9 May 2008

Live Review: Happy Spastics. Issues Of Morality. Overspill. The Bongo Club, Edinburgh 2008



When the punks go marching in

Livingston stalwarts OVERSPILL are without a doubt far too good to be an opening slot band, but the choice, I think, was theirs. Its members have been in various bands over the years including the very brilliant SKROTEEZ and THE EXPLOITED. Their line-up includes two front men - and it really works! Tonight they were ferociously brilliant. The fire in their belly’s rage a lot stronger than numerous bands I could mention. They are criminally underrated. The torrential pounding of ‘Death By Viagra’ had a rhapsodic effect on the crowd who proclaimed their appreciation with hedonic moshpits! A spectacular rendition of Billy Connolly’s ‘Sergeant Where’s Mine?’ was mighty! Through songs like ‘Soapbox’, ‘Schemescene’ and ‘Blue Blood’ they contributed a hard-hitting,  meaningful beginning to tonight.

Next up ISSUES OF MORALITY, who were only 5 gigs old tonight, included a new bass player making his debut for the band. The assured confidence they seem to have in their songs and each other is a distinct weapon in their resolute onstage armour and tenacious execution of who they are. Opening with ‘This Is War’, a monolithic anti-war challenge presented upon a meaty guitar/drum mandate, filled this venue potently. The political apathy of  ‘None Of Us Are Innocent’ and  truly brilliant acidic sneer that is inherent on ‘King For A Day’ are the intrinsic values of just how good this band are. Further crowd pleasers were ‘United States Of Terror’ and the flailing attack of ‘Genocide’. A grinding, top speed cover of Bon Jovi’s ‘Dead Or Alive’ to finish ensure ISSUES OF MORALITY will always be capable disturbers of the peace.

Headliners HAPPY SPASTICS played an immense set. Their front man Bones was on  prime form leading his band through a  hard-hitting 30 minutes of raw, unblended punk rock. First song ‘War’ spiralled the crowd into circuits of frenzied pogoing which continued throughout the imposing brilliance of ‘Fuck The Polis’ and the rapid, breakneck serving of ‘USA’. The unleashing of ‘G8’ was an astounding  rendering of energy, vigour and proficiency from a band who have only recently re-formed and include only one original member between them. ‘Drunk Punx’ sounded immaculate and propelled further delectation into those gathered to witness. To finish they chose ‘Tube Disasters’ rather than ‘Beasty Priest’ ( their best song in my opinion) but it was still a formidable performance and it’s great to have them back on the live circuit.