The boys were back in town! This looked set to be a fine night of Rock n Roll and punk! Three bands were set to play with The Vibrators topping the bill for this gig.
The Vibrators were founded by Ian ‘Knox’ Carnochan, bassist Pat Collier, guitarist John Ellis, and drummer John ‘Eddie’ Edwards. They first came to public notice at the 100 Club when they backed Chris Spedding in 1976. On Spedding’s recommendation, Mickie Most signed them to his label RAK Records.
The present lineup is Nigel Bennett – guitars and vocals, Pete Honkamaki – bass guitar and vocals and of course – the guv’nor, John ‘Eddie’ Edwards – on vocals and drums.
Drums: Eddie Edwards
Eddie took to the stage and shouted “Alright Brighton?” as Nigel and Pete climbed up onto the stage area and plugged in. Eddie keeps that beat going furiously, resplendent in his trademark England tee with John Lennon across the top. He swaps and changes The Vibrators vocal sections with Pete. Eddie’s drumming is astonishing – brimming over with power and brilliance. He gives the audience the thumps, the fills and patterns to please the ear and to go side by side with Pete’s bass lines. He clearly loves what he does – and so does the crowd.
Bass: Pete Honkamaki
On stage bassist Pete Honkamaki is very tall! He towered above me wearing a waistcoat/armless jacket and you couldn’t help not notice the array of inked tattoos on his arms. And his guitar is slung low, real low. You knew Pete was on stage and you knew he meant business! Pete was joined on stage by Nigel Bennett, who is now back in the Vibrators line up.
Guitar: Nigel Bennett
The acclaimed London-based rock guitarist, Nigel Bennett is best known as a lead guitarist who recorded and toured with the UK punk bands The Members and The Vibrators. The self-taught guitarist has long been considered by music fans to be one of the best lead guitarists on the punk music circuit.
The band delivered song after song, old and newer tracks. I had seen the band on their 40 year anniversary tour. The guys mentioned their new album was due any day and we were treated to some of the songs off that album through the set. Eddy powered up with the rolling drum intro – “Amphetamine Blue” belted out at the packed venue. Oh yeah – now we are cooking! The classic “Automatic Lover” fired up and now everyone who had been standing back from the stage hustled forward. This song has lost none of its gusto or vibrancy and the band powered it at us at full tilt. Nigel totally on point with the guitar work as Pete and Eddie delivered a blistering rendition. Brilliant!
Watch my single cam capture of Automatic Lover.
By now we were all in the Pure Mania mode. You have to be impressed with the way these three play, its fast and tight. Their back catalogue of songs in the set was a brilliantly crafted mix up of pub rock, punk, and a touch of blues. They carry this off without any of their songs sounding similar or tired. The Vibrators were not going to stop, we didn’t want them to. Nigel took over vocal duties for The Members classic – Sound of The Suburbs, he gave us a superb rendition, although his guitar lead decided it wasn’t going to play anymore – no worries – the vocals, the bass, the drums and the staccato guitar took nothing away from this classic. Pete came to his colleagues aid with a spare cable. This was live, this was rock n roll!
The drums thudded and Eddie stood up hands raised above his head as Nigel totally nailed the famous intro chords that led us into Baby Baby. This was the power of The Vibrators – Eddie piling in on the drums and leading the crowd. Pete absolutely nailing the bass riff and fills for this classic track and also leading the audience into a chant-a-long, brilliant Pete!, and then he is back to the mic to deliver the final lyrics as he beat the living daylights out of his bass. Pure mania, pure class.
My beer bottle empty, my camera card full I realised I had watched another great punk rock performance from these guys. I put my camera away and jumped in with the crowd to see the end of the set. It was hot, sweaty and pushy. I never saw them play ‘back in the day’ and therefore relished every second of this show in Brighton. The Guv’nor Eddie is now the only original from the first lineup. It was just great to talk to all the band members. I was explaining to Pete how tricky it had been with the camera and about my injury, a frozen shoulder. “You saying I am a pain in the neck?” – he said, “nope” I quickly replied and Pete laughed.
The Vibrators are punk rockers with history and attitude. They performed the set tight, sharp, fast, loud and proud.
Great night guys! oh and PS – keep an eye out for their new album – all details are here: Past, Present, Into The Future
The Vibrators are on Facebook
A great selection of T shirts etc at great prices. A band logo T – black with white logo or would set you back a very reasonable £12.00. The prices varied across the colour T range and again all reasonably priced. Badges and CD’s and Vinyl also on sale. A great selection and no rip off items – well done to The Vibrators! I grabbed a new copy of Mania – £10! A Bargain.
A great night of live music from a new promoter based in Brighton: Cheating Snakes Presents. It was a great night, great band selection.
The full line up :
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All pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ Scene Sussex/ Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2017.