Sunday 30 January 2022: The Prince Albert. Event by An Alternative Gathering: Brighton saw The Tonks, The Glorias and headliners The Phobics assemble for Punk Picnic 3. What an afternoon – from An Alternative Gathering.
I can highly recommend giving one of these “Punk Rock Picnics” a try. Even if you are not one for standing in front of the stage or standing next to a speaker, you could still walk away having had a brilliant afternoon – Scene Sussex.
The Tonks, The Glorias and The Phobics.
The audience in The Prince Albert created a wonderfully jubilant atmosphere thanks to the recent abandonment of Covid restrictions and of course due to the fabulous live music we were treated to. No masks, unless you chose to wear one. The crowd did seem well spaced out, giving each other room. It was busy and great to see that mutually shared respect and leaving space. Great crowd!
Ok dear reader gonna start from the top of the picnic menu –
THE PHOBICS Formed in Deptford a few years back by punk survivors and misfits with a love of raw rock n roll LAMF! The Phobics formed in Deptford in 1999 by a bunch of punk survivors and misfits with a love of raw rock n roll and sick of a smug and complacent music scene. The Phobics are in no way shrinking violets! They hit you full on as soon as they hit the floor. It’s a beautiful thing! These guys have combined energetic vocals with punk fuelled melodies, hitting you with finely crafted pure, raw rock n roll, and embedded are those crafted sentiments, observations and stories the song lyrics portray and deliver. It is a special thing.
The Prince Albert numbers had increased throughout the afternoon. Which was great to see. There were members of The Witchdoktors present, The Derellas frontman Timmy and 2/3rds of Dead Hombres. Punk Legend Charlie Harper was also in the venue.
The bass at times was played like a lead guitarist, with some hot guitar playing from stage left and right. They all pulled off some damn admirable playing during their set. Five unique band members, put them together and you have The Phobics.
Paul Mathie – guitars / Tony Moynihan – bass / Tom Crossley – vocals / Charlie Gurney – drums / Jeffrey Wallace – guitars
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It was clear these guys were not here for the sake of playing, they were here giving us a polished show, they put on a real performance that us punk lovers could lose ourselves within. These guys are passionate and it shows from the get go. As I said to Tom, I really hope they are planning more gigs! They have some cracking new material so perhaps a wider generation of music lovers and gig goers would love to get the chance to appreciate what they do. We do!
The guys have a blistering album out Burnt Rubber, and it is really rather good! No fillers on this album. And the first track from the album was the opener with Gentrification followed with Like A Child. What an opening salvo. Damn that was good! A chat from Tom introducing the next one Die Slowly.
Tom is quite the showman and clearly felt very comfortable on the large stage as he spoke to us between songs. Starting off in a suit, changing down to a leopard print shirt and as the temperature increased sported a black T Shirt. He has quite a punk and rock and roll history behind him. Tom also provided some fine chat between songs, before the band took off and launching us into the next Phobics tune.
Another track from the album Don’t Lay Flowers On My Grave and Hang Ten blistered through the air.
They play super catchy pop-punk rock that sits somewhere between Heartbreakers, Buzzcocks and New York Dolls. The tunes are off the charts and we were treated to tracks from the new album Burnt Rubber. There is barely a second’s pause between each song. It’s as if the five-piece – with splayed legs and guitars raised aloft – are racing against the early curfew of 5pm. In the middle of it, is the cool, calm and collected front man Tom, who continued to deliver and engage. Great job.
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The set was 100% what I had hoped for. It was a joyous buzzing blast of punk rock and roll. Gotta shout for the song P.H.O.B.I.C.S. Now if you have heard the track R.A.M.O.N.E.S. written by Lemmy from Motörhead for the brudders Ramones, you will no doubt get smacked round the ears with this. Its err very close to that original, but the words have been changed. Its an absolute stomper of a track from the album and was great to hear it live! Its brilliant and am sure the previously mentioned would have enjoyed hearing it.
I had waited a long time to see The Phobics, and boy was it worth the wait, and then to share a beer with the band and later chat with Tom. It really was a perfect gig for me. Thanks guys. It was a joy to talk to you all.
“BURNT RUBBER IS A MAGNIFICENT CELEBRATION OF ALL THAT IS GREAT ABOUT ROCK’N’ROLL AND IS A TRUE TESTAMENT TO WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED IN A DIY WORLD”
Ian Corbridge, Louder Than War Jan 2020
The Phobics are on Facebook here.
And have a listen to the new album Burnt Rubber and all good things from The Phobics here on Bandcamp.
Portsmouth based outfit provided us with some urgent choppy guitars, 100 mile an hour drum playing and vocals, If ever you needed a lesson in how to knock out a great tune that lasts less than two minutes, then look no further than The Glorias. Glorious! This combo looks great and kick out sounds that are fresh and pack a punch. It’s very noisy and fast.
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The band encouraged the audience to get moving and come closer, which we all did.
Oh boy we got ear-worm guitar hooks and tunes, some fine lyrics, mixed in with some memorable guitar work that seems to just complement what The Glorias do. It’s stripped back, fun and catchy pop-punk. Some tunes from these guys included the fabulous Magic Money Tree as the set opener, and No Mercy. Two top tracks brilliantly played to get things going!
Other tracks we were dealt included Better Than This, All I Want, Glorious and things closed with Cant Stand The Reign. During the lockdown, The Glorias released a 12-inch single on a variety of coloured vinyl. A collaboration with Tony Smith and Sounds of the Suburbs music store, one side featured two tracks from The Glorias, Murder in the First Degree and Here Come The Blues. The other side had two tracks from my friends, South London power punks, Plague UK. We had both those songs this afternoon and it was bloody brilliant to hear those songs live!
Their stage presence was impressive with the band truly taking control as they fired through the set and on some fine stage banter. These guys looked as if they were having a good time – I know we were. Check out their latest album “The Moral High Ground”. The Glorias were simply Glorious! Come back soon please!
Keep in touch with The Glorias on Facebook here.
“If it’s got more than 3 chords, it’s Prog Rock. We don’t do Prog Rock, even though we use more than 3 chords, occasionally.”
This fine little band from Kent include Fred Davis, Dec Kelly, Phil McDermott and Mike Davis.
One of the most joyous parts of being at a post-punk gig has to be the diversity of the fans of live music and the genre itself. The Prince Albert was busy and so good to see a large friendly crowd who stayed and enjoyed every band. Opening up the proceedings were The Tonks on their first trip to play in Brighton.
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We were just in time to catch Kents own The Tonks. Happy to report the opening salvo was proper punk. Live, loud and plenty of energy was witnessed during their performance. Their sound and music encouraging the audience to get moving, shake those heads and move those feet to the raw polished power sound coming off the stage.
Their sound is real and the best way I can describe it other than that is, honest…. Honest! It’s rough, ready and exciting. It’s real. They had an unconventional set-up with the drums, one snare, kicker and two cymbals. Extraordinary playing made it sound like a full kit. A tambourine graced the stage as did a megaphone. Great fun and a great set.
Its clear these guys know what they are doing. they play tight and then some hilarious band banter between the songs. Some of the tracks played for us included Back to the 70’s, RNR Therapy, and Dont Do Nuffin Abaat it. There was mention of an album coming. Fingers crossed guys! Loved Wanna Dance (Wotcha Gonna Do) and the set ended with Heart Stops Beating. Enjoyed the set and hope they may head back down this way again soon.
You can keep up with The Tonks here on Facebook.
A good punk gig atmosphere and sound is like, well dear reader you really do need to be there. But every band gave it their all this afternoon. There was real passion in every band for the music they perform and adore. I am going to leave it there, but whether you like Punk Rock or you don’t, I can highly recommend giving one of these “Punk Rock Picnics” a try. Even if you are not one for standing in front of the stage or standing next to a speaker, you could still walk away having had a brilliant afternoon.
A Huuuge shout out to Andy C and An Alternative Gathering
This event was the third Punk Sunday Lunch, and was organised by An Alternative Gathering. I will not miss the 4th lunchtime outing 20 March 2022! Cant wait.
Words: Ian Bourn. Photos: Ian Bourn.
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