The Godfathers gave Brighton a reminder of just how many truly great songs they’ve released. A superb relentless set. Nobody was gonna complain!
The Godfathers were formed by Peter and Chris Coyne after the demise of The Sid Presley Experience in 1985, joined by Mike Gibson (guitar), Kris Dollimore (guitar) & George Mazur (drums). Fellow TSPE member and later Godfather, Del Bartle, went on to form The Unholy Trinity with drummer Kevin Murphy.
After independent single releases produced by Vic Maile, and collected on their debut album, Hit by Hit, they signed to Epic Records in 1987. Extensive tours of the UK, Europe and the United States followed. Single and title track of their first album “Birth, School, Work, Death” made the U.S. Billboard Top 40 in 1988 after college radio and MTV airplay but the band were less commercially successful in the UK.
It’s fairly early on a Tuesday night in Brighton and outside The Prince Albert its absolutely freezing! However, inside The Albert it’s a lot warmer and pretty busy and there’s a real sense of atmosphere building for The Godfathers set tonight. This was a rare visit and the guys were about to embark on a large tour across Europe.
Now, dear reader, in terms of the headliners tonight, it is really difficult to describe how good The Godfathers are. Opening with the magnificent This is War, immediately sets the bar real high. It is still a gritted teeth snarl up at the establishment. The whole song is powered along with some superbly relentless bass and piercing guitars. The man at the back, Billy Duncanson (Heavy Drapes and The DeRellas), smiled and twirled those sticks with his usual power and professionalism. Together let me tell you, these guys make a damn fine racket!
The Godfathers: The Band
Details of the new line up of the band!
Peter Coyne, Vocals (The Godfathers founder member, ex The Sid Presley Experience)
Billy Duncanson, Drums (ex Heavy Drapes)
Richie Simpson, Guitar (ex Heavy Drapes)
Jon Priestley, Bass (ex The Damned)
Wayne Vermaak, Guitar (ex The Great St. Louis)
Cause I Said So and Big Bad Beautiful Noise were up next. The Godfathers did not let up for one second during the first three songs tonight, in fact they kept the pressure on for the full set of some 21 songs.
At times Peter Coyne’s banter was sharp and at times breathtakingly viciously funny. Who was gonna argue with him? He glared out into the crowd and engaging with those matched his stare. Love Is Dead was kicked into play, and, a surprise was hearing a full on rendition of the Heavy Drapes class song Into The Blue. I missed the Drapes and so hearing this song was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. Mind you, the present line up does consist of two members of that band. Richie Simpson was on guitars, and Billy.
The Godfathers they can even do rockabilly, Walking Talking Johnny Cash Blues proved that one. Another couple of melting tacks offered up I Cant Sleep Tonight and Unreal World. This band, as Peter told me afterwards, had only played a few gigs, they were a “new band”. They didn’t sound it! The Godfathers are made up from a pick of top class musicians, and all round nice guys.
I was wondering how the hell the Albert pulled off this gig? It was pretty near a sell out show, but fairly small in comparison to some of the venues Peter mentioned when they hit Europe, stopping off in Paris first. Congrats to who pulled this gig together. It was a most memorable gig. A real joy to be there. As the set progressed this masterfully created behemoth of a set wasn’t going to stop!
Next the biting Defibrillator was blasted at us. The Godfathers were going for it – nobody was going to be left standing tonight!
The Godfathers: A Band you shouldn’t refuse…
As time marched on it was clear we must be heading towards the end of the set. The marvellous Hup 2 3 4 was in there. Lots of opportunities for the crowd to join in! This was followed with I Want Everything – who was going to refuse? Then the big one Birth, School, Work, Death. An older track but Coyne belted this out as if it had been freshly written yesterday! I have to say this was a superb show tonight. That marked the end of the set…… almost!
Have I mentioned just how good this band are? A truly glorious rhythm section, guitarist Wayne Vermaak glides around the limited stage space riffing, soloing and performing with Richie both giving it as if this is the most important gig ever. Billy at the back is supreme at what he does mashing about 6 pairs of drum sticks whilst working hard with Jon on bass. A top wall of sound from these guys, and considering how “new” this line up is they all were 100% on point!
The set carried on beyond the cut off time, just who was going to ask The Godfathers to stop? The last track was the belting I wanna Be Your Dog. Brilliant way to end. I said to Peter after the gig, how the pace had been relentless, all quality tunes and continued with a great choice to end, and he smiled and said “Yep, the icing on the cake!”.
Keep an eye out for these guys, seriously! Some dates already going in for early 2020.
Guests and Support:
Second band up, Fat Country Ted, never disappoint – and it’s a good job really as they were charged with helping build the atmosphere tonight. They do seem to pop up from time to time. I think I have seen them three times. Always different and always fun to watch and listen to their music. They play a mix of songs, some guitar based, almost surf style. There is a nod to new wave, mod and a handful of almost 60s garage sound. They deliver a set packed with guitar and bass energy, with some superb drumming from Will. Always great tight rhythms. Their version of “Popcorn” was surprising when it started, but then by the time it had finished you would have thought it had been written for them!
First up are Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience. They deliver a set of fast, punchy songs. A tough job – first band on – they entertained the crowd with a fine selection of songs and covers and they are armed with with songs to keep you listening, riffs aplenty to keep your hips swinging, and enough banter to keep you smiling.
A thoroughly enjoyable night of live music. The revamped Albert looking great and sounding superb tonight. Just a bit of work on that lighting as the drummers tonight were lost in the darkness – but hey that’s just me.
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