The Gaye Bykers on Acid rolled into Brighton with guests The Priscillas. What a gig! What a night that was! We survived! Did you? Awesome!
Gaye Bykers on Acid/ The Priscillas, The Hope and Ruin 02/09/2023.
Gaye Bykers on Acid
Gaye Bykers on Acid were formed in late 1984 by Ian Reynolds (Robber) and Ian Hoxley (Mary). They were later joined by guitarist and art student Tony Horsfall and drummer Kevin Hyde. Their first gig was at The Princess Charlotte in Leicester in mid-1985.
Their first releases – the single Everythang’s Groovy and the Nosedive Karma EP – were both recorded in Leeds with Jon Langford of The Mekons, and released on the InTape label. They then signed to Virgin Records releasing the albums Drill Your Own Hole and Stewed to the Gills. Initial quantities of the vinyl version of Drill Your Own Hole were pressed without a hole in the centre, so it was necessary to drill your own hole to play it. The album spent one week at number 95 in the UK Albums Chart in November 1987.
They also played gigs (dressed in women’s clothing) under the name ‘Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds’, supporting themselves, and thus getting paid twice. They also performed as a fictitious East German thrash punk band “Rektüm” (they claimed to have jumped over the Berlin Wall), recording an LP Sakredanus and an EP Real Horror Show under the name. They took a small break and 25 years later they are back!
Mary Byker (Ian Garfield Hoxley) – vocals
Billy Boy Byker (Will Crewdson) – guitar
Robber Byker (Ian Reynolds) – bass guitar
Kev Byker (Kevin Hyde) – drums
I had arrived early to say hello to team Priscillas. Taylor was having her bass guitar fixed up and screws were being tightened as the guitar was closed up. Taylor was off to plug in her guitar and I said to the guy “could you show me where the GBOA people were?” He smiled and said “hello I am Robber Byker!”. I tried to cover up my faux pas as I hadn’t recognised him. “You are always in sunglasses and hats – I didn’t recognise you” We both laughed as Robber bounced off to continue with some pre gig stuff. Me, I just waited for the ground to open up and swallow me! It didn’t so I scuttled off to find a dark corner.
GBOA are an all out must have a good time band! The characters and sounds make them quite unique. Their fans turned up in large numbers to see them play, it’s been a while since their last Brighton gig. We are all mixing it up at The Hope and Ruin. It was busy but not packed, again probably due to rail disputes, so there was room for much dancing, having a blast of a time and moshing!
They originally, back in the day, started out in Leicester, a move followed to London and another move, to set up their base, this time in Brighton.
The GBOA outfit took to the stage with a swagger, and the reaction of the now grown in numbers crowd was anything but reserved! The crowd seemed to lose that start of a set composure over the appearance of GBOA. Effortlessly cool Mary and Robber fired it up, they launched into the set with the track Everythings Groovy, and in an instance, all was well with the world!
What followed was an exciting run through of songs picked from the back catalogue of GBOA material, the atmosphere feeling more and more electric as the band got further through the set. We all seemed to absorb this all-out entertaining sound and band performance from the get go. The crowd always picking up on the vibe as the set powered through.
There was something for everyone in the set of from the opening bars of the next song, Zen Express. This firmly kept everyone in the crowd in their euphoric state and in their own happy places. Brilliant stuff.
Chatting with Robber he said they had a great night in London the night before and how happy he was to see how so many made the gig with the train strikes. During the set it transpired some of the folk from the London show had hopped on a train, those that could find one, and headed to Brighton.
Motorvate and Delirium were next up. The laptop expertly handled by Mary gave us an almost Sigue Sigue Sputnik intro to some of the material. It was all very slick and well executed. Robber had told me the outfit he was wearing for the show tonight, and true to his word he was wearing a massive fluffy/latex n leather outfit. It was pretty warm at The Hope, I think I lost a few lbs, Robber must have been sweltering!
Damn, this band were tight! Robber on his bass working with Kev powering up the unforgiving rhythm through the set. On guitar was Billy Boy Byker. He started the set with a large leather jacket and a cool set of shades. He gave it 110% as he powered superb riffs and chugging guitars. Will also plays for Rachel Stamp and has been seen playing guitar with Adam Ant, along with Jola who had just finished a set with the mighty Priscillas. Leading from the front was Mary Byker. Some great vocals from Mary and some wonderful laugh out loud banter shared with Robber.
The set powered along with GBOA stuff including All Hung Up and the catchy Better off Dead. Not sure how to best describe this glorious noise being generated tonight as I have not Seen GBOA before, so here goes! It’s a wonderfully loud mix/mash up of punk rock and some hard and heavy metal guitar playing. There is a touch of dance, funk, and some samples thrown into te mix. It’s all wrapped and sugar coated by that thunderous bass played by Robber.
Part of the “grebo” scene, GBOA were missed, when many other bands in the scene went on to chart success. That’s a real shame after hearing their material and seeing them perform tonight. All of the songs picking up a thunderous reception, but the largest saved for the last songs of the set.
I have to say the GBOA fans were fabulous, there was a gathering of fans right at the front with me who did not stop dancing and singing all night. They also seemed to know all the words! About half way through the set a small mosh circle opened up. Time for me and my camera to move! There were fans up on the shoulders of other fans joining in with Git Down and Shoulders!
One More Song! To close the set we had an incendiary showing of Hot Thing and TV Cabbage! This almost visceral finale reignited the passion and vitality of everyone in the room, even those who were wilting in the heat! GBOA left us all satisfied but still wanting a little more.
Epic stuff and well played Gaye Bykers On Acid! Loved it!
Keep up to date with Gaye Bykers On Acid right here on the WWW
The Priscillas: The Queens of noise are back!
The Priscillas are:
Jen Drag – lead vocals
Val Kyrie – guitar and backing vocals
Taylor – bass and backing vocals
Jola – drums
The band have released a few singles two of which were played on Radio 1, BBC6 Music, and have released others and an EP. The Priscillas have also played sessions for Marc Riley on BBC 6Music. They released a great album 10,000 volts a while ago. New material is in the pipeline with possibly a new album on its way. The band has toured extensively, and have played with bands including The Cramps, The Damned, The Rezillos, The 5,6,7,8s, and many more.
The Priscillas really are a delightful band of musicians and it’s a real joy to have got to know them. The lights dimmed a little as the band took to the stage. Jola settled in behind the Gretsch drum kit, Taylor strapped herself into her bass guitar and Val gave her guitar a quick tune up and straitened her glasses. Jen Drag looking fabulous as always, that trademark red lipstick shining in the light as she took to the stage. I think they were set and ready to go! The crowd in the Queens Road venue were ready for the Queens of Noise!
The audience gave them a huge cheer as Val started up proceedings by playing the intro for a new song I think, Mystical. That song hurtled us into an oldie but goody Gonna Rip Up Your Photograph. The set was scheduled to be about 30 minutes so it was more music and not so much chat from Jen and the band tonight.
One of my favourite songs was up next, the fabulous single (All the way to) Holloway a great song full of terrific chords, bass and drum patterns and a great set of lyrics.
Two members of The Priscillas you might recognise from their recent outings. Val plays with the Lene Lovich band and Jola can be seen knocking six bells out of her kit with Adam Ant. Val said that sadly Lene has not been well recently, I wish her well and send her my best wishes.
TFL Chris and then YOY kicked the set further into a higher gear, both great songs loaded with Priscillas pin point lyrics. This was a new song, TFL, and then another from the back catalogue. I have seen the band play YOY a few times and I swear it gets faster each time they do it! It’s a stunning song to hear live, and one that the audience recognise and enjoy. Jens vocals powering at break neck speed, with Val and Taylor charging the song forward, and we were treated to Jolas powerful drumming skills, hell she works hard giving the power to the songs. Jola and Taylor adding to the song with rhythm and drum fills. Its a riff line like no other.
The Priscillas were on fire – they really meant business at The Hope and Ruin tonight. You could not help but fall under their spell as the set moved on. A new photographer for Brighton and Hove news, music team, was in the crowd. Elena said The Priscillas were cool. The crowd had grown considerably as the set progressed.
Make no mistake, The Priscillas are fantastic, professional musicians and singers. The vocals and harmonies were totally on point tonight. They want to have fun, and they want the audience to have fun, enjoy themselves and the music.
They are an exciting band to watch. They performed an energetic 30 minute set of original music with gusto and glamour. The Priscillas manage to sit on the boundaries of punk, rock n roll, and pop, they pull together to create balanced songs, attitude, and the audience friendly stomping beats. Jens vocals this evening, as always, were just fabulous. She was even joined with a vintage mini tambourine purchased many years ago.
A Priscillas gig is always hugely entertaining. Their sets will whisk you back in time with a tint of rock n roll, 60s fun and 70’s punk, always full of energy and and an altogether stunning array of finely tuned pop, all delivered with verve and a dash of feisty charm. Music can be fun, and a night out with The Priscillas? Well fun is always guaranteed.
The exciting and powerful new single is up next Angela. This one is a thought provoking number, but it has a chorus you will be humming for weeks. This song has been made single of the week by a couple of radio stations and received warm reviews. The subject matter is serious and the way The Priscillas have delivered this one is brave and remarkable. So far Angela has made it to number 13 in the 365 Radio, Top 40 Legacy charts! Well deserved!
“Angela is a reference to a poster #askforangela that hangs in women’s loos in bars, pubs and venues across the country which is part of a national Wave Campaign that deals with sexual violence and abuse in communities. ’Angela’ is a code word. If you feel unsafe you can ask the bar staff if Angela is there, and they will inform a trained member of staff to help.”
Sadly time was up, and Love you More ended the short but enjoyable set. I hope the band return soon for a full set soon. I love the new single (thanks for signing it Jen!), the new material is really invigorating and strong and let’s see and hear that new album soon.
Gotta love The Priscillas!
The Priscillas are on the WWW – keep up to date here!
Thanks to Robber Byker and the Gaye Bykers On Acid and The Priscillas.
Words, VIDEO and photos by Ian Bourn.
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