Satanic Surfers / Mr. Zippy - live in Bristol (Cover Artwork)

Satanic Surfers / Mr. Zippy

live in Bristol (2005)

live show

Anyone who knows me also knows how much I adore the Satanic Surfers. I won't go into details about my almost embarrassing levels of love towards Rodrigo and the gang; this is a review, not The Sexual Life Of Alex M. Ahem.

For me, getting drunk for a show is a decision that occupies my thoughts for most of the preceding hours for some obscure reason. So far, I have a 100% record on keeping under the level of inebriation required for being incapable of recalling the previous night's show. However, this gig came the closest to breaching that unbeaten run, and it's all the fault of those damn farmer-like southerners and their locally brewed ciders. Even before the support act Mr. Zippy hit the stage in the intimate setting of Bristol's The Croft, I was well away, which would explain why I was constantly proclaiming their unrivalled greatness throughout their set. Upon listening to their latest CD Ambition Is Critical the next morning, it turns out they're not the second bast band in the world after all; more like a second-rate skatepunk act. The sort that is entertaining live, what with the speed, volume and surefire melodies, but is ultimately missing anything to keep you coming back. That actually sounds harsh. The CD is OK for what it is, but live they stepped it up and I was thankful. Thankful for the drummer twatting the crap out of the drums like he was posessed, for the tightness of the guitar work and to the band for having such a good time it rubbed off on the crowd.

The Surfers aren't exactly renowned for touring far and wide, having barely visited our fair isles, so I wasn't sure how they would be received. Especially in this, the dark days of skatepunk. However, the 150-strong crowd all seemed mostly postpubescent, so I was expecting good things as the band made their way through the crowd to set up and get going. The ringing first chord of "Callousness" was perfect to add that little bit of tension before the band ripped into it, and a small pit formed. Nothing insane, but enough to keep this individual happy, albeit slightly bruised. All the modern day Surfer trademarks were in place: The constant staring at the same point on the ceiling from Rodrigo, the never-ending smile from Andy, the head-bopping and turning on the spot from Magnus, the excellent guitar work from Fredrik and pounding drums from Robert. Fuckin' A, said I. All we needed now was the set list to match the performance. Fan favourite "Thoughts, Words, Action" came on early, keeping the set fast and moving well.

Unsurprisingly enough, there were no contributions from 666 Motor Inn (despite that being top-notch), and the only one from Fragments and Fractions was "Together." Great song, but not one of the best from that album. I will say however, that it worked really well in the set and provided some sing-along joy. "4am" was brilliant as always, "Worn Out Words" was played incredibly fast (probably making it the best track of the night), and "Equal Rights" was not pushed out to make way for the new material to my delight. Everything was just so much damn fun. By the time the 2-song encore of "Traditional Security" and "Head Under Water" came around, I was in heaven. The Surfers were loving the love from the crowd, I was loving them loving the love from the crowd, and the crowd were loving being in a crowd with so much love for the band who were loving that love. Basically, a love fest.

So why only an 8? Well, they lost a mark for not including two of the best songs EVER, "Whatever" and "Sail Away," and I took a point off to allow for the extra fun I was having from being wasted. Lesson learned from tonight: If you're going to puke, don't go outside. Chuck in the bogs. That way you won't be stranded outside for 2 hours in the freezing cold of a strange town because the shithead bouncers won't let you back in.

Set list:

  • Callousness
  • U + I R 1
  • Thoughts, Words, Action
  • Forclosure
  • Together
  • 4am
  • Rise
  • Worn Out Words
  • Gonzo Babbleshit
  • Restless Anger
  • Better Off Today
  • Wish You Were Here
  • Equal Rights
  • Weight on My Shouders
  • Treaty & the Bridge
  • Traditional Security
  • Head Under Water