Who Killed Nancy Johnson?
The best live UK band you haven’t seen yet! Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are a high-energy and heavy pop-punk band whose influences include The Stooges, The Ruts, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Alkaline Trio, Tsar, Ash, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, 3 Colours Red, Weezer, Sabbath. The songs are all original.
The band resurfaced in January 2016 after an 11-month search for a new singer. The relaunch gigs were in Reading and Basingstoke. Under a previous name, Nancy Johnson, and with the old singer, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? played around the south-east between 2011 and 2014 supporting people like Chelsea and Peter & The Test-Tube Babies, and have some festival experience having played Basingstoke Live in 2014.
Who Killed Nancy Johnson are based all over the south-east of the United Kingdom. They also live in your head, and in your town. They might even be behind you, right now.
Stefan Ball – Vocals
Pete Moulton – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Anthony – Bass/Vocals
Mark Wren – Traps
I had been following these guys on Social Media for a while – some great artwork, some great songs and so leapt at the chance of going to see them play live on their first visit to Brighton at The Prince Albert.
Started life as a photograph. Became a name – Nancy Johnson – then a web site. Became a band in 2011. Played gigs. People came, people went, the mood changed. Who Killed Nancy Johnson? with a 75% different line-up started gigging in January 2016 – and with another 50% change is now settled into the best live UK band you haven’t seen yet, with its first EP released in January 2017. That EP is the rather tasty COPS and ROBBERS.
“Spiked with amphetamines… a band that embraces punk’s origins as well as influences from the last four decades” – thePUNKsite.com”
Who did kill Nancy Johnson? not sure. Who Killed Nancy Johnson? really interested and wanted to find out.
Awesome! but short!! Stefan is a perfect front lead for a band, his black shades peering out into the audience. He must damage a least two mic stands a night as he leans on them, drops them and plunges them into the stage – all the while delivering a powerful vocal performance. He doesn’t stop, like a machine, a terminator look, with the shades and black gear, he stands tall and works damn hard to give a blistering show. Only stopping to take on water. Pete on guitars, again a great lead player as he delivers the buzzing hooks and chords to each of the songs he seemed to glide across the confined space of the Albert stage, playing some great guitar and adding backing vocals. Paul standing on the stage with his bass, laying down some great bass lines and riffs and also some of the vocal duties. Sitting at the back the man with the sticks is Mark. A truly solid drumming performance – pounding out through the sound created by the band and working with the bass to give a damned fine punk, rock and roll sound.
Guitars, drums and bass kicked off the night as Stefan leaned forward, mic grabbed as if his life depended on it, and we were off! I had waited to see these guys play for so long – and here they were – LIve! “The Buzz in your head” – an almost frantic guitar break /solo from Pete at the mid point. Hell – that was great. Loud, fast and more hooks than a deep sea fishing line. The song upped the ante before the band even starts, a great opener, and oh, that chorus! An ear-worm alert it will be nigh on impossible to erase from your memory for hours! Next up was “Terminal Love” as the drums started this one, as Pete broke into another great guitar lead with Paul gearing up the bass. I think I heard a cowbell on the EP version – no cowbells on the live version. Stefan asked everyone to gather up close as he reached out into the darkness.
The next song was “Cops and Robbers”, the title track off the EP from the band. The jaw droppingly good opening guitar with a pretty vacant style riff opened it up. This is a great track, but live it is brought to life. The band joining in on the chorus “Lets play” as Stefan snarled at us “Cops and Robbers”. “Strip” came at us with the chant anthem chorus and followed by “Alien”. The last track of the EP “Stay Out Late” boiled at us as this tight band continued through their set.
“Mouth and Trousers”, “Human Resources” and the last song of the night “Dark Horse”.
A crescendo of punk guitars, drums and bass and a flurry of stick action and the band froze – the Albert filled with squealing feedback, a final jump from Stefan and the band finished.
This was a solid Brighton debut and that catapults Who Killed Nancy Johnson? into the category of “another band that I will hoping to catch live again soon”. Let me tell you that this is punk rock played an old school flourish, but dont let that fool you, they are most definitely not stuck “way back when” or in the past. they seem to be a band that pulls in some of the better punk origins, check out their musical influences and maybe you will get what I mean. Quoting The Rezillos as a musical influence is a good thing!
A VIDEO – Hold on tight!
WHO KILLED NANCY JOHNSON? Well, I am not telling you – no spoilers – just go and see this damned good outfit play!
Kudos to the promoters, Jamming Circus, for putting on some new/local bands as guests. They were great and each band had a few of their own supporters. Its a great way to showcase more local talent, it helps keep music venues alive, and it helps keep music live! Well played: KES’ CONSCIENCE, Gutterflower and Jar Of Blind Flies.
Jamming Circus – Promoters – are on Facebook
Please note all images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.
All original pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2017.