The Bullet Kings - Live in Wakefield DVD (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Bullet Kings

Live in Wakefield 📀 (2010)


The Bullet Kings are a trio from the Manchester area of England who specialise in solid, no-thrills punk rock. Musically, they are reminiscent of some of the UK82 type bands but have more in common with the venerable Charlie Harper and the UK Subs, a band to which they have strong links.

This live DVD was recorded in front of a sparse crowd in Wakefield and the lack of numbers does not diminish the effort the band put into their performance and how this comes across. This is not a one-camera effort with poor sound, as there are a number of views on offer, and a very strong guitar sound comes across that highlights the talents of Carl Arnfield who can also be found plying his trade in other bands such as the Great St Louis and the Arthritic Foot Soldiers.

Although short, featuring only eight live tracks, you get some of the Bullet Kings' stronger songs, including a handful off the recent Long Time Dead album. Vocally, Wilf has quite a gruff, throaty delivery, although he does his best to hold onto the tunes within the songs. With Andy battering the hell out of his drums, it is left to the aforementioned Carl to show what he can do with six strings. It is without doubt this guitar work that gives this band the little bit extra, with leads well-placed throughout the songs and a really crunching sound.

Perhaps the strongest track is "Brand New Disgrace," which sees the band peaking in the live situation, although this is pushed quite closely by "My Country,"a slower song trying to encapsulate the current state of the UK and many other countries.

Somehow this DVD reminds me of the live video that Hüsker Dü released of their first UK show which was filmed for a regional television station--poor turnout, good sound and showing how a band can show their mettle when almost just playing for themselves.

In addition to the live tracks, the DVD also features three videos for the songs "Godforsaken Town," "My Country" and the World Cup song "Raise Your Glass for England." The first two are done in black and white, which adds to the atmosphere and what the songs are trying to convey. The last one was obviously supposed to assist England win the World Cup this year--it didn't help much! I do love the shots of the bands playing their instruments in the snow with Andy using a snow shovel as a guitar, though--very amusing.

As a limited release, this is a quality product which should appeal to those who like their punk with one foot in the eighties and the other in the new millennium.