Last year, Colin wrote a top ten about the bands he’s yet to see live (here). Now, having recently written my top ten punk rock influences (here) and enjoying the top ten format, I’m following suit and attempting to compile my own ‘bucket list’ of live bands. I’m not sure how interesting it will be for most readers of this blog as I don’t really have the same lifelong love of punk rock as others might. Plus I’ve actually seen quite a lot of bands already – for which I am very grateful. But here we go, in alphabetical order (because I didn’t know how else to order them):
The All Brights
Probably my most recent discovery on this list but if you haven’t listened to The All Brights’ latest EP, The White Album EP, then I demand that you do so right now – it’s sure to put a smile on your face. The All Brights are a surf-loving punk rock super-group, sort of like Me First And The Gimme Gimmes except with amazingly catchy and hilarious original songs rather than covers. I’m not sure they’ve played that many shows at all but, should the opportunity arise, I would jump at the chance to see them.
I am by no means a longtime fan of Authority Zero. I didn’t even listen to their incredible 2017 album, Broadcasting To The Nations, until early this year – and therefore didn’t place it in my top ten albums of the year last year as I probably should have. So that’s why I had not seen them up until August of this year. Then they played The Camden Underworld in between playing Rebellion and Punk Rock Holiday. I was sick and regretfully had to miss the gig. I don’t think I’ve ever been more upset about missing a gig – it still feels fresh now. However, of all of the bands on this list, I think Authority Zero are most likely to be ticked off next. Fingers crossed.
Well, I had to include one absolutely impossible band on this list didn’t I? I don’t like the Sex Pistols (at all), nor do I feel the same affiliation towards the Ramones as some people (Colin, for one) do. My favourite ‘classic’ punk band has to be The Clash and I don’t think I need explain why they are on this list – this is a punk blog, you know. If only I had a time machine…
I was looking back over my iTunes library, before completing my ten band list, in an attempt to remind myself of some of the bands that I perhaps don’t listen to so much now but did 6 or 7 years ago. One of those bands was Defiance, Ohio who (aside from Frank Turner) were probably also my first introduction to the properly folky side of punk rock. Against Me! had hints of folk punk but Defiance, Ohio had a violin and double bass. One of my friends at uni shared The Great Depression, the band’s third album, with me and I was hooked. I don’t know if the band ever toured the UK – I don’t think they did – and they seem to have been unofficially defunct since 2015 so it’s highly unlikely I’d ever see them live but a girl can dream.
Fake Problems are another band who were one of my favourites when I was first properly getting into punk music – I absolutely love the album It’s Great To Be Alive. Unlike Defiance, Ohio, I know for certain that Fake Problems did tour the UK once upon a time (they supported Frank Turner on at least one tour, I know this because I have the DVD) but I was too late in my discovery of them – either that or maybe it was just the fact that I was living in Cornwall at the time. I have seen Chris Farren, Fake Problems’ frontman, solo and he did play one Fake Problems song but I think that’s the closest I’ll ever get to seeing the band.
Lincoln Le Fevre & The Insiders
Responsible for my number one album of 2017, Come Undone, and otherwise known as full band Lincoln Le Fevre, this is probably the least valid artist on my list. Only because I’ve seen Lincoln solo… twice – one day after the other at Fest 15. Understandably, Lincoln didn’t bring the band over with him to Florida from Australia. That Fest appearance was also before the ‘full band’ songs and album were released. I’d love to see the full band although I may well have to go to Australia in order to see it. I did once see a chap wearing a Lincoln Le Fevre & The Insiders shirt at a Smith Street Band show in London so I’m not the only UK fan… although I think he might have been Australian himself.
I don’t really know why I’ve never seen Rancid but I sure as hell would love to see them one day. If they play …And Out Come The Wolves in full that would be absolutely fine by me but I know they had a new album out only last year so if they want to tour that in the UK then I’ll make sure I get to a show. By a show, I mean a proper gig and not a festival in Hyde Park supporting Green Day like they did last summer. Is that too much to ask?
This one is going to happen. One day, I hope in the not too distant future, Rebuilder are going to make their UK tour debut and I will be there and I will be very excited. Whether I end up seeing them at a Fest or somewhere else in the US before that is another matter (they’d be top of my list for this year’s Fest, if I was going)! Rebuilder were my biggest discovery of last year and are the band I’ve suggested several times that Paul of Be Sharp should book at the New Cross Inn – it seems to work if Colin requests bands but, so far, I’m having less luck.
I was introduced to ska punk, mostly by Capdown, in my hometown of Milton Keynes by going to local shows when I was a teenager and relatively new to live music. I didn’t really properly got back into ska until about two or three years ago but somewhere between those two time periods there was one ska punk band that I did love – Streetlight Manifesto. I can’t say what made me listen to them over any other ska punk band but damn they were/are great. As I said, I listen to more ska now but I don’t think there’s any band I’ve seen or heard that sound quite like Streetlight Manifesto. They’re the best. (For the record, I’ve not seen Catch 22 either.)
The Suicide Tuesdays
Another Australian band but one that I’m even less likely to ever see live than Lincoln Le Fevre & The Insiders because The Suicide Tuesdays broke up just a month or so ago. I was pretty heartbroken as my time spent (figuratively) with the band was very short lived. I discovered them in January of this year when I heard their debut album, This Is For You, on Bandcamp. It turns out that although it was their debut, it was a long time in the making and some the songs have been around in one shape or form for many years. As an album it is incredible and is likely to be very near the top of my end of year list. I wish I could have seen The Suicide Tuesdays live to hear those songs live. I really do.
Honourable mentions for bands I loved in my youth (before I decided punk rock was the sub-genre for me) go to Placebo, System Of A Down and The Used. I’m also so damn excited to see Spanish Love Songs for the first time (and then again a second time) later this month when they make their UK debut – they would have been on this list otherwise.
This top ten was written by Emma Prew.