vocals, Guy Clark on guitar, Ian Kinsman on bass and Jim Atteridge on drums has been together a little over a year, and they have just one release to their name so far.
It’s a self-titled seven-track mini album on the Research & Destroy label, which you can get at their gigs or from their bandcamp page here, and they are hoping to have a new CD ready in time for their debut at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool in August.
Watching The TV, Brotherhood and Champagne Charlie Wankers are the pick of their old songs, but although I’ve only heard them live, their new ones are even better.
My God Is Bigger Than Yours, When We Were Young and the emotional Too Young To Die are all excellent songs, and I can’t wait to hear the recorded versions.
Up next were Boilermaker, a four-piece from Darlington and Bishop Auckland who also play a tough but tuneful brand of streetpunk.
I’ve seen them a few times now, and they’re one of my favourite new bands of the last couple of years.
Like Zero Tolerance, most of the members have been in bands before. Max Turnbull (vocals) and Phil Coates (guitar) used to be in Last Rough Cause, while drummer Mike Robson is in Gimp Fist. Only bassist Steve Addison is new to gigging.
Nine of its 11 tracks made the setlist here, starting with the powerful one-two of Boilermaker and A Place To Go, and tracks like Siege Mentality and County Lines also slipped seamlessly into their set. You can get the album at gigs or by contacting the band via their Facebook page.
Songs from their first album, 2018’s Shop Floor, weren’t forgotten, with the likes of Weekend Millionaire, 81/82, and All Day Session greeted like old friends, and there was a lively cover of Action by 70s glam rockers The Sweet, which hope they get round to recording some time.
By the time they hit the home straight Boilermaker were firing on all cylinders, and new songs Roll Back the Years, There’s A Police Car and oldie The Sirens And The Lights rounded off an excellent set.
Time then for the headliners, and as I said, any of these three bands could have had that honour. Tonight it fell to Force Fed Lies, from South Tyneside, who are one of the hardest-working bands on the scene.
Their 77 punk-meets-Discharge style is most enjoyable, and regular gigging means guitarist Carlton and bassist Steve, who share vocal duties, now form a tight unit with new-ish drummer Kev.
Their set was based around their debut album Begging For Change (get it and their other merch from their Facebook page here), played in a different order, and this time it was Killing Time and Eye For An Eye which stood out from the rest.
They even threw in a classic punk cover, of GBH’s Sick Boy, which fitted in perfectly alongside their own high-octane material, and their short but sweet set ended in rousing style with two more of their standout songs, No Go Area and SNAFU.
As Sunday teatimes/early evenings go this was one of the best I’ve had in ages. More please.