Dead Boys. Nottingham. 2.2.18

It’s 2018 in the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham. It’s ’77/78 in CBGBs for an hour.

Im going to go ahead and namecheck from the off. Ramones, NY Dolls, Patti Smith, HeartBreakers, DMZ, Television… Reads like a grubbed up punk bible in a dirt-black hard-back CBGB sleeve. Snort off the face of it, tear out the pages and roll up a whatever, there’s enough blood and sweat in there to keep it all stuck.

Disco’s dead baby like Motown before it. Detroit spat out civil unrest and post-white flight riot like MC5 and Stooges and a million other un-sungs and now attitude seekers with wide eyes and ears are trained in on a new New York City. Pre-fetishised punk before McLaren’s UK imports was riddled with aggression, trouble, addiction, violence and insolence; Dead Boy’s first run a stomach-slashing sprint between 1976 and 1979 producing THE album title ‘Young, Loud and Snotty’.

It’s 2018 in the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham. Scrap that. It’s ’77/78 in CBGBs for an hour.

It’s violent enough and earnest enough to neither fall into the realms of a 2000s NY Dolls parody parody or into the traps of a most faithful tribute. Some of the touchstones are dead but the replacements on snarls stand up to (most) scrutiny while the Chrome and Blitz founders keep check in company. Same band? No. Same feel in a blasted, ungainly rendition?…  Kick the shit yes and go swivel.

In the careful positions of well practiced punk we go kicking in high from start. ‘Sonic Reducer’, an anthem of origins leads to one to another and other. I don’t notice time pass, barely pick up my pen, I’m wrapped in the sounds of original line up and the sights of the night as I write, and it all fits together white thin-boned hand in fingerless glove. Sand paper larynx and spittle full throttle throw out everything rotting pre-Rotten. It’s bare knuckle knees in black leather and jeans, no need to compete with new breed spit slingers. Is the Stiv Bators replacement so faithful it’s painful? Not ’til the very end heroin scratch. But it’s an ear split and smile ache hour later. I’m walking away from a slaughter of sound.

Was this a night that captures the disk that captured the sound some 40 years back? This is an anniversary tour…  That was close to 10 years before I was born and I don’t give a f**k if it’s no.

I saw the Dead Boys last Wednesday.

– Will Wilkinson.

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