Everything old is new again. Girls are walking around looking like a 1980s Laura Ashley catalogues, guys are wearing jumpers that look like knitting test patterns. Thankfully, along with the cringeworthy clothes, many punk bands of 80s and 90s are coming out of retirement and into a gig near you.
I arrive at the Corner just in time to catch the end of The Go Set and the floor is jam packed already. Their music is fun and is clearly influenced strongly by The Pogues, though at times they seem a bit closer to the Dropkick Murphys. The biggest downside to their set was the continual background droning of bagpipes. It becomes more of a distraction than a compliment and others in the crowd pick up on it too. Towards the end of their set they play “The New Age” and the beginnings of a small but brutal mosh pit kick off. Despite some minor heckling, they are a solid choice to open with though not exactly setting the world on fire.
The talk of the evening however is 28 Days. After a several years long absence from the live scene and the recording studio, everyone in the crowd is keen to see whether they are going to sink or swim. Thankfully, they put on an almost surprisingly brilliant performance. Opening with “Sucker”, the crowd surfing begins before lead singer Jay can get the very first lyrics out. Following up with “Goodbye”, the mosh becomes even more crazed and it is time to take a few steps back for safety’s sake.
Jay suggests we all buy a t-shirt because “that’s where all the money is”, but one suspects that he and the rest of the band are that happy to be back on stage and playing to a loud and enthusiastic audience that money is the last thing on their mind. They seem to be having a few teething problems with new drummer, Dan Kerby and they have to start “What’s The Deal?” about three times with considerable help from the audience, who are dead keen to sing along.
Some members of the crowd run onstage and launch themselves back into the pit, much to the chagrin of the security guards who are now drenched in beer, sweat and god knows what else. Leaving the stage with “Guttermouth can fuck off”, 28 Days have managed to prove that they are still as relevant and enjoyable to watch as they were at the height of their fame. With a new album in the works, it will be interesting to see what happens next for them.
By the time Guttermouth shamble on to the stage, the audience are just about tearing themselves to pieces. “Bakers Dozen” kicks off a non stop set which reaches all the back through their 20-something year career. Unfortunately, the vocals seem to be mixed way down which makes it almost impossible to hear anything over the ear achingly
loud guitar and drums. The best and worst thing is their commitment to playing the crowd directly in front of them.
Vocalist Mark Adkins consistently launches himself over the barrier and into first few rows of a vicious pit, this causes the already poorly mixed vocals to go from hard to hear to completely unintelligible. (I am standing at the back of the room as there is no way to get close to the stage without being brutally kicked in the face by a punk.) Swigging what appears to be tequila straight from the bottle, Adkins appears to be either stark raving mad or stark raving drunk. “Not so bad for 22 years of this shit… and I love it,” he yells and the crowd roars back in whole hearted agreeance. The band seems to have a death wish as they throw themselves into the pit again and again, each time coming closer to a potential death by boot.
While the sound early in the set is a let down, in the latter half it picks back up and the show continues to get better. Dragging a wheelchair bound fan on to the stage, the band feed him booze while Adkins whirls him dangerously around the stage. Towards the end of their set, the band stop playing and a tattooed punter comes onstage with his nervous looking girlfriend. Heavily tattooed punk proceeds to propose to now nervous and crying girlfriend who quickly accepts in what is possibly the coolest proposal ever and Guttermouth launch back into a raucous rendition of “Asshole” which the audience celebrates by more crowd surfing and drink throwing.
Leaving the stage before coming to play an encore of “Perfect World”, it is easy to tell why they have such a dedicated fan base. Guttermouth are still as rude, crude and deliciously offensive as they were 22 years ago and with any luck they will stay exactly the same way forever.
– Madison Thomas