A 400 mile round trip to Brighton on a wet and windy October weekend may seem a bit idiotic to some of you reading this. But the recent reinvention of "Hardcore Superstar" as some sort of glam avengers for the noughties, has had me chomping at the bit to see them live again ever since I got the astoundingly brilliant last album back at the tail end of 2005.
Originally this gig was due to be at The Concorde 2 but on arrival we found it had moved to a 210 capacity upstairs venue known as The Pressure Point, and this simple bit of logistics made the gig extremely intimate right from the off. Some well-run security and a quality downstairs bar to kick back in and avoid the local supports meant we could also converse with the local glam crowd (a really nice bunch of guys and gals) and meet up with some old pals from the Big Smoke.
We hightailed it upstairs just after 9 along with "those in the know" for the Euro tour support "Babylon Bombs", who were a great start to proceedings. Over in the UK to promote the recently released "Doin' You Nasty", singer guitarist "Dani" and his crew eased through the rousing "Louder" and "Crack Of Dawn" like a primetime "D-A-D" with Willie from "The Grip" singing for them. The Euro single and "Classic Rock" cover mount CD track "Hometown Hero" is as rebel rousing as this motley troop get, and the strength of that single could be the make or break for this band.
Overall I really like "Babylon Bombs but can't help thinking that they're a tad too much like the aforementioned UK rockers "The Grip" were to the 90's UK rock scene. Great musicians, decent image, but not enough va va voom (or dare I say it) X factor, to make them really shine. Plus on a personal note the drummer totally twatted me with his drum sticks (doing his stick twirling bit then stupidly threw them out in a club that holds 210 on a just above floor height stage OUCH .) so they immediately lost a few points for that.
So, If X factor is what is needed to send a band global, then "Hardcore Superstar" have always had this by the bucket load and then some, and should have gone global years ago. But here we are in a small club in Brighton and not the Budokhan. Why? Well internal problems, plus 3 indifferent sounding albums probably didn't help. But 2005's Self Titled CD certainly has these guys back on track. "Jocke Berg" may have been on the weights and now looks more like "Glenn Danzig" than his glam king image of old, and Silver Silver IS Andy McCoy but damn, do these guys know how to play their high class glam tunes.
Focusing almost entirely on the most recent album "Hardcore Superstar" took the stage to "Kick On The Underclass" and proceeded to lay waste to every single song with suitable aplomb. To "Hardcore Superstar" EVERY night is the fucking Budokhan, and that is what makes them so very special. "Bag On Your Head", "Blood On Me" and "My Good Reputation" are songs that would have slain the LA glam scene back in the day and to hear a band so committed to the cause in this age is a full credit to such a great band of musicians. They know how to walk the walk and defiantly talk the fucking talk.
Encoring with the anthemic "Faster Pussycat" bawl of "Wild Boys" along with sole oldie of the night (except me) "Liberation" played as their lives depended on it the guys were gone before I could even comprehend "Silver Silver" had just patted ME on the back thanking me for a good show. WHAT THE FUCK???? Silver, I should have done that to you dude.
Having added this night to the 2 other classic gigs I'd been to in the last week, the UK glam punk gig scene has never been more exciting, the only problem I guess has to be that all the bands have been from outside the UK. But with shows this good WHO REALLY CARES???
Let's just enjoy the renaissance
while it lasts.
by Johnny H.
Visit the Hardcore Superstar Website
Visit the Babylon Bombs Website