Saturday, 2 June 2018

Gig Review: Goldfinger at the New Cross Inn, London 25/5/18

I seem to bang on a lot about the New Cross Inn and Be Sharp Promotions. That's because both are really, really awesome. Friday May 25th 2018 is sure to go down as one of the greatest days in the pub and the promoter's history as this was the day that legendary Californian pop punk band Goldfinger played a small club show in London's best venue as a warm up for the Bank holiday weekend's Slam Dunk Festival. I was fortunate enough to know about the event early and I won't lie I did think "Okay Paul, whatever you say." when I was first told about it. It was also one of the hardest secrets I've had to keep. Then it was confirmed and we were allowed to drop the news first which was a really cool moment for us.

Tickets unsurprisingly sold out ridiculously fast, I believe it was in less than a day. Sadly because of this popularity a few scumbag touts tried to take advantage of people's desperation to get a ticket. I've got to give a lot of credit to Be Sharp Promotions for calling out anybody trying to sell tickets for more than face value or people just trying to sell tickets that they don't actually have. Fuck those people. If you know anyone who touts, kick them in the bits from me.

There was only one band booked to support Goldfinger as they were doing a special long set for us. London four piece pop punk act The Bottom Line were invited by Goldfinger themselves to kick off the night. We arrived at the New Cross Inn nice and early to get drinks and catch up with pals before the punk rocking began. It was interesting to listen to people make remarks about how small the New Cross Inn is. We found this amusing as it's probably one of the bigger non-academy venues we visit frequently. It was great to see that people were making their first trips to NXI, hopefully they'll be back again because it is such a great venue and deserves all the support it gets.

As I said before The Bottom Line were handpicked by Goldfinger to open the show and you could see why. The band play a style of pop punk similar to the early 2000s era that Goldfinger helped to define. The band are getting more and more popular in the UK's pop punk scene and are a very polished live act. They were on a four man mission to get the crowd warmed up and included a lot of crowd participation in their set, giving the ever expanding New Cross Inn crowd plenty of opportunities to sing along. It seemed like each and every song had some section built in for crowd participation. The Bottom Line seemingly have mastered their genre and, now that they have the endorsement of a band like Goldfinger, you can only assume they'll continue to become more popular.

Then it was time for Goldfinger and the now full house in the New Cross Inn was at fever pitch with excitement. Before they started Emma and I were talking with our friend Scouse and CPRW's Dan about how on earth John Feldmann and the rest of Goldfinger were going to get on stage. The New Cross Inn isn't one of these fancy venues with a backstage area and the four piece, who are idolised, would have a hard time getting on the stage through the sea of people squeezed in at the front of the stage. Not to worry though as Feldmann, along with bassist Mike Herrera from MXPX, guitarist Phillip Moon from Story Of The Year and for the first time ever on drums Atreyu's Brandon Saller, entered through a fire exit to the right of the stage. Goldfinger also had some surprise guests with them in the form of Billy Kottage, Johnny Christmas and Matt Appleton – the Reel Big Fish horn section! This was some line up! With everyone ready, the band launched into Spokesman and followed it up with Counting The Days. What a way to start a show! The room was in full voice immediately, screaming along to every word. Truth be told, Feldmann probably didn't need to use a microphone for the show as we all sang so loud along with the band. I also don't think there was a single person standing still throughout the set as the New Cross floor was vibrating the whole time. It made skanking feel really weird! I saw a video of the support beams for the floor vibrating quite a lot the next day on Instagram. If I'd have seen that during the set then perhaps I wouldn't have danced quite so hard… who am I kidding? Of course I would, it was Goldfinger! Goldfinger have an incredible back catalogue of songs and each song got a huge reaction from the crowd. Whether it was super old school tracks from the self titled debut from 1996 to last year's The Knife and everything in between, we sang and we sang as loudly as we could. A few weeks before the show Be Sharp's Paul and myself were talking about favourite Goldfinger songs and he mentioned that he loved the songs Questions and Answers and thought they would go really well together played one after another. Well, Goldfinger only went and did it! I spoke to Paul about this the next day and he claims that this was just a coincidence. The big highlight of the set for me was the song San Simeon which is probably my favourite Goldfinger song. Such a great song to sing along with. Something I noticed about the set was how well the songs sounded together, remember some of these songs were written over twenty years apart. Mable and Million Miles could have been written one after another if you didn't know better. Of course it wouldn't be a Goldfinger set without some covers thrown in. Of the nineteen song set they played five were covers - Nite Klub by The Specials, 99 Red Balloons by Nena, Just Like Heaven by The Cure, Knowledge by Operation Ivy and Feel Like Making Love by Bad Company.

Goldfinger absolutely smashed this set. I feel like we all had pretty lofty expectations and Goldfinger did far more than exceed them. I think it's been quite a long time since Goldfinger played a small DIY punk show such as this and it looked as if they had as much fun as the crowd did. This was one of those nights that was perfect in every single way – the band were great and so were the crowd. I can't remember the last time I saw a band as big as Goldfinger where the crowd was full of such sweethearts. Sure it was very rowdy but there was never a time where it got too much and everyone was genuinely looking out for each other. It was lovely to see – this is the magic of the New Cross Inn. Thanks to Goldfinger for coming over and playing the show and huge thanks to Paul for making this happen. It was something we won't be forgetting in a long time.

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

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