REVIEW: Punk stalwarts UK Subs keep their raucous audience happy

UK Subs, Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton, May 13
UK SubsUK Subs
UK Subs

Well, he’s finally gone and done it!

The Godfather of punk, Charlie Harper (and his pals Alvin Gibbs, Jet and Jamie Oliver – not that one) has finally released his Z album.

The UK Subs were formed in 1976 and this Brighton show was a celebration of the band’s 40th birthday and the fact that Charlie has released an album starting with each letter of the alphabet from Another Kind Of Blues to his new album Ziezo. I suspect the UK Subs are probably the only artists to have achieved this impressive feat.

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Those charged with setting the energetic mood tonight were Bristol punk rockers Criminal Mind. Members Josh, D, Abel and Jake expertly whizzed through tracks from their two decent albums, Life To Defend and the self titled Criminal Mind.

The crowd appreciated their professional performance.

A short while after, it was the turn of 72-year-old David Charles Perez (Charlie Harper) and his UK Subs. Yes, it’s amazing, Charlie is 72, honestly. I can remember in 1979 when their debut album was released, that Charlie was getting a little grief from certain quarters for being an older punk than the rest. Ha! Who’s laughing now, eh Charlie?

From the minute the band came on stage, their energy was raw and fast and still sounded like the early days of punk.

Tonight Charlie was dressed in black and sporting a pair of white sunglasses that The Dickies or Captain Sensible would be proud to wear.

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Bassist Alvin Gibbs who has been with The Subs on and off since 1980 was also in black and looking rather well too. Drummer Jamie and guitarist Jet have both been in the band since 2005 and bring a ‘younger cool cred’ look to proceedings.

They played a thrilling set mainly made up of their earlier material, which obviously kept the raucous audience most happy, and they showcased four tracks from their new Ziezo album.

Verdict: Brilliant. Go see them at The Con Club in Lewes on November 13.

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