Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) is attributed to have said "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and that The UK Subs will be touring somewhere right now."...
Well, something like that anyway! If he had actually said that though he wouldn't have been wrong really as the Subs are on tour, seemingly, forever and tonight Charlie Harper and the boys roll up again in Glasgow at the beginning of the "Christmas Tour 2010" which started in Selby last night and will be finishing in London on 18th December.
To get everyone revved up the first support was Eddy & The T-Bolts, who I missed due to circumstances beyond my control, followed by The Prairie Dugz, complete with their new bass player Mekon (ex-The Snipes), arguably one of the best Scottish bass players around. The Dugz blast through their long set with practiced ease giving us such classics as "We're The Final Youth", "No Survivors", "This Is My Country", "Violent Youth", "Realities Dream" among others & finishing with their own version of The Sex Pistols "No Feelingz" (sic). Ram Dug, Dangerous Dug, Drum Dug & Mekon did themselves proud tonight.
The recurring theme of my reviews rears its ugly head again as I go outside for a smoke before the Subs get going and I'm greeted by a volley of explosions! What the? Oh yeah, it's Bonfire night; I'd forgotten that, I was missing the fireworks! No big deal as, hopefully, the Subs would provide their own inside shortly.
Once my nicotine levels were back up to the required standard I headed back inside just in time for the Subs first song of the evening - "Kicks" - "Get my kicks, feel alright, sleep all day, stay out all night", hell yeah! You can tell the boys are up for it tonight as Charlie declares, "It's always good to be back in Glasgow" before bursting into "Emotional Blackmail". Jet reels around, stage left; wrestling his Gibson into submission while across the stage Alvin makes his shapes with his bass, fingering the neck with remarkable dexterity and precision for such a mobile player.
"Born a rocker, die a rocker" - without a doubt Charlie, without a doubt!
Jamie keeps the perfect relentless beat behind the front three while Charlie plays the crowd & delivers vocals with an edge that a man half of his age would be proud of. Next up we have "New York State Police", "Organised Crime" & "Left For Dead" before the very familiar slow opening chords of "Rockers" are ringing in our ears. "Born a rocker, die a rocker" - without a doubt Charlie, without a doubt!
Then next up, a new one. Written by Alvin & played at the sound-check earlier came "Hell Is Other People". "We haven't played this one live before so it may end in tears" Charlie says. And off they go, Charlie grasping the lyric sheet while delivering. They needn't have worried; it was a good, clean, mistake-free version (as far as I could tell at least having only heard it the once at the sound-check 3 hours earlier). It went down well with the crowd, which bodes well for the forthcoming new album "Work In Progress" which is due its imminent release any time now (ish).
Anyway, back to the matter in hand and the Subs rip through "Down On The Farm" and "Endangered Species" to a few calls of "C.I.D." and "Warhead". "Don't worry" says Charlie, "We'll play ALL your favourites tonight". He's true to his word as next up was "Tomorrows Girls" quickly followed by "Teenage" and "Warhead". "Teenage" was always going to lend itself to a few sarcastic comments as was The Undertones "Teenage Kicks" but, in truth, the fact that Charlie now is the proud owner of a bus pass ("worth its weight in gold" he tells me) really doesn't detract from the song nor the performance - Charlie really does have a "spark" that makes all but the most cynical forget this little fact.
The last two songs of the main set are "Riot" & "Stranglehold" which gets even the most lethargic of the crowd jumping, bouncing and spinning. A short break is taken while the guys towel themselves down a little, then they start the encore with "Limo Life" a slower Subs song that states "All I need is a little bit of action" and action (in the crowd) is evident with the next song up - "C.I.D.", for many, their favourite Subs track of all time and then straight into "I Live In A Car" which just adds to the mosh-pit maelstrom! The penultimate offering is the sing-a-long-a-Subs-song "Party In Paris" before the firm-fave-finisher "Disease" - "Get me up, don't get me down, well I just can't sit, when you're around - YOU GIVE ME DISEASE!".
Oh yeah! "Subliminal Sub-itis" is still catching, go get infected.