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'London, Islington, Hope & Anchor, 25 May 2018'   

-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave'

Our Rating:
Yes I'm back at the Hope & Anchor's Rockaway Beach night for another top bill of glam garage punk rock for those of us that didn't get on the cheap list for The Rolling Stones gig at the Olympic Stadium. Yes, Rockaway Beach was packed out for 3 great bands although I have to admit I hadn't heard of Heavy Drapes before but wanted to see Moto Vamp and The Phobics again.

Of course it turns out that I recognise the Heavy Drapes' drummer from Rebellion as one of those drummers who usually plays in several different bands over the weekend and on this form I'll be doing my best to see them at Rebellion in August.

Moto Vamp opened things up with a good solid blast of garage rock with You Push Me Out: a good one to get things going as Lily Marlene lets us know what he did to push her out as the guy on the Vox guitar really gives it some.

The next song has lots of stuff about "Baby Come On" and what baby has done wrong over a cool riff and rock solid drumming - sort oF Blue Cheer at their poppiest. Love Slave is salacious enough and has a good dirty groove, which,coupled with Lily Marlene giving it her best Leather Tuscadero on the vocals means she will have a line of willing volunteers.

It's then time for the best dance craze of the night, Do The Dish. Yes, the instructions are to make like you're doing the washing up as let's face it if you're the love slave, it's your job right? The next song, meanwhile, flew right by with another classic Garage rock rumble.

Mechanical Love was one of the highlights of the set: a really great powerful song about the wrong sort of lover. I have the next song down as After The Show, during which Lily lists some of the things she wants to do after playing while her Epiphone battles it out with the guy on Vox.

Hey Boy has a bit of a false start but once they begin again it races along with some fine, buzzing guitar. They finish with one more primal garage rumble that seems to be about electric love. No idea what its real title is. Still they are a great opening band, well worth seeing.

Soon enough it was time for The Phobics and this is the fourth time I've seen them play in May in the last six years so it's becoming something of an annual tradition. This time I finally bought the band's album Deptford Calling which means I have a better idea of some of the song titles. But, hey, why spoil years of bad guesswork?

They open with a rather ramshackle take on No Faith where they do what they can to play in time with each other. Plenty of energy, but a bit too loose. Path Of Love was a lot tighter as they started to hit their stride and get things going with Moyni giving it everything he had.

Gentrification could easily be the song of the week as it was announced that Hackney has become the borough with the largest increase in million pound plus properties in the last year, making all the points Tom Crossley makes in the lyrics about all the houses being built not being for the likes of you and me seem all the more pertinent - especially as we are very close to Hackney's borders here tonight.

The songs started to fly by in an amphetamine rush of pummelled bass and splintering guitars. Tom sings about what happens round your way and About The Tourists has a wry humour while having a dig or two.

By this point in the set they were having trouble reading the set list so that Don't Leave Flowers On My Grave was announced as being Politics, which was actually the song following it with a good rush of bile that could only come from a bunch of Nearly Men like this lot.

They then played another new song that sounds like the old songs which is just fine. This preceded a good scramble through Burnt Rubber; a resonant biker punk anthem.

After the break Heavy Drapes hit us with some high octane punk which was tight and in our faces. The opening Number One had bags of attitude and some good crunchy guitars. I guess Right About That was next - at least that was the main theme of this adrenal blast.

Into The Blue flew past with loads of attitude and some fearsome sweat-drenched drumming propelling it at us. I don't know who the Janie of the lyrics is but I'm not sure how happy she'll be about the song they sing about her.

They then got their Juju on to take us all Night Trippin' and damn, hearing this you want to go and spend a night out with these guys. Things got more serious on Hanging Like A Suicide which was full of strong imagery backed up by the taut and dangerous music.

They never let up, playing at 100 miles an hour as songs flew by and everyone really got into it. I wish I knew what all the songs were but, well, I came at this blind and hopefully I'll know some more by the next time I see them. By the time they closed with I Wanna Be Maladjusted containing enough Ramones spirit to be perfect for Rockaway Beach they had got everyone eating out of their hands.

They came back for a well-earned encore and blasted into Neat Neat Neat. Inevitably, everyone sang along to it as they did during the last song of the evening: a super charged smash and grab of Search & Destroy that had as much of The Dictators attitude to it as a Stooges. Either way a great cover and a fitting end to another great night down on Rockaway Beach.
  author: simonovitch

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