Posts Tagged 'Serf Combat'

Brighton Hydrant – 26.02.2012

My new band went on a little weekend jaunt last week with our pals in Matadors.  It was good fun taking in four gigs in 48 hours heading to Boston, Brixton, Dorking and Brighton before dashing back up the motorway for bed-time in Leeds and work on Monday morning.  Great times were had all round (but I won’t bore you with the in-jokes of a poorly written tour diary).

In Brighton I decided to try out the video camera on my new phone and it turns out that it’s pretty shit hot (all I need now is a decent Digital Voice Recorder and the blog can return to it’s full glory!).  So here’s some videos from that gig which the rather marvelous Dan Bowden put on for us on a gloriously hot February Sunday.

Emergency Bitter opened the gig and these soft skinheads from Fulham have really upped their game.  They remind me of Cock Sparrer if Ian Dury was fronting them (they were crying out to do a cover of “Working” – make it happen lads!).  So here’s a video of their unofficial anthem ‘Sold My Soul’.  You can find out more about them here and pick up their great EP.

Caution Horses from Brighton/London were up next.  These lot have been around for about six years now and never fail to dissapoint.  Veering somewhere between Mclusky, The Pixies and Shellac, they describe themselves as “To clever for the punks and too loud for the indie kids” and I’d say that was a fair assessment!  Also check out bassist Doog’s bandcamp page where you can listen to and download album’s by his other bands which are definately worth a punt.  They’re off on a tour round the former USSR so throw them some money!

Then before the headliners The Social Club (who I was too busy dancing to to get any videos) Leed’s finest exponents of angular rock and roll Matadors were up.  I’ve raved about them before but just check out these two videos to make up your own mind.  If you’re into bands like Murder City Devils, the Hot Snakes, Sultans et al then damn well give these a listen.  You can stream/download their album here so make sure you do.

Homestead Fest @ The Homestead Southampton 20.06.10

(click image above for more pictures of the Sunday)

Homestead Fest at the Homestead Southampton 20.06.10

Homestead Fest was a going away party of sorts for the legendary house/venue that is the Homestead.  Serf Combat played on the Sunday so the only recordings I have are from that date (damn dissertation stopping Saturday fun!).   I don’t really feel like I’m the most well informed person to talk about the Homestead in Southampton having only been there twice and only played there once but I do feel well qualified to say that it was one of the most inspiring days I’ve had in a long time, really reminding me why creativity, friends and good old DIY punk really is a great thing.  So enough cheese from me, onto some of the bands I recorded.  Oh and if you want more info on the place and what happened to it, then head over here.

JOEY TU


The first performance I saw was by Joey Tu.  I don’t know a lot about this fella at all.  What I do know is that he played a fun, interesting set with an acoustic guitar, harmonica and uke which had a conservatory full of punks (and the obligatory dog) watching.  Fun times.  Here’s a video of him playing ‘Great Expectations’ then you can download the full set below:

Set List:

Seven Nights and Seven Days

Great Expectations

Picture

Elevator

Thinking About You (?)

The Uprising

Right Click and then download/save as from here

THREE PAIRS OF SHOES


Three Pairs of Shoes were up next and I think extended a few people’s perceptions about what DIY music could produce and what the term folk really meant.  I’m not meaning to put any bands down but folk influenced punk does not folk make and these three really showed that.  Proper folk from the word go, this was incredible musicianship, incredible songs and entertainment from start to finish.  Rather than evoking Against Me or Billy Bragg this was much more from the Fence Collective school, reminding me of King Creosote, Pete Seeger or James Yorkston and the Tom Waits cover was a welcome bonus!  Raising the bar from the off, I look forward to seeing these three again.  Check ‘em out, get their demo then their new CD and then go from there.  Here’s a video of them ripping it up with their full set for download below…

Set List:

Sailor’s lament

Riverboat tango

Parkway

Jockey full of bourbon (tom waits cover)

In the summer

Thin air.

THE WORKING DEAD
All I knew before Homestead Fest about the Working Dead is that they’re from Watford and frankly as an ex-Watfordian carrying the burdan I know that that’s enough to make me watch them.  I think there may also be ex-members of the FBATS but I wouldn’t call that a selling point (sorry!).  I also now know that they’re a pretty damn good punk band mixing up skate punk with None More Black style melodies and some heavy almost crust like moments.  Thats about all I do know but they’re definately one to keep an eye on and I reckon with more time and gigs their sound may get a bit more refined (and perhaps a little bit of a shorter set – 33 mins? 20 mins is optimal I reckon!).  Good stuff.
Here’s the set!
Don’t hate the playa, hate the game
The Steal
Short Angry one
Southern Weather
Harmonising with Tinnitus
Thrash Pop is Dead
Battle Of…
Working, Dead
Five of Seven
I Played in FBATS for Three Years and all I got was Giles’ Cock in my Ear
Zubrowka
Area 51
Right click/save as to download from here
WEGROWBEARDS

So…the first band to have two sets on this blog, whats that all about?!  Well the thing is I’ve come to realise that WEGROWBEARDS are actually very good.  Don’t tell Alf or Dunc that as I’ll never hear the end of it.  More importantly they played this gig as a two piece as Phill (bass) has recently left.  Phill is a shit hot bassist and was great in the band but to be totally honest I think they are much better as a two piece, much more passion, rawness and well…fun.  This was two dude on drums and guitar boxed into the corner of a (in fairness very large!) bedroom with a ton of people shouting along and having fun.  One of the best things here was the heckling too, to make this set less cliquey here’s some info to help understand the heckles..!
* James Hull is the main antagoniser and instigator of heckles.  Later that night he stage dived off a step ladder.
* Apologies I Have None are an awesome folk influenced punk band who used to be a two piece – those two members are very skinny.
* Porches are another band which Duncan and Alf are in – they run on booze
* Serf Combat is another band which Alf is also in (and me!) – we played after and someone ran across the ceiling upside down
Check out the video here of them covering Against Me for an idea of the set.  Then check out the set below…
Set List:
Peasants Revolt
The Miners Strike
Black and Tans
The Game
Pints of Guiness Make You Strong (Against Me! cover)
Reinventing Axl Rose (Against Me! cover)
Download by right click/saving as here

Serf Combat + Jeff Pezzatti = AWESOME

OK so the blog has now reached it’s peak of self indulgence but please indulge me if you will (check out the ignoring of my English A-Level skills of repeating the word indulgence – just did it again). But last saturday night something truly awesome happened. My band Serf Combat were opening for Chicago’s finest The Bomb.  Now The Bomb are an incredible band; mixing up that classic Chicago punk rock sound with influences ranging from Husker Du, The Buzzocks and despite my irrational disdain for 80′s indie even bands like The Smiths, Gang of Four and Wire.  They really will blow you away both on record and live, the fact that they contain members of Naked Raygun, Big Black, The Methadones, Textbook and Noise By Numbers doesn’t help at all.  Ah yes, Naked Raygun the band whom without who Serf Combat would have neither a name nor sound, we do owe rather a lot to them.  So when Jeff Pezzatti of The Bomb/Naked Raygun asked if we wanted to perform our cover version of Naked Raygun’s Vanilla Blue with him singing we jumped (albeit very very nervously) at the chance.  So here in all my smug glory is Serf Combat covering the classic anthem Vanilla Blue at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston with Mr. Pezzatti on vocals.

Here’s the audio version (recorded a bit better) if you are as nerdy as me – you can have it to keep by right clicking and saving as.

If you really need to compare, here’s the original from 1987

Click the picture below to see a slideshow of pictures from the evening (well of The Bomb, Sauna Youth & Above Them)

North West is Best Fest @ The Junction Harrow 20.03.10

On the 20th March 2010, the one and only Olly Jugs put on a ridiculous amount of bands (12!) between 4.30 and 11.30 in the ‘cosy’ space that is the function room above the Junction pub in Harrow.  Downstairs is a vast ‘Scream’ pub with students and 80′s anthems, upstairs was a punk rock dream.  I haven’t been to any all dayer in ages where every band I saw was so ace and everyone was having such a good time.  Here’s some of the sets from the day (sorry I couldn’t record all of them but sometimes I had a drink or falafal or chips in my hand, and even once a bass and I’m incapable of doing two things at once).  Also there’s a great video by Ema up here from the day and some great photos by her and Dan over here.

ATHENS POLYTECHNIC

Athens Polytechnic opened the day up and in more than one ways set the mood and standard for the day.  A chaotic, youthful band who were very new to me; they play fast, snotty garage influenced hardcore with two singers.  I reckon this lot will be popping up on a lot of people’s radar’s soon and if both frontmen start to get a bit more comfortable and just be themselves they’ll really come into their own.  For better or worse (and I imagine it’s due to watching American Hardcore one too many times) singer Rory also came up with the best between song banter of the day directed towards the promoter without realising every single person there was a mate of said promoter, which gave every band after some ammunition for comedy gold.  I’ll let you work out which bit it was.  Random comments and slight harrassment of friends aside, this band are fucking good and I’m really really looking forward to seeing them again and picking up the demo when it’s out.

Set List:

OTHER SHOES

…AND I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT AS WELL IF IT WASN’T FOR THOSE MEDDLIN’ BOOKS

MOUTH TO MOUTH

SOCIETY LADY

LAST GOOD CITIZEN

THE KIDS WILL NOT HAVE THEIR SAY

THE DAY FASHION DIED

right click/save as to download their set from here

ROOFTOPS


Rooftops are the London via Norwich hardcore supergroup comprising members past, present and future of PJ & Gaby, Apologies I Have None, The Neil Sutherland Band, TV Party, Fletch Cadillac and The Scrape.  Mixing up doom laden hardcore with upbeat hooks and punk anthems this is a beast like no other (well maybe a bit like Young Livers or Samiam at times?).  The band were in full swing, the crowd were keen and guitarist/promoter Olly was well and truly boozed up and on form.  Enjoy.

Set List:

BLACK ICE
CAN’T IMAGINE YOU NOT BEING IN THIS TOWN
MAKERS MARK
SUN CREAM AND SAND
BOOK FOR A CROOK
I KNOW YOUR FAULTS I JUST CHOOSE TO IGNORE THEM
HARDHEADED
right click/save as to download their set from here
MEN
MEN (apologies for lack of live photo but thee camera ran out from all the rock) are a three piece band from Norwich.  I can’t pretend to know much about them as all my info was taken from a brief chat with Lloyd (of Southport fame) who tells me they used to be in a band called Fun? Yeah!.  All I know is that they were bloody nice blokes, had bloody good beards and were bloody good.  To me they sounded like a more poppy mid paced Marked Men but have a listen and decide for yourself.  You can also download their whole recorded output free from here so go do that and then buy a t-shirt or just give them some cash when you see them as a thank you for being so nice and giving away free music.
Set List:
DOMESCIBELS
GED SME
WORKIN’ IN THE OFFICE
CALCULATORS
BIG FUCKER
RE: YOUR RE-BRANDING
right click/save as to download the set from here
SERF COMBAT
Well it was inevitable I would cave and put my own band on here someday… This is our set from the all day fest.  We were on waaaay too high up on the bill but everyone humoured us.  People seemed to be into it and we had a total ball.  Our guitarist Paul summed it up well by saying we played our best when our mates were there and I reckon this is the total truth.  It’s the best I think we’ve played for a while (make of that what you will) and it’s always nice to see people singing along.  You also get the chance to hear some great drunken, mildly out of time singing from Dunc of WEGROWBEARDS fame who was kind enough to share the recording duties with my brother Josh. Well enough promotion from me.  Enjoy.
Set List:
HAND CAST IN MUSIC
TOPPED/TAILED
MAN UP
THE BUCKLEY ERA
EMERGENCY FLOWERS
FOR SPRING
KING SHIT OF FUCK MOUNTAIN
right click/save as to download the set from here
ABOVE THEM
Once again sorry for nicking a photo but visit tfranis.co.uk to check out more of their awesome shots (my camera was dead by this point in the day…).  Above Them headlined the NWIB Fest and everyone was REALLY TRULY WASTED by this point, I mean to the extent that most people at the front had white masking tape on their face fashioning them into unicorns, elephants and a very impressive cat.  Heckles were plentiful as you can hear from the classics of ‘one more song’ after the first song down to the harsh ‘are you guys drunk, you’re playing so well’ down to the obscure ‘spring break!’.  Everyone knows Above Them are one of the greatest, tightest bands in the UK and should be bigger than all the other crap clogging up the radio by the end of 2010 if the world is right and just.  Here the band played a great set, stalled only by human pyramids, loudmouths and Jon from Serf Combat stealing the mic and singing vocals to For Those Who Paved The Way!.
Enjoy!
Set List:

KEEP SMILING

IMPROVE ON HAPPINESS

NEW SONG

SECRETS OF THE ORIGINAL BEERBOX

WHERE DID ALL THE HEART GO?

FOR THOSE WHO PAVED THE WAY

GIVE IT UP TO START AGAIN

KEEP GOOD HOLD

right click/save as to download the set from here



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