First off, this venue is fantastic. Nice mid-sized place with a big stage and a secondary level and bar. The sound is good and the bouncers kept off to the side and didn’t brutalize anyone. This is a great place for hardcore shows and I hope to go back soon.
I had not thought about The Ducky Boys in many years and and was surprised to see that they were still around and putting out records. They are definitely not my thing, but that is cool they have stuck around.
After they played I wandered outside and ran into a couple of friends I had not seen in a lot of years, including John from Parade Brigade Fanzine’s sister Michelle and a few of my students who were there to see Sick Of It All. One of them asked me if I was going to mosh and I said “we will see.” Indeed…
I have to say that it is pretty wild that Sick Of It All have been around for 25 years. I’m not a big fan of their post demo/1988ish material, but they have kept going over the years and I have a level of respect for that. After settling in up front, Sick Of It All came out and blasted into “Clobberin Time!” Yes! My students got to see their English professor go off for a minute, but then Sick Of It All did something very mean. They Rick-Rolled me! They got to the end of the intro and went into some super melodic sounding song that I had never heard in my life, but the crowd seemed to know. Argh!
Bummed out, I hung out off to the side as the band ripped through a mix of songs mostly past their first album with a few exceptions. Lou had some comment or another when they did play those songs, which was odd. By the end of their long set, there was no “Politics,” nor “Pete’s Sake,” and no Straight Ahead covers. Blah! My students were pretty psyched on it though and I withstood the urge to start lecturing them about how ill My Rage is.
The Cockney Rejects are one of my favorite bands. Their first few albums are classic Oi! and I was excited to see them. I am pretty sure this was their first time in America somehow, which seems odd but totally possible I guess. The band came out and I made my way up front with some skinheads and chatted briefly with someone who remembered me from shows down the shore 10+ years ago.
The Cockney Rejects tuned up and suddenly began playing a song that I don’t remember. As the song went on the room filled up and people got into, with lots of singalongs and some diving. After a moments interlude between songs, they went into a very familiar riff from “Bad Man” and the crowd was way into it. They played a great mix of their records, with big sing alongs for songs like “Powre & The Glory” and my favorite “New Song.” I loved that they talked about how much respect they had for Philadephia because Joe Frazier was from there. Cool! They kept going and finally played their cover of West Ham’s theme “Forever Blowing Bubbles” and a few more before calling it a night.
Sick Of It All kind of bummed me out, but the Cockney Rejects were fantastic. Union Transfer is a really great place for hardcore shows and I want to go back. Fire & Ice played in the fall, but I had at event at work to attend, so I could not go.