Recently there was a game on Facebook where you had to name nine bands you've seen live and another that you hadn't and your friends had to guess which was the one you hadn't seen. I was far too cool to partake in such a game, I mean what kind of loser constantly lists ten things… hmmmm. Even more recently, Emma and I were talking with Robyn about bands we haven't seen live yet that we really wanted to. I've been very lucky in the past year to have seen many of the bands that I've wanted to for ages but never had the chance to before. I've also been very lucky with the amount of bands that I've wanted to see for a while that are playing UK shows in the next few months. That list includes the Descendents, The Planet Smashers, No Trigger and Flogging Molly. But there are still many more on the list - here's ten of them.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Growing up as a fan of ska punk in the 90s there were three big bands - Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, pioneers in the ska-punk genre since 1983! It's not very often that the band tour anywhere anymore ,let alone come over the UK. With such an impressive back catalogue of songs, the band can play anything they've written and a huge crowd of people would be so happy.
Way back in the early 2000s, Flogging Molly, the Street Dogs and The Briggs did a UK tour and swung by my local venue in Colchester, the Colchester Arts Centre. I had just started a new job and the gig clashed with one of my shifts. Being a young and conscientious worker I missed the gig and I've regretted it ever since. I've seen the Street Dogs a couple of times since and I'm seeing Flogging Molly next month but seeing The Briggs has always alluded me. This sucks as the band are one of the best street punk bands around and are responsible for so many of my favourite songs.
The undisputed kings of European pop punk have been going since 1996 and have released a fantastic collection of albums and EPs during their long career. I've been a huge fan since hearing Almost Summer from the album The Buzz Electric back in 2003. The Apers are a band that are hugely underrated in the punk scene despite influencing a huge number of bands in Europe. If they've ever been to the UK since, I've sadly missed it but if they do find their way back to the UK, I will be there.
Hot Water Music
When Emma and I were having the original conversation with Robyn about bands we still haven't seen, Robyn was amazed that we had never seen Hot Water Music live. The Gainesville-based quartet are one of the most influential bands of their generation. Everything all four members have done, whether it be with Hot Water Music or any of their many side projects has been golden. Due to these multiple side projects, Hot Water Music is often placed on the backburner but the band are currently working on a new album so hopefully a UK tour is planned at some point around the album's release.
Dear Landlord are a pop punk supergroup from Minnesota and Illinois featuring members of Rivethead and The Copyrights. Anyone who loves the pop punk genre holds their album Dream Homes in the highest regard. It's fast paced midwestern pop punk that must be incredible live. I've seen so many incredible clips of Dear Landlord playing what look like amazing shows and I really want to be a part of that.
This one was so close to happening. The Dopamines had a London show scheduled as a stop off on their way to play this year's Groezrock festival. Sadly they had to pull out of what would have been one of the shows of the year. The Dopamines, like Dear Landlord, are incredibly respected in the punk rock world and I can only imagine it would be a set of fists-in-the-air, sing-a-long punk rock mayhem.
The Vandals are one of the longest running bands in the world of punk rock. Forming in 1980, the four piece were at the forefront of the 1990s punk revival. Considering how long The Vandals have been around it seems absolutely insane that I'm yet to see them. Since releasing Hollywood Potato Chip in 2004 the band have toured sporadically, playing the odd show here and there but not playing many massive tours. They came to the UK in 2014 for Hevy Festival. They have yet to return. They need to return.
I've mentioned before on Colin's Punk Rock World how obsessed I became with The Johnstones back in 2010, the summer I broke my leg and constantly listened to The Johnstones first two albums, Word Is Bond and Can't Be Trusted. Those albums kept me in a good place and never let my spirits drop. Since then they have released another album named Suck which is equally as awesome as their previous work. Sadly the members of The Johnstones are too busy working on other projects to dedicate too much time to the band but when they do get together it's always magic. When the band last toured the UK they got into trouble with the Millwall firm - I'm sure that's all forgotten now and we'd all welcome you crazy cats back!
Bomb The Music Industry
The last two bands on this list will most likely never happen, there is more chance of Bomb The Music Industry than the last band though. Punk rock superstar Jeff Rosenstock's former band had a very heavy emphasis on DIY punk rock ethics. This attitude, along with Jeff's exceptional songwriting and what I've seen on the You of Tube makes for some of the most enteraining live shows around. Watching the BtMI! documentary, Never Get Tired, really made me wish I could have seen the New Yorkers the first time around. But at least we still have Jeff Rosenstock's "solo" work.
This is a reunion that will never ever happen no matter how much the collective world of punk rock would love it to happen. Operation Ivy are one of if not the most important band in punk rock in the last thirty years, despite only being active between 1987 and 1989. They were one of the first bands to combine hardcore punk rock and ska and helped to define the Lookout Records era of San Francisco punk rock which spawned Green Day, American Steel, Screeching Weasel, The Mr T Experience and the Groovie Ghoulies. Of course Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman went on to form another of the most successful and most beloved bands in the punk rock, Rancid. If you managed to catch Operation Ivy in the two years that they were a band, you saw history created. You're so lucky!
Honourable mentions go to The Lillingtons, Ann Beretta, The Mr T Experience, Screeching Weasel, The Queers, Slapstick, The Loved Ones…
This top ten was written by Colin Clark.