This is the first time I have visited this Venue which until recently was a folk club but now revamped as a great intimate music venue. Nice to see Rob Bruce of Rich Bitch fame is key to this resurrection and these Sunday matinee, garage rock/punk/goth gigs seem to have really taken off and according to organiser DC they have a packed agenda for almost the next year.

Year Zero

First up today are Year Zero who have clearly been busy of late in their rehearsal room and gigging and take us through their tight and entertaining set. They write very catchy songs. The set is made up of new tracks intertwined with the classic tracks from their debut album ‘Brace for Impact’ such as ‘Sky High Ego’, ‘Midnight Picture Show’, ‘Nostalgia’, ‘Heart Shaped Bullets’, ‘Human Condition’, ‘Details’ and the wonderful story of what goes on behind the curtains in suburban area in ‘Secret Suburbia’.

The new tracks are equally as catchy and well-constructed and carry on from where their album left off. Powerful drums, cool guitar licks and solid bass are complemented by clever lyrics, vocals and backing. ‘Merry Go Round’ is a great opener to the set, and in ‘Beach Boys and Bikini Girls’ Mick confesses they are nothing like the Beach Boys but this is something the Ramones may have done. They have clearly been moved to write ‘Little Britain’, the only foray into a political song by what they observe.

They finish with a storming version of ‘Tonight’ which to me is the only way to close their set.

Dead Hombres

Despite the Stetsons what we are about to witness is nothing Country and by their own admission Dead Hombres from Surrey play dark trashy Rock’n’Roll noir with howling feedback driven guitar and growling bass. Apparently, it took them less time to get from their hometown of Surrey to Birmingham today than to a London gig the day before.

They play some great Rock and Roll tracks often bordering on zombie rock with well-crafted guitar solos, melodic bass lines and solid drums, from a Canadian drummer who can also take to the mic to provide some great lead vocal.

They cleverly vary tempo as they take us through tracks such as ‘Hombre’, ‘Baby Moonrider’, the extremely catchy ‘Street Walking Zombie’ ‘Heart in Flames’ and ‘Crazy People’ dedicated to themselves and anyone in the audience who cares to label themselves as such. There were quite a few takers.  

They conclude their set with ‘Under Your Skin’, ‘Hell Bound Ghost Train’ ‘El Muerto’, the ace ‘Killing Machine’ and a great version of Link Wray’s ‘Rumble’ the only instrumental banned from Radio on its release in the late 50s. They throw in ‘Tip on My Tongue’ for round off a great afternoon.

This was a great gig and venue and I expect I could be spending a few more Sunday afternoons watching more great rock and rolling punk.