The Boys come out to play! Brighton Gig report. 2


The Boys / The Vulz / Continental Lovers: Prince Albert, Brighton.  2 June 2022.

The Boys remind us that there is nothing quite like a deliciously loud shot of UK punk/rock. The Boys are back in town!

The Boys

The Boys came together when singer/guitarist Matt Dangerfield left the punk band London SS in September 1975 to form a new band with ex-Hollywood Brats keyboard player Casino Steel. Dangerfield’s art college friend, guitarist Honest John Plain, was recruited and in June 1976, two of Plain’s co-workers at a T-shirt printing company, bassist Duncan “Kid” Reid and drummer Jack Black, completed the line-up. Steel (ex-Hollywood Brats) and Dangerfield played in the London SS together. The band’s early recordings were made in a home recording studio which Dangerfield had set up in his rented basement apartment in Maida Vale.

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The band played their first concert at the Hope and Anchor pub in Islington, London on 15 October 1976. Among the crowd were Mick Jones, Billy Idol, Tony James and Gene October. After a few concerts, The Boys signed to NEMS in January 1977, and at that time the only British punk band to have a record deal – the Sex Pistols having been sacked by EMI on 6 January 1977 and the Damned having initially signed a one single deal with Stiff for New Rose, which had been released in October 1976.

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The current line-up has three original members, playing tonight in Brighton we had two as the wonderful Honest John Plain was not able to join us. Chatting with Steve, the bands manager, we worked out the last time The Boys played live was just before the first COVID lockdown in Lewes at The Con Club. This was the first night back on the road for the guys since then and sees them on a set of three nights on the bounce. Thanks for coming to see us in Brighton!

The Boys: The Band

Matt Dangerfield – guitars, vocals and cool aviators…

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Casino Steel on keys, vocals and cool shades

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Kent Norberg, bass guitar and vocals and sporting everything in a matching black…

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Chips Kiesbye was on guitar tonight, still with hair, lots of hair…

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

On drums tonight was Martin H-Son.

Last time I met up with The Boys in Lewes we couldn’t see the drummer so was not able to photo him. Tonight, as previously promised Martin – gotcha this time. Therefore, here are two photos to make up for it.

Now, in my humble opinion, The Boys should have been “It”, they certainly had “it”. Finely crafted songs, some great releases, some big tours and that included a Ramones tour. You see Da Brudders were fans of The Boys.

My vinyl collection has grown. I am the proud owner of four slices of vinyl from The Boys, and each one is a cracker, topping off my collection from the Merch desk with To Hell With The Boys.

Sight of the set list for tonight was a joy. We were in for a hell of a night! All those songs were there! The two support bands had warmed us up nicely (great choice) and The Boys took to the stage and kicked us into action with TCP, a cracking opener and it sounded great. This one allowed the guys to warm up those guitar playing hands and prep them up for the next hour or so.

A blitzkrieg of a triple tracker came our way. Vocal duties were swapped around, See Ya Later, Terminal Love and 1976. These guys still sound damn sharp and know how to deliver. This was exciting straight down the barrel punk rock and roll. Right from the outset, they sounded amazing.

We were in for a treat, over an hour of heads-down, no-nonsense,  boogie laden punk rock and roll.

The Steel, Dangerfield & Plain written songs from The Boys are short, wonderfully crafted nuggets of life but always a strong backing tune that will get your foot tapping. They are classics in my view, and fine examples followed by Weekend, USI, I’m A Believer. The super Cop Cars followed. Matt dropped some pure Boys class riffs tonight, and his guitar playing certainly rocked us with Cop Cars and the anthemic chorus. Kent matched the bass demands of this song perfectly.

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The packed in crowd, I think it was a sold out gig, were charging it up, there was much dancing and fist pumping along with the choruses tonight.

The Boys remind us that there is nothing quite like a deliciously loud shot of UK punk/rock to give us gathered in The Prince Albert a taste of how things used to be.

Ok, back to the blistering set with You Can’t Hurt A Memory, No Money, and Soda Pressing. Soda Pressing was one of many highlights for me along with Tumble With Me I always loved these ones and again those guitar riffs from Matt and Chips cut through the air, generating a steam heated reaction from the crowd.

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Back to the second album The Boys put out as Martin hit the familiar drum pattern of Brickfield Nights. Hands in the air and clapping in time. A quick look round the venue and we are all joining in. The song is packed solid with great vocals from the guys, and yes some razor sharp edged licks from Matt and Chips with hooks aplenty. As I recall this heralded the beginning of the end of the set.

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Here it is, arguably one of the finest songs you will ever hear. The First Time was fired up. A wonderful song about the loss of….. ,  go listen and discover for yourself if you haven’t heard it!  Now if you were itching for a good pogo, now would be good! Crowd chants of “Oh! Oh oh oh” lifted the roof. I never get tired of this song and hearing it live was definitely yet another gig highlight for me. I have seen Honest John Plain do The First Time acoustically with his friend and previous The Crybabys bandmate Darrell Bath, who is sadly no longer with us.

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

They always wrote great songs that any generation can relate-to and the tunes are some of the catchiest you’ll hear from any band.

To close the set we had two songs forming the encore Living’ In The City, and the delightful Sick On You.  Was I satisfied? Oh yes, till the next time!

Matt, Cas & John wrote those Boys classics and they have stood the test of time and sound as fresh, exciting and as important as they did when I first heard them. Congratulations to those three for creating such wonderful slices of music. I hope that The Boys will continue to tour. They certainly proved tonight there is still some 5 Star fuel in the tank.

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Boys are for those who like their rock n roll short, sweet and fired up. They have an unrelenting energy you do not want to miss. Seriously, what’s not to like!

The Boys are on the Internet here.

The Vulz

The Vulz: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Vulz: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

A new band for me.  The interestingly named The Vulz.

Unsurprisingly, the gig sold out in advance and the Albert is already packed, hot and sweaty by the time The Vulz arrive and subsequently they rev it up. Their all-out mix of old cool school, guitar-driven Rock and Roll with a pinch of Punk and a twist of Grunge was not missed by me and it is not lost on this audience either!

The Vulz engaged with the Prince Albert audience. We had some great on stage band banter, and some chat from the band. They gave us a great performance.

Big riffs, big vocals, and plenty of audio power. I’d be intrigued to hear what they’d sound like on vinyl, but for now, in a live situation, it certainly comes across very well. It’s this overall atmosphere that makes this set special. They had the Albert rocking it and the band and the crowd seemed to be lapping it up and having fun.

The whole band are really tight, despite a few early PA problems. They seemed to be playing purely on that instinct you get when you know each other and can second guess what band members are going to do next.

The Vulz worked it hard ensuring a good atmosphere with their sounds, and the band seemed to be on top form. A new band for me and totally matched up to my expectations, actually on this occasion, they more than met what I had hoped for. If they come back again, do yourself a favour and be sure that you check them out. I will be there at the front.

When The Boys ask you “can we use your guitars“ you just have to say yes!

The Band – from their website page: The Vulz were born from the demise of The Three State Prophets, who gigged extensively from 2000 onwards, the album out now is called ‘Love Struck Bomb Delay’ available on itunes their line now consists of Barry Charman – lead vocals/guitar, David Zerafa – bass and Gary Pearce – lead guitar and Clayton Cook on drums.

The Vulz are on Facebook here.

Continental Lovers

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Continental Lovers are a trash pop band from London. For fans of Cheap Trick, The Stooges, New York Dolls,  Buzzcocks, Ramones.

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Another new band for me. I have seen Joe Maddox when he fronted The DeRellas. As the other band members set-up, Joe straps on his guitar. The drummer gets behind the drum kit and starts adjusting it to his preferences. The band don’t take long to get ready and suddenly, they burst into the first song. The singer/guitarist Joe, with bandanas and sunglasses is a pretty cool frontman, moving around the stage pulling off some cool moves, sounds and scrapes.

The Bass and drums players create a big wall of sound for this three piece. It’s the drummer, under his large head gear that seems to catch attention. He plays at a furious tempo but not just simple rhythms, he includes great fills and rolls, making full use of the drum-kit. The sound, led by some super guitars, all round, was pretty damned tasty.

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Their set is maybe only 30 minutes long, but that’s perfect. They managed to pack so much into that period of time that if it went on any longer it would have maybe lessened their impact. Short and sweet. We had a song Joe had written for Joan Jet, he did explain that he hadn’t heard back from her… yet!

These guys led by Joe clearly have a good knowledge of their musical roots, almost Sixties, Garage and a large helping of glam laden Seventies Punk Rock. This is injected into the self penned songs in a way that avoids being too obvious or predictable. I am not going to make named comparisons as they are a pretty new outfit but they have created their own space, sound and character, and are aiming for fans of the style of punk/rock/ glam as named at the top of this section. Way to go Joe and the Lovers!

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Continental Lovers: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

You really ought to give Continental Lovers a go!

Continental Lovers are on Facebook here.

After the gig, I’m feeling pretty stunned. I had hoped that this would be a good gig, it was mega! I enjoyed all three bands and, well, The Boys really blew me away… again.

Thanks to The Boys and manager Steve Metcalfe

Thanks to The Vulz

Thanks to Continental Lovers

Words and Pictures: Ian Bourn

 

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2 thoughts on “The Boys come out to play! Brighton Gig report.

  • Ramblin Erikk

    Correction : Honest John Plain’s friend (and bandmate in the legendary Crybabys) that you happened to fleetingly mention woulda been the late, great Darrell (not Daryll) Bath.