Sunday, June 11, 2006

Punk's Not Dead

It's true. Punk isn't dead. It's just 30 years old. And when you get to be a 30 year old punk band, you still get to play and you still get little punk people moshing in front of you.
So here we are at the Underworld in Camden watching punk survivors, 999. Which is odd because I'm not really into gigs - too loud, too hot, too many young people jumping around (precisely the things that make live music what it is...), but tonight is an exception as we are here to see this band and, specifically, watch their guitarist in action.
Guys Days is the maintenance manager of the ICA and, when he's not fixing lightbulbs, unblocking toilets and doing all manner of glamorous things like that to keep the ICA going day to day, he's also a punk legend. No kidding. He's the guitarist in 999.
So we go to see him. And at the front by the stage there are indeed real punks. People wth strange, spiky coloured hair, tattoos and pierced bits. All jumping around, hitting each other and smoking and drinking (all at the same time). And only a gobbing distance behind them is where we are. Blending in with all this quite nicely, I like to think. Jane Pearce - or 'Mumsy' as we like to call her - from the ICA is there, wafting herself with a pretty white fan to keep cool. It's almost Siouxsie, but no, not quite...
Anyway, never mind the crowd, let's check out the band. They're fast, loud, tight as a clenched fist and simply the best fun I've had for months. Thirty years in and they're still totally up for it. Every song comes out at a hundred miles an hour and they look like they're loving every sweaty, raging minute. They're as sharp as a drawer of knives and look like they could play all night. But, because it's punk, the songs don't last very long and they are all done in about 45 minutes.
It felt like three.
It was a complete joy.
And it certainly beats watching him change a lightbulb...
Punk pics


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