U.K. Subs play the Brickyard, Carlisle, England
Charlie Harper – vocals & harmonica
Jet – guitar
Alvin Gibbs – bass
Jamie Oliver – drums
Charlie, Jet and Jamie photos courtesy of Gemma Eggle (Libra Snake Photography)
No copying of Gemma's work without permission.
Alvin Gibbs photo by Patrick Kerrane.
Pictures and review on "the biggest archive of the Alternative Music Scene in Wales & Liverpool" website:
Cheers to Neil Crud for the above, which is also archived below:
The Brickyard, Carlisle.
Thursday 8th July 2010
Review by Anna Kissed, Pics by Sean Duval-Todhunter & Anna Kissed
Who would have thought a Thursday night on a back street in Carlisle would bring in an act like the UK Subs. Well The Brickyard is certainly filling many voids with todays live music hard times hosting bands like The Damned, Sham 69, Freebase, Goldblade, Kasabian, Vice Squad and The Slits. The UK Subs are a band that have always been punk cannon fodder always able to pull in a reasonable number of Neanderthal followers, so this gig should prove no different.
Formally known as The Richmond Hall, or The Richmond Memorial Hall, the venue itself is over 100 years old and has been a key figure in the Carlisle music scene. The Richmond Hall was renovated revealing it's natural red brick walls and reopened on new year's eve 2002 to the new name of The Brickyard with a capacity of 350 sweaty music lovers.
When I got there, they venue was running a bit late as the Subs didn't get there till 6 "o"clock, probably due to the age of their clapped out tour van proudly supporting a Carlisle United Sticker on the bonnet kindly put there by a fellow fan when they last played in Penrith.
Unfortunately my review of the support bands isn't great as I spent most of the time outside 'avin a fag catching up with old friends, plus I find that since the smoking ban took place you end up blethering more to folk, then smoking more than you would have had you been able to smoke indoors, therefore defeating the purpose of the ban. Although those that are against passive smoking might disagree with me, I tend to find the more interesting conversations and people take place outside with fags in hand, plus you get to meet smoking members of the bands and get their crack. Tonight was the night of lending my lighter to the lovely Jet Storm (Sub's guitarist).
So back to the support act's. First up was a teenage band called State Control. Half of them looked to be about 12 years old and from trying to do some follow up research on them are probably too young to use the internet but my word they managed to pull off some covers with true panache. It amazed me that kids so young could play so well, know about the likes of vice sqaud to sing about and look absolutly amazing! At that age I generally rebelled against my parents, but I think these kids are from a new generation where they have been heavily influenced by theirs.
Stood at the back of the room was Charlie Harper, next to the merchandise stall with a bottle of becks in hand, this was my opportunity to be my usual pushy self and ask for the token photo with the icon who I still can't get over the fact is 66 years old and still has a full head of hair, even though his bleach job is not a patch on Captain Sensible's which is slightly dissapointing considering he was a former hairdresser, maybe he realised hairdressing was not his forte so started up The UK Subversives in 1976. Unfortunately the bloke that took the photo managed to get a great shot of a double chin that I seem to have aquired just for the occasion. Aghast at the shot, although it was a great one of Charlie, I went outside for another fag and to do some chin wag exercises. I missed most of the next band called Distortion, although what I did catch sounded OK. Many people were asking Charlie to sign posters which he seemed to be quite enjoying as he gets to practice his stubble faced characterture, one of the guys apparently liked it so much he got Charlie to draw it and sign his name on his body so that he could go to a tattoo artist the following day and have it traced over! Well Carlisle isn't that far from Sellafield is all I can say! Charlie was also selling his old T-shirts for 2 quid for charity, which seemed quite reasonable for a bit of OAP sweat, although I'm not sure which charity the proceeds were going to, hopefully a new van for the Subs!
I wanted to catch The Exiles, a great Carlisle band who have been lucky enough to recently support The Sex Pistols Experience and Towers of London. Phil Exile sang most of the set with an army hat on which he admitted got a bit heavy after the second song, but he kept on going. Again my review is a bit sketchy as I went to the bar and bumped into Charlie again, taking the opportunity to tell him that I wasn't happy with my double chinned photo and would he pose for another. After realising that I'm a bit of a nutter he agreed, with a pint of beer in his hand this time and his perfected pose of the pointed finger. It is a spike on every punks dog collar to have a photo taken with Charlie, but my question to you is, does anyone have a photo of him without a drink in his hand?
The venue had filled up throughout the evening, with people supposedly aged from 14 to 70. The new wave punks were like butterfly pupae, you don't see them all winter then they magically appear out of their cocoons enmasse looking very colourful. I had no idea that so many kids have taken on this trend, which begs the question that society really does need a new fashion/rebellion to get their teeth into as none of them had even been born when the Subs first started playing! Although as with every generation they probably think that they invented Punk. It was as if we had been taken back in time to 1976 with the front half of the room pogoing to the entire set under a lager shower. The only difference between now and then is the kids supposedly have better hair gel now to perfect their mohawks. Although they need to go back to glue and eggwhites as todays hair products just don't hold up throughout an entire Subs gig. The number of floppy do's was quite disappointing at the end of the evening. As I mentioned before, if the kids hadn't have just invented punk, then they would have known how to master the perfect Mohawk!. The other notable hair style was the Bi-Crosshawk with a bald patch in between!
The UK Subs have had numerous line ups throughout the years, although always with frontman Charlie. Some people argue that a band should only consist of the original members, but the Subs have managed to pull it off, and this could be a factor in attracting such a diverse audience. They still keep to the format of most songs lasting about 90 seconds so you get loads of tunes for your money. Most of the set consisted of the old classics, but they have been working on a new album called "Work in Progress" which should be ready by December, they have so far written 16 tracks which probably amounts to about half an hours worth of music, another 8 tracks should do the trick!
A member of the audience bought Charlie a bottle of beer and a pint mid set which went down well, Charlie said the more booze he gets the more songs we get! Seems a fair deal. At this point the audience were then asked to join them onstage to sing Warhead. Mass exodus onto the stage and all of a sudden it was Karaoke night at the brickyard. Charlie had a group of backing singers for the rest of the evening! Regardless of bleeding eardrums, the whole room was jumping!
At the end of the set, the band had had such a great reception that Charlie shouted out "you've been bloody brilliant" and invited everyone in the room to be on the guestlist for the next gig in Aberdeen which is much further away from nuclear reactors so the chances are the crowd would be a lot less mental up there. The moral being if you want a rent a crowd, come to Carlisle unless we're Down on the Farm of course!
Left For Dead
Bitter & Twisted
Keep on Running
Down on the Farm
I live in a car
Party in Paris
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BARBIE'S DEAD - THE POP ART PAINTING!
A 'Pop Art' acrylic painting, based on the U.K. Subs song Barbie's Dead, by Chris P. Jones, on wood board and framed, measuring 28 x 20 inches was placed for aution on eBay on 8 July 2010.
Below and above are images from the auction, click them to enlarge.