If you ever hear an uniformed individual utter the perennial moan, ‘the punk scene’s dead’ simply point them in the direction of the next Carnival Punks gig. Craig and the crew rounded up some of the best anarcho-punk around and had them play The Chelsea, Easton for an explosive half-dayer. This is what’s punk’s all about.
It paid to get in early as there was no filler to make up the numbers on this bill with Bristol-based Trees of Rage starting things off, serving-up a varied set of tuneful, conscious punk.
The Chelsea was really starting to fill up when Kiss Me, Killer launched into Snakes, title track to our forthcoming EP release, a ferocious song that might surprise people who haven’t seen us since our first couple of gigs. We’re now feeling tighter than ever and playing The Chelsea always seems like a homecoming. Although we’re desperate to work on a few new song ideas that have been kicking around, the set feels pretty good to play now, really mixing it with straight-up classic punk, proto-metal, touches of heavy psych with b-movie soundtrack derived horror and spy-guitar. Wait till you hear the new stuff, though – it’s going to be a step up again.
Next up were London three-piece, Bug Central, who played a storming set of anarcho-punk before Dorset’s legendary Virus took to the floor with powerfully-delivered songs snarling at political and social issues.
Photos of Kiss Me, Killer by Cheri, others by David KMK.
I’d really been looking forward to Zounds’ Steve Lake. I’d only seen Zounds once before live despite The Curse of Zounds easily being in my top 10 albums of all time and definitely in my Top 5 punky albums. 2011 comeback album The Redemption of Zounds is also a big favourite. There’s not too many musicians I catch live where I know every song, every word, so nearly lost my voice screaming along to material like Dirty Squatters and Can’t Cheat Karma – I couldn’t do what our Holly does gig after gig.
Despite the mighty Anthrax headlining I’d been most looking forward to seeing anarchistwood, after checking out some of the stuff they have on YouTube. This is a band you have to experience live as it was one of the best punk sets I’d seen in ages (and I see great punk sets all the time) with a mesmerizing performance from Frank Cutter, Emily Flea and the band.
Anthrax – one of the ‘big four’ of anarcho-punk – finished off the evening, taking to the stage as a six-piece with an immense THREE guitar attack. The smashed through some of their classic songs which sent The Chelsea into a massive, singing, dancing party with Carnival Punks’ Craig even spotted doing a bit of crowd surfing.
What a gig.