Friday, 28 September 2018

Gig Review: The Penske File at New Cross Inn 25/9/18

You'd think that after going to my seventh gig of the month, and the fifth and New Cross Inn, some of the novelty and excitement of the activity might wear off. Nope! Partly because I just love going to gigs and going to the New Cross Inn but mostly because Be Sharp Promotions had put on an absolutely stonking line up. Canadian punk rockers The Penske File were in London for the first time and were being supported by up-and-comers Fintan Stack and Love Songs, as well as the UK's best punk band The Burnt Tapes. This was going to be some night.

Within the opening few seconds Peckham's Love Songs had the crowd that had gathered early mesmerised by their melodic punk rock tracks. This is my third time seeing the band now and each time I'm more amazed by their intricate guitar work and intense vocals. I wouldn't imagine anyone who's seen the four piece before has come away from the set thinking anything other than "wowee, that was something special." Love Songs are a very talented bunch who have crafted their own unique sound that's certain to see them quickly grow an impressive following.

I've fallen hard for Fintan Stack this year. Since getting sent their two singles, Nap All Day, Sleep All Night, Party Never and I'm Done, they've been on constant repeat. In July I got to see them play their first ever show with Red City Radio at the New Cross and was super impressed. Now they were back at the New Cross for their second ever show supporting The Penske File. These five chaps are getting booked with some great bands! At this gig they showed just what a promising new band they are. Of course the two songs I knew were highlights but I also really enjoyed their unreleased tracks. If you enjoy high energy pop punk music with delicious harmonies, Fintan Stack are definitely a band for you.

I've been telling long time readers of CPRW for four years now how much I love The Burnt Tapes. It's still very true. They played another superb set that again cemented my belief that these guys are the best punk band in the UK. As soon as they began their set the New Cross Inn crowd began to sing along in unison to their "regret punk" bangers. Go Drunk, You're Home is a particular favourite of mine. It's always fun to shout back "Is this growing up?!" at the right time. Much like with their set with Pkew Pkew Pkew earlier in the year, half of the set was new songs from their upcoming – at some point in the hopefully not too distant future – debut album. Judging from the songs I've been lucky enough to hear already, that is going to be a huge album and I can wait for it. Of course, they finished on the now classic Burnt Tapes song Things Get Weird (despite my earlier request for their cover of I Live In Hell by Dear Landlord) which drew another big sing-along to finish the set.

I've been waiting the best part of three years for an opportunity to see The Penske File. Since discovering their awesome Burn Into The Earth album I've been completely hooked on the band. 2018's new album, Salvation, had me wanting to see them even more. They write some seriously great music that I could only imagine is even better when you get the opportunity to shout the lyrics back at them. From the opening of Home to the ending of Come What May, I sang as loudly as I could to just about every lyric of every song and I was pleased to see that I wasn't the only one. Mostly playing tracks from Salvation, as well as a couple from Burn Into The Earth including the ultimate ear-worm Damned ("I WROTE A BOOK"), it was one fantastic song after another. I often worry that playing as a three piece who all provide vocals can be limiting for a band's live show but this certainly wasn't the case as Travis (guitar) and James (bass) bound about the stage between singing. The band clearly really enjoying themselves on stage and this enthusiasm pours into the crowd who are love every single second. The Penske File are a really great band and I really hope I don't have to wait another three years to see them again.

This concluded a month of seven gigs for Emma and myself. The five nights we spent at the New Cross Inn were all fantastically fun filled with great bands and wonderful people. I think we finished the seven with what was probably the best of the lot. Punk rock is such a lovely time.

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

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