The night opened with Jonny and the mental breakdowns, a local band who were a late addition to the lineup. That meant that they were a man short, so the singer had to play bass, which he told us was the first time in 15 years he’d done that apart from a rehearsal the night before which was more drinking than rehearsing. Despite that he managed just fine, and the band sounded good as a three-piece. It’s old-school punk and the set included songs such as “Fat bastard”, “You’re not Pablo Escobar, you’re a two-bit dealer from Bletchley” and “Everything’s a pound in Poundland”. It’s a good enjoyable set.
Next up was Idestroy. A young band, their music has much more modern sound. It’s still punk, but rather than old-school angry-punk it’s more party-punk. A three-piece band, they’re quite lively and use the space well, moving around a reasonable amount. I listened to their new EP a few days before the show and enjoyed it, but as with many bands, it’s even better live as there’s more atmosphere. It’s a great set and I definitely hope to see these ladies play again soon. A band that is well worth checking out.
Then it was time for tonight’s headliners. Despite their van breaking down on the way to tonight’s show, they’d made it (thanks to being towed most of the way). There are no other bands quite like The men that will not be blamed for nothing. Musically you can call them punk, but their songs are more diverse than that description would suggest, and are unique lyrically. With songs based on history (the Victorian era primarily) you get songs about people such as Charles Darwin, Isembard Kingdo Brunel and Marie Curie. Then there are songs about such subjects as Cholera, coal miners dying from silicosis, chimney sweeps and more. The steampunk attire, and the fact that one of the band plays a saw makes them stand out even more. It’s great music and they’re a fantastic live band that I always enjoy watching. They’re good at dealing with hecklers too – when one person in the crowd asked why one of them was wearing lipstick they immediately fired back “Because that’s how your mum likes it” before pressing the point home that it’s 2018 not the 1970s and people can wear what they want.
It’s a fantastic set – this is a band that never disappoints with their intelligent and humorous songs.