Three artists and bands in Lewes on a Sunday Night at the Con Club: Alvin Gibbs and the Disobedient Servants, Criminal Mind and Charlie Harper. What a night!
(Scroll down for Criminal Mind and Charlie Harper)
Lewes Con Club was THE place to be on Sunday 8 September. Alvin Gibbs and the Disobedient Servants were headlining a show with support from Criminal Mind and the legendary Charlie Harper! See, I told you it was the place to be! I travelled through to Lewes sharing a train journey with DeRellas bass man Timmy and his lovely wife Debs. Chatting about loads of stuff and some of the great nights they have set in London for their Rockaway Beach nights in London. A quite literal breath taking climb up the hill from the station to the venue followed. Arrival!
Alvin Gibbs and the Disobedient Servants
Formed by UK Subs and ex-Iggy Pop bassist Alvin Gibbs after the critical and commercial success of his first solo single and album for Time & Matter Records, ‘Ghost Train’ – released November 2018 – and ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ – released January 2019 – respectively, the Disobedient Servants feature the core threesome of Gibbs on lead vocals and bass guitar duties, UK Subs’ drummer Jamie Oliver and Ruts’ guitarist Leigh Heggarty. This primary trio will additionally be joined whilst touring by invited guest musicians from the pool of talent that contributed to both records awarding the band a flexible live look and a regularly rotating enhanced sound. Lewes was treated to a visit from Steve Crittall – Steve last seen with The Godfathers.
The nature of the music resolutely reflects Gibbs’ key influences over five decades: 1977-style Punk rock, Glam rock and 1960’s/70’s Garage and classic rock ‘n’ roll – and this will be the ear fare that the Disobedient Servants will be serving up when they take to the road for the very first time in June 2019. I had good things about these guys and they had put in a top set at Rebellion this year. I had been waiting and watching and hoping they would head south, and boy, I am so glad they did. This “supergroup” were ready…
Alvin Gibbs and the Disobedient Servants: The Band.
Leigh Heggarty working his magic on his Gibson. A trusty trademark hat pulled down over his forehead, he always seems to be enjoying playing. I last caught Lee in Brighton at the superb RUTS DC gig in Brighton at Concorde 2.
Jamie Oliver, the man at the back on drum kit. A quick chat and he was away to prep up for the set. He is so busy touring with Alvin and also a raft of UK SUBS dates on the horizon.
Steve with Leigh on guitars supplied the buzz on guitars. Leigh was a member of The Godfathers. It was great to see this guy doing what he does.
So, ok now you’ve met the band, but what happens if you mix up half of the the legendary outfit U.K. Subs and mix it up with some big names in punk? The answer is Alvin Gibbs and the Disobedient Servants. The background intro started up letting everyone know the band were about to let it rip. The set opened up with Arterial Pressure and quickly followed by the last single release Ghost Train – superb! The sleeve for the physical release of that single was designed by Gaye Advert/Black who was in attendance for the show tonight. Between the songs Alvin shared stories with the audience, which seemed to get longer and more humourous each time the band stopped. Some great insights Alvin – thank you for the memories and stories.
Before I go any further I have to say, this was an inspiring blast of a live performance as each punk icon played as if their lives depended on it. An absolute out pouring of pure punk/rock energy from these four. Two songs in and it was great to see punks very own Queen, Jordan, mixing it large with the crowd alongside Gaye Black. I said at the very start reader that this was the place to be, the evidence to support that statement was being unleashed before our very eyes.
A couple of Alvins compositions fired at us in quick succession Bordeaux Red, and a further UK Subs track Drag Me Down. The set was awesome, a great selection of material and it was clear it had been put together with care. To reflect his time with Iggy we were presented with two absolute bangers, I Got A Right and Down On The Street. More great tunes fired at us and then Leigh took charge of the mic, oh yes… the sublime Ruts DC In A Rut, which was welded together with the UK SUBS Warhead and then back again. Charlie Harper appeared and took charge of Warhead and led the assembled in Lewes on an adrenaline charged version.
These guys nailed an absolute storming set. And their reputation for a live band and performance lived up to what I had heard and hoped to expect. It was lovely to meet Alvins sister as she had not seen him play with his new band before, after the set she had a huge smile and yes she had thoroughly enjoyed it.
Deep as our Skin and 1969 brought the set to a close. Stand out moment was the chaotic track Back To Mayhem, Alvin has a great voice and with this band behind this was a live track that bristled with electricity and pure with raw energy. Well played guys – come back soon!
Alvin Gibbs and the Disobedient Servants are on Facebook here.
I caught these guys on a wild hot night in Brighton back in 2017. Charlie Harper of UK SUBS told me about these guys, and so glad he did. These guys are louder than a Jumbo jet and a damn sight faster. These guys were loud, really loud and rocked us hard for about 35 minutes. These guys have style and pedigree. Criminal Mind have released 2 albums, the last was in 2015, and they have shared the stage with acts such as The Ruts, The Exploited, GBH, Discharge, The Buzzcocks, UK Subs, Sham 69, H20, Cockney Rejects, The Restarts and many more. They are a class act.
The Criminal Mind band members are still Josh, D, Abel and Jake, which is good to see and explains how they are such a tight unit. Who’s Got Your Back, Dirty Tricks and You’ll Never Take Us Down were up tonight.
They charge about the stage, swapping vocal duties and mics when disaster struck. A guitar stopped working and Jamie Oliver stepped up to try and help the guys and Leigh Heggarty offered up one of his guitars. The band became a trio for a short while, but still sounding huge! Technical issues sorted and the band were back up to full power. These guys are awesome. They put across their own style pulling influences from many bands, not copying anyone, it is a unique sound. And yes, hands up reader, I was a fan first time I saw them. They were just as I remembered them.
A barn stormer of a set, pure energy, buzzing guitars, bandanas and drums all backed up and armed with a bag full of great tunes. Catch these guys offer up a slice of raw punk, and you will be hooked!
Nice job. I recommend going to see these guys if you like it loud and fast and if they play anywhere near you. They are playing in London at the 229 and then back out supporting Sham 69.
Criminal Mind are on Facebook
A short set from UK SUBS frontman Charlie Harper opened up the evening. A short, but very sweet set. I have been so lucky to have seen Charlie doing an acoustic set a few times now. I have to say he always delivers a set of favourites. The assembled audience shuffled closer to the front. His first song was Stranglehold. Everyone knew the words, and together with the engagement Charlie creates, it made the set very special, almost personal.
Amongst the songs presented by Charlie were CID, Warhead ( the first of two outings for this song tonight. Charlie told me he had forgotten to pull together a set list and had lost track of the fact he was going to be doing it later with Alvin) Tomorrow’s Girls. These sessions are so special as Warhead will pull in hundreds of fans singing and tonight a much smaller audience all joined in. Pure delight. Charlie creates an atmosphere all his own, his delightful conversation has his crowd hanging on every word.
A UK SUBS song Live In A Car pulled in much humourous and lively banter and participation from the crowd. Charlie performed the title track of his latest album, Little Black Crow. This was a slice of pure delight for me, I love the song, and the album and the crowd relished it as well. You can find out more about this album here. Thank you for signing the vinyl Charlie!
The night was hosted by Death or Glory Promotions and they are on Facebook. Great night of live music!
So I hope this captures a feel of this quite extraordinary night of live music, three world class acts on one stage and in Lewes! Sunday was the new Saturday Night. A warm thank you to all the musicians who gave us all an unforgettable night of performance, music and punk! And great to see and chat with Jordan, Gaye Black, members of Cockwomble and a Ramona, and also The Anti Nowhere League – good to see Nick Culmer out and about after his recent terrifying and senseless ordeal. Some royalty on the stage tonight AND in the crowd.
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All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2019.
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