Yesterday my headphones stopped playing in the middle of a Youtube clip, worse still in the middle of a good rousing song. The problem had to be my faithful Trust wireless headphones and i cursed the technology gods for now i would have to return to wired. I tried the receiver in different USB ports, twiddled knobs and replaced drivers to no avail. Continue reading
For as long as i can remember, and granted this will vary on a daily basis, i have always been an Anthrax fan. Even when they made the occasional dud song or Joey went a bit too hair metal with the vocals, the rock solid chest stomping, heart pounding riff machine combo of Scott and Charlie always made it worth while. Continue reading
Growing up in my privileged middle clash suburbia in South Africa, skateboarding and living the American dream through punk bands like Black Flag, Dead Kennedy’s, Pennywise, Bad Religion and Face to Face, i never dreamed back then that 20 years later i would be standing stage side as the pillars of my youth belted out the anthems that gave my life meaning. Obviously they’re not all around in the same guise but some remain, and this year i have been lucky enough to see 4 bands from my youth. Pennywise, Less Than Jake and on wednesday, after 20 years of waiting, i eventually got to see Face to Face and The Descendents. Live! 3 meters from where my sweaty palms gripped the edge of the stage.
Wednesday 24th August 2011 will be a night i will remember for a very long time. The venue was the O2 Academy in Brixton which is a fantastic place to watch live music. It’s got the slightly sloping floor that is the character of the old theaters which means you can see the bands no matter how far back you get stuck.
However this was no gig for relaxing at the back or admiring from the 33 row, oh hell no! This was in the pit, sweaty masses jumping and pushing, hand on the stage as we shouted out the wisdom of 20 years of punk rock freedom. The energy was fantastic and although the pit can be a scary place for the newcomer it’s an experience that changes how much of your heart gets put into the moment. One mosher went down in the pit and those around him instantly threw up a protective ring and yanked him to his feet. God i was proud in that moment! That was the heart of punk right there, that was what punk is all about! Fun, energy, belief and comaraderie.
With Face to Face we shouted at the injustice of the world, called out government lies, lamented the complexity of relationships and life and eventually The Descendents rolled it all up quite nicely with the classic ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’ and that was good enough for me.
At the end of it all i’d jumped around with a few hundred strangers to the best band i’ve ever known, hands on the stage shouting out the words to their memory defining Disconnected and then been crowd surfed to the front as The Descendents sang another great song i can’t remember. I do remember them covering Black Flags’ Nervous Breakdown.
It was the best time ever and i wish you were there.