We only caught day two of the Get On With It punk weekender, though we hear Anthrax and Zounds (both pictured) stoked up a proper mosh pit on the Green Door Store’s cobbles on Saturday night.
Sunday got off to a decidedly Shaky start thanks to local loveable rogues Asbo Derek and their version of ‘Green Door’, knocked off in homage to the venue and with a cheeky nod to ‘California Uber Alles’. They may have been more shambolic than usual but a broken string and a couple of missed cues didn’t detract from their hilarious, diverse song subjects that saw singer Jem Price sing about ‘Bryan Ferry’s Ball Bag’, explain the grammatically correct way to order a coffee and an LGBT BLT, then attempt to sweet talk the earlybird crowd by calling us all ‘Thick As Shit’. A perfect start.
Bedford’s Fishwife’s Broadside proved to be a pleasant surprise with an accordion and recorder added to the usual set-up to give their bouncy songs a big folksy sound. Lead singer Andy made use of the whole stage and much of the dancefloor with a delivery that was part Fagin and part Artful Dodger. The three female members of the seven-piece provided some sweet harmonies on ‘Baldy Man’ and their whole set was a joyful raggletaggle racket.
A founder member of headliners Rubella Ballet, Pete Fender played a split set which began with acoustic songs like ‘Outside Looking In’ that had a ‘Hunky Dory’ feel before throwing on a Gibson SG and firing off an electrifying set of angry realism that climaxed with the anti-capitalist ‘Profiteer’ and no-more-war plea of ‘My Tears’ from his Omega Tribe days. You would never know that he hadn’t performed in over ten years and this was his first ever solo gig. Amazing.
Paul Stapleton’s POG were the first to wake up the dancers with a great set of jazzy polkas and unavoidably catchy melodic singalongs performed with gusto as Jo and Beth battled it out on sax and violin. Deacon Brown’s piano was prominent throughout and with songs as great as ‘Waiting For Dandelion Clocks’ and ‘Finding Hope In Unlikely Places’ they couldn’t fail.
After POG’s boisterousness it was down to spoken word maestro Andy T (Thorley) to bring some gravity to the proceedings with a passionate and heartfelt set of pieces that focussed on animal rights, the hypocrisy of organised religion and hard hitting topics such as his own sectioning and the cowardly murder of Sophie Lancaster. His humour and fine delivery in a Lancashire brogue were compelling and rapturously received. And yes, he still hates Thatcher.
The Sporadics travelled from Bournemouth and got the crowd bouncing with a set of frenetic ska-punk, including their own theme song that soon filled the room. Local legend Hugh from Dave’s Comics led the moshers on the heavy ‘Sick Of It All’ and the band, along with many others on the bill, paid tribute to the late Conflict drummer Paco Carreno.
If punk is about passion then Blyth Power (pictured) have it in spades. Joseph Porter’s songs mix politics with history and fantasy with reality to create a cross between Lewis Carroll and Crass. His powerful voice had a Kirk Brandon tremor when holding a note on the anthemic choruses and there was a mini hoedown during the countrified ‘Avatar’. They ended their Sunday Service with a rousing rendition of the hymn ‘To Be A Pilgrim’.
The ever-touring TV Smith (pictured) left his merch stall in Mrs Charlie Harper’s hands and did the fastest soundcheck in history before speeding through a 30 minute set of pure punk rock that saw new song ‘I Delete’ sitting comfortably alongside a host of Adverts classics that, of course, included ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’.
Dedicating their headlining set to Paco, Zilla and Sid’s Rubella Ballet (pictured) took no prisoners with two blistering hardcore openers – all pounding drums and grinding guitars. ‘Planet Punk’, the title track from their new album was more old school with a hint of X-Ray Spex’ playfulness and the set also veered off into space rock and punk funk territories. With the curfew called there was just time for original bass player Gem Stone to join in on ‘T (Emotional Blackmail)’ before the band filed off leaving only the bass and drums to fade out the weekend.
Promoter Paul Light should be chuffed with how the weekend went. He’s already announced that Get On With It will be back next year. A brave and sterling effort.
Get On With It, Green Door Store, Sunday 29th March 2015
Words by Steve Clements
Photos by Doug Elliot
Read our interview with Paul Light here.