Thursday, 27 September 2018

Gig Review: Goodbye Blue Monday at New Cross Inn 23/9/18

Paul at Be Sharp Promotions keeps booking all my favourite bands. This means on Sunday 23rd of September we found ourselves back at the New Cross Inn for an intimate night of punk rock fun. Glasgow's finest misery punks Goodbye Blue Monday were in South London, popping by on their way back from a short tour of Belgium. With support from London favourites Triple Sundae as well as two new acts for us The Half Strikes and Batwings, it promised to be a great night.

Opening up the night were The Half Strikes. This was my first time seeing or even hearing The Half Strikes but I did notice that My Third Leg's guitarist Will was playing bass for the band so it was obvious they had pedigree. Playing fast pop punk, which also contained some metal riffage, they were a fun band to watch. Never taking themselves too seriously but showing off some considerably skill, this was a really impressive set. I enjoyed that Will, along with guitarists Aaron and Matt, all provided vocals for the songs including some great harmonies. The highlight of the set for me was their cover of Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American. A band to check out again for sure.

Up next was one of the more interesting sets of the year. Batwings had formerly been a band but is currently just one man named James (though he was joined by a female vocalist to provide some sweet harmonies). Watching someone play his guitar along to a backing drum track took a little getting used to but James had enough charisma to pull it off, playing a passionate and intense style of punk rock that quickly won the New Cross Inn crowd over. He briefly switched styles to play a fun kind of cockney cabaret track about loving to drink wine which put smiles on plenty of faces. This was an interesting and great set. I'm now hoping to see a full band Batwings set in the future.

The main support for the evening came from London's Triple Sundae. In the summer, lead singer and guitarist Hassan injured his arm so this would be his first show back on guitar and the band were promising some new songs. This had me excited for sure. They've only just released a new EP earlier this year so to already have a bunch of new songs ready for recording, to me, shows some real intent from the band. The new songs were so, so good as well! They felt a bit crunchier than some of the band's earlier tracks and Hassan's vocals seemed to have a bit more bite. I wonder if these tracks were written in frustration when Hassan couldn't play guitar. Triple Sundae get better every single time I see them, Hassan is one of the best vocalists in the scene and is flanked brilliant by back-up vocalist and drummer Zandro. This band are going places, get on the hype train now!

Finally it was time for Goodbye Blue Monday and my gosh I was looking forward to this. I was lucky enough to catch them for the first time earlier this year at Manchester Punk Festival and knew what a great live band they were. Since then they've released the frankly epic Misery Punk Ruined My Life EP and I've also been spending a lot of time with their previous effort The Sickness, The Shame so I was more than ready for a big sing-along. To most of the crowd's surprise, Goodbye Blue Monday opened with what Paul Be Sharp has named "the best punk rock song of 2018" – Misery Punk Ruined My Life. What a great way start their set. For the next half an hour or so they ploughed through their entire discography, with oldest song Omega Point getting a run through as well as treating us to some brand new songs which have me excited for what's likely to be another incredible release. If you're yet to see Goodbye Blue Monday live then you're in for a treat when you do. They take their melodic pop punk tracks and really amp up the intensity when they are played live. Each song deserves a massive sing-along which I tried my very best to do. I just don't have the stamina to keep up with Graham's fast paced delivery though! Highlights of their set for me were Take Your Pills, The Sickness, The Shame and Love Is A Noose For Two. A song I perhaps sang a little too enthusiastically considering I was stood behind the woman that I love. At least I didn't jump on stage to sing it, I guess. Goodbye Blue Monday are one of the UK's finest new bands and I can't wait to see where they go next.

This was such an enjoyable night of punk rock fun. Sadly the attendance wasn't great but it was full of the loveliest people and everyone had a magnificent time – bands, fans, pals and punters alike. Go out of your way to catch all of these bands.

This review was written by Colin Clark. Photos by Emma Prew

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