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