Wednesday, March 26, 2008

UK Subs (talking with Charlie Harper) and Wellington show review

First up an informal conversation with Charlie Harper in Palmerston North.

Charlie Harper in action at Valve in Wellington, New Zealand. Pic by me.

STO: How's the New Zealand tour been going?

Charlie: It's been fairly good. The South Island was nice. Hamilton was really quiet with only 20 people and it's fairy quiet here too. There were only twenty tickets pre-sold.

STO: Who are your favourite punk bands/artists at present?

Charlie: Iggy Pop, Siouxie and The Banshees and The Damned. As far as the American stuff goes I've come to appreciate Social Distortion over the years who slowed down when all the other hardcore bands sped up and Bad Religion.

STO: Who were your favourite punk bands back in the day?

Charlie: X-Ray Spex and Vice Squad. It's a real shame now half Vice Squad want to be a metal band and half of the band want to be a punk band so they alienate both the punks and metallers nowadays and Becky Bondage now goes to her mother's place to eat meals because she can't afford to buy them herself. It's really such a shame when they could be something big.

STO: Do you think punk will be big again?

Charlie: These things go in waves. There was a huge wave of American punk during the nineties and we got a lot of people at our shows in California but really California was the only place in the states that was really good for us attendance wise and it still is that way.

STO: Who are the most famous people you've met?

Charlie: Johnny Rotten and Sting. We toured with Sting and someone wanted us to leave the tour but he made sure we stayed.

STO: What's your favourite UK Subs album?

Charlie: Endangered Species

STO: Whose your favourite football team?

Charlie: Chelsea. I heard they won 4-3 today but didn't get to see the game.

Next day I travelled to Wellington to catch the UK Subs at Valve where the sound is much better. Around the corner Norwegian black metal band Immortal were playing and the queue waiting for them was full of white pride/swastika head tattoos. The band were charging $80 for door sales. I guess some people value this black metal. I've never even heard them.

First band up at Valve was Co-exister. Death/black metal and grindcore does pretty much zilch for me. I guess the fact that they're nearly an all girl band makes them more interesting than most. They'd probably had gone down better with Immortal's crowd.

Next up were Auckland band, Last Orders who have been around since the 80s and have an eighties sound reminiscent of the Circle Jerks at times. Could have done without the guy from the crowd saying the Immortal crowd had more idea how to have fun to all the audience especially since I suspect there were less support bands at that show. Here's a clip of one of their songs at Valve.

Vicious Rumour from Napier came on next and were great. Their stage presence was good when I saw them at Punkfest in October but has improved a thousand percent since then. People rushed forward when they played, thankfully sparing any come closer speech. Here's Vicious Rumour supporting the UK Subs at Valve.

Next on were the UK Subs who were the band everyone had come to see.
I managed to film the band while they were playing Warhead and I'm happy with the way it turned out.

They played for 60 minutes inluding the encore in Wellington and in Palmy they played for 70 minutes. I'm really happy I got to see them twice.


justin said...

Great post sir. I had a chance to see the UK Subs in about 86 in Los Angeles. They were great and amazed me even though I had come to see Youth Brigade. This was back when it was popular for people to spit on each other which I didn't like too much. Charlie was covered in spit. oh well there's lots of things I don't understand. Thanx again.

Chris said...

Hey, Justin. Thanks for the comment. lists Youth Brigade as one of my recommended artists but I've never heard them. Must check them out. Hmmm, Charlie must have been around forty in '86. He must have had a helluva stage presence back then.
I got a couple of pics with him and I've gotta say he was a very patient man as the camera was set wrong a few times. First time I've ever bothered getting a photo with a band member.

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