DEAD BOYS: O2 Islington Academy 2 08/02/2017.

9 02 2018

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If I was someone who made a bucket list, then last night would have been something I could have ticked off. I never in my wildest dreams, and they are wild, would I imagine seeing one of the bands who made a record that I religiously play. Never would I have imagined seeing one of the greatest bands of all time.

Last night I finally saw Dead Boys play a small venue in London. It felt like we had all been thrown back to the golden year for Punk, 1977. 40 years ago Dead Boys, fronted by the one of a kind, Stiv Bators, released their debut record Young, Loud and Snotty. We all know that Stiv sadly passed away in 1990, so who on earth could come close to possessing his demeanour and way of performing the songs? It’s by no means an easy thing to do, and to some it’s probably damn near impossible but one man is doing it. And he is doing it in a way that probably has Stiv smirking down on the band. Jake Hout is remarkable, and his tribute to Stiv before dedicating Calling On You was beautiful.  His voice is incredible and he really captures what Dead Boys were about. He has that same snarly voice that Stiv had- he’s not as wild as Stiv but bloody hell he is great. For a few songs he hangs off the light above the stage. He also manages to crowd surf.

Although I was stood at the back, it was probably a solid spot to be in. I could see a sea of beautiful Punks in front of me all reliving the first time that they heard Dead Boys. I couldn’t sing the songs; all I could do was just smile like an idiot. I thought about Stiv a lot throughout, and Jake gave a beautiful tribute to him. I thought that was a really beautiful thing for him to do.

The crowd took me back to when I saw The Jesus And Mary Chain in 2014, and the crowd was mainly older men who had grown up with the band. With this show, it was a mix of everyone- and the older crowd were shouting the lyrics back at the band with as much love, passion and power as they must have done 40 years ago.

For me, I think this will be one of those shows that I’ll remember forever. There was such a lovely atmosphere, and given that the lyrical content of some of their songs may make others cringe- who cares?! The songs are as important as ever. The delivery of songs like I Need Lunch, All This And More and of course the ever influencing, Sonic Reducer is just impeccable.

I’m fairly sure last night Cheetah put a lot of people to shame with his guitar playing. He’s just as great as he was the first time around. Still loud. Why should you quieten down? You cannot tame a band like this, and why should you even want to? Johnny Blitz was as loud as ever, and that familiar sound he created all those years ago just took you back to the first time hearing the Dead Boys. The sound of the Dead Boys is massively distinctive, and to see Johnny Blitz and Cheetah- two of the pioneers of this sound, was mind-blowing.

I think with this show, the crowd and the band were equally contributing to how amazing the show was. Sometimes, you see a band and they are amazing but the crowd give nothing. This however, was such a great balance. I’m almost certain Jake would have had the crowd hanging from the lights above the stage with him if he could. I think also that if a kid who had never really heard of the Dead Boys before and was possibly only just getting into music, if they were at this show then I’m sure they would have left wanting to start a band. Like people did when they saw the Sex Pistols at that infamous Manchester show.

I was worried that the show would come across as almost karaoke like or that it would just take away the legacy of the band, and this record. But I had nothing to worry about at all. It was perfect. I could happily go see them every single night. Every night venturing closer to the stage and shouting the words back. It was nothing short of an honour to see Dead Boys and to be part of a crowd that truly idolise this band. Sometimes when I go to shows, I have this romanticised feeling of always wanting to be in that moment forever- I got that feeling last night.

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It was such a small venue, and it gave that proper Punk feel to it. All of us crammed in this room to see undoubtedly, one of the greatest bands ever. There is nothing quite like it.





DEAD BOYS.

3 05 2015

I started to write this and managed to delete everything I had written. Maybe it was a sign. Or maybe I’m just clumsy with my fingers. Probably both. I’ll start it again. Unfortunately I have a really bad memory (sometimes it’s a good thing) so I can’t remember what I originally wrote. Hopefully I won’t mess up this time.

Punk is alive and well in certain bands. It’s alive in most of the bands I listen to, other bands have basically pissed all over what Punk is and created something truly horrendous called “Pop-Punk.” Awful. Really awful. Punk had this bite to it that made you listen. It was, in all its glory obnoxious and brutal. It was snotty and portrayed angst in a way that caused parents in the 70s to wash their kids ears out at bedtime religiously in the hopes they wouldn’t go to the “dark side.” Punk is the one kind of music that really made me pay attention fully to what I was listening to. I was aware there was a message coming through, and the message was my own to decipher. Punk was for those and is for those who aren’t happy with how things are. Those who are bored and tired of routine. Those who know there is something more and would rather kick the door down than knock politely.

Dead Boys were fronted by one of the greatest frontmen of all time, Stiv Bators. Stiv and wiry body leaped and flailed across the stage in a way that would leave you thinking his body could snap at any moment. He got his point across by being snotty on stage. A proper obnoxious brat who when you listen to him, made you as pissed off as him. What or who rattled your cage? Doesn’t even matter. All that matters is letting it out.

What I absolutely adore about Dead Boys was their ability to really capture the essence of Punk and make it so brutal to the point of being sinister. Some songs like Ain’t It Fun and All This And More have something really terrifying about them. Bands like the Ramones portrayed the frustrations of daily life better than most but Dead Boys took it some place dark. Dead Boys weren’t and aren’t for the faint hearted I guess. Thing is, I can’t stand loud people at all but I love loud music. I don’t like obnoxious and arrogant people, but I love music that has that about it. I don’t know why, but it’s just something that holds my attention longer than most. Dead Boys were as bold as they came. Stiv sometimes tearing up his stomach with a mic stand- he was as outrageous as Iggy. Except I don’t think Stiv ever covered himself in peanut butter. His wiry frame and distinctive voice made him and Dead Boys stand out amongst the Punk scene. I believe they are one of the most underrated bands of all time. Cheetah is one of the finest guitar players ever. Him and Johnny Thunders just made you wish you could make noise like that. Trashy, loud and so perfect. It made you want to play as loud as them and without a care in the world.

At best their songs were sordid, depraved and smutty. All the best songs are. They took you to a world where conventional means wouldn’t. They unleashed this world upon on you with their close to creepy songs. No other band could get away with it, no other band could do it like Dead Boys. There was something so special and rare about these guys. They went beyond being “just another Punk band.” They started something that is still in the belly, burning in some of the bands I listen to.

Known for their lewd live shows, no other band has come close to how they were on stage. They aren’t a band that you can say “oh they could have been great.” Shit. They INSTANTLY became great the second people started paying attention. In all their obnoxious glory, they were one of the best bands ever. Their unconventional and so far from romantic songs about girls were brilliant. I guess now “feminists” would be all whiny about how they objectify women or whatever. As a female, I don’t really care. I love the music and the content. It’s a different world to what I know and I love it. They take you to some underground and unsafe place covered in darkness. You can’t help but play it loud and try to move around like Stiv.

Sadly Stiv died in 1990 after being hit by a car. If he was still around know he probably would be teaching us all how its done still. Dead Boys may be no more, but what they did for Punk and many who were against “typical” will never be forgotten or undone. They were before my time, but when I listen to them I feel like I am in the moment from when it all began. Timeless, forever influential and nothing short of greatness.

Stay snotty!