You’re a few years overdue…..
Even though this song wasn’t in the set, I thought it a relevant title regardless. It was the first UK gig the Get Up Kids had played since they reformed in 2008. This, for old school emo/pop punk fans,iva was a huge deal. It would be a monster of gig. A concert to end all concerts. It would be…………at the Dog?
For those who don’t know the Dog and Partridge is to be fair, the best pub in Bolton, but it’s still in Bolton, so we were super lucky to have such a titan of a band play in such a dump. (I actually LOVE the dog, so all insults are said with utter affection.) The gig was arranged because the band are super cool friends with the owner (I think) of the Dog, a lovely man named Ivan. Anyway, who gives a fuck about why, let’s get into what actually happened!
The gig started with Special Agent Set, a local band with sounds somewhere between Hot Water Music, Teenage Bottle Rocket and Belvedere. Unfortunately for the band, there were not many people in attendance at this point, but everyone who was there was clearly loving every single punk rock second of it. Singer Joe Barlow finished the set with the words, “This is best thing to ever happen to Bolton,” which, bar myself, is so fucking true.
The second band were Wot Gorrila, (Wot a shit name) who unfortunately, in my opinion, did not suit the mood of the gig one bit. One audience member described them as a “watered down version of the Mars Volta,” but I feel even that is giving them too much credit. Not to be too hard on the band, but it seemed their sound would have been more suited for the more avant-garde selection of NME readers, not for a punk rock show. I can not fault their skill on their instruments, they were very technical and some of the licks between vocals were often pleasing impressive, but this wasn’t enough to save the band from what seemed to be a very mediocre set. I said it then and I’ll say it now, the band came across with such a pretentious attitude, I’m surprised the band did not play with antique lamps and old oak chairs as props, very contemporary my dear. Cup of tea and a crumpet?
Finally, the moment of truth was here, the Get Up Kids took the stage, the cardboard stand on slanted concrete stage, but I’m sure it mattered not to them, the place was so packed I’m pretty sure at least 20 people couldn’t actually see the band play. I was not one of these people using the clever technique of standing on a step. Easily the best seat in the house.
The band tore into their set starting with “Coming Clean” and ripping through classic GUK tracks like “Action & Action,” “One You Want” and “Holiday.”
Unfortunately at this point the crowd did not seem very enthusiastic, something I found very disappointing for an event as awesome as this one. Luckily as the night went on this dynamic shifted and the back garden of this little pub soon became an explosion of hard rocking to pop punk grooves.
Though the band had just released an E.P at this point, they played minimal new tracks (I think there was only one,) this was a gig for the fans, a show of crowd sing-a-longs, jokey banter and crappy beer. What else could you ask for?
By the end of the bands set the crowd was almost going arse over tit during “Ten Minutes,” easily one of the bands most famous and upbeat tunes. Whether this was due to uneven flooring, copious alcohol intake or just an ultimate enthusiasm for such a fan-fucking-tastic band (probably all three,) the crowd had clearly drooped their earlier stoicism and switched it for a shit load of vigour and lobe scratching smiles.
I was unsure of how the band would handle the encore process, seeing as there was very little room to “walk off stage” in the usual manner, but after a quick breather in a make-shift pagoda styled tent, the band were back to give us two more slices of GUK magic, returning with two covers “Beer for Breakfast” originally by the Replacements, and the Cure classic, “Close To Me.”
And that was it, it was over and a feeling of sorrow washed over the audience. Nah, did it fuck, everyone left totally stoked at having been part of an easy contender for the best gig of 2010, if not ever.
My personal highlight of the set was “Red Letter Day,” because it’s ace.
Oh! The owner of the Dog isn’t Ivan it’s a man named Nigel Piper, so super big thanks to him too!