Score. Not only did I get to see Comeback Kid and the Legacy, I got to check out Bane and finally attend a punk rock gathering at the almost legendary TJ's in Newport. I'd heard so much about that place and it didn't let me down.
Me and my weirdly accented friend got in just after 8 to find out we'd already missed 2 bands who I couldn't find out the names of, but considering doors were advertised as half after 7, this came as a bit of a surprise. No matter, as the band who were playing at the time were rocking it all over the shop. They went by the name of FC Five and were having the time of their lives. I caught about 3 songs by 'em and enjoyed their straight-ahead and fast hardcore very muchly. Why the crowd found the vocalist screaming "ARIGATO!" at the end of their set so damn funny is beyond me...they're Japanese, what's so hilarious? Anyway, recommended band.
The Legacy took the stage soon after when a Nothing Nice-esque moment actually occurred, to the annoyance of the quite-portly rhythm guitarist. Sudden silence + "Fat Bastard" = Awkward moment. Nevertheless, they ripped into the set and the crowd went wild. Wild that is, in the context of a band third down the bill. You know, a few floor punches and ninja kicks here and there, and things progress nice and smoothly. Pete and I were expecting big things, as we both loved their EP We Gave It Everything. 3 songs from that, 2 new ones and 2 covers later (finishing on the superb "Man Overboard"), they had delivered and lived up to the title of their EP, but to be honest, they were about to be both out-played and out-rocked (despite the incredibly distinctive playing stance of the lead guitarist).
Having never really listened to Bane that much, I took my position at the back of the pit so I could take in their wholesome rocky goodness. Now let me say that the guys in Bane are a scary-looking bunch. Not only that, by the time they got to the second song, "Can We Start Again," the crowd were going absolutely bananas (as in B-A-N-A-N-A-S). I've really never seen anything like it…like 90% of the crowd were all rushing to get onto the same square foot of space to scream "GO BACK TO WHAT IT MEANT BACK THEN" into the mic. Incredible. That only upped the rockage and Bane played like their lives depended on it, with the 2 guitarists being shit hot. The only other tracks I recognised were "Ante Up," along with "Swan Song." Emo moment: The pre-song "rant" for this was easily the best I've ever heard at a gig, and it actually really…moved me. The vocalist explained how the song was about making promises to people and how others can rely on just the slightest of words from us and how important it is to never let people down. It may not sound much to you, but this little speech was a thirtyseconds-changing moment (see end of review). Overall, great set from Bane and I will be definitely buying up some of their stuff. Can anyone recommend their best LP?
Finally, Comeback Kid graced us and you could cut the tension with a knife. Everyone knows they start on "False Idols Fall," and for days before the gig I couldn't stop repeating the "YOUR TIME IS UP!" line in my head. It was driving me nuts and I couldn't wait to scream it down the mic; so when that moment arrived all hell broke loose as I think about 30 other people had the same idea as me. Nice. It was after this song I realised something I didn't know about Comeback Kid: That Rob Thomas plays guitar for the Canadian fivesome. Odd. He's also got a beefy voice, despite the lack of growling. I was expecting "My Other Side" next; however, "Step Ahead" did just fine. The set was every bit as good as I thought it would be; "Wake the Dead" was amazing as expected, although "Our Distance" was easily the best performance. Two of the slower tracks from their recent full-length, "Partners in Crime" and "The Trouble I Love," possibly got the best reactions from the crowd, which surprised me, although the ensuing crowd-walking and hanging from lights was appreciated by yours truly.
Okay, so despite the intense and amazing rocking on display that night, I have another reason why this gig deserves a ten. Until that night, this reviewer had a severe gambling addiction which he couldn't shake off. This changed everything. You know when you're at a gig and occasionally you get the moment where you realise just how important and close punk rock is to you and how sometimes nothing else really matters? You look around at the flying bodies and just think "I live for this"…well, I had a major one of those. That, along with the aforementioned Bane's instigated emo moment helped me to finally, after months of battling, kick the habit. I left my new favourite venue with not enough pennies for even a pack of crisps for the 6-hour train back the next day (fuck you fruit machines) knowing I was a brand new person. Thanks to all the bands, and Pete for a place to stay.
Comeback Kid set list:
- False Idols Fall
- Step Ahead
- Partners in Crime
- Die Tonight
- Saving Face
- Our Distance
- Talk Is Cheap
- The Trouble I Love
- All in a Year
- Wake the Dead