You've gotta love venues that hold club nights. If you don't check your ticket for the stat time you could easily miss many of the bands. Tonight's show starts just after 6pm, with a very punk curfew of 10pm, so when we arrive at the venue at 8pm we are already way into Anti-Nowhere League's set, never mind gig starters The Talks. Bugger.
The place is absolutely rammed. Though the academy has a high stage and you can usually see the band, tonight large numbers of Mohicans in varying colours block the view of shorter people of the population. I try to get on the balcony; the least favourable place to be at a punk gig like this (away from the moshing action) to get a glimpse, but this is full too. I finally manage to squeeze in down the front actually on the barrier, but behind a pillar. I am also behind a group of people who don not look at the stage once, just natter away and fall about after numerous trips to the bar. Why waste a ticket when there are plenty of people desperate to get into this sold out and rare UK show? I doubt they even know a single Rancid song...
The sound in this newly refurbished building is great compared to the last time they played here at Leeds University. The band are on fine form, fitting 30 songs into little over an hour; in punk terms that's pretty good going, at just over two minutes a song. Bassist Matt Freeman is looking a little under the weather tonight but puts on a good show. Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen take turns singing their well know punk songs. There is a little conversation with the crowd, just the odd note about the background to some songs.
Towards the middle of the show a guy scales the side of the stage and jumps from near the height of the balcony. This would not be so bad had he not jumped feet first. If I was standing in his projected landing site I would not have tried to catch him... Don't think I am against crowd surfing; some shows it should be embraced, like this one (the first time I surfed was to the band A with a broken foot, though I left the crutches at home!) but only a couple of times each. This swirling moshpit is crying out for more surfers, but not from such a height, weighed down by heavy boots.
The setlist is mainly a mixture of two of their early albums, the popular 'Let's Go' and ',i>...And Out Come The Wolves'. I love the latter album so this is a cracking show for me, but my friend says they should have varied the background a little bit more. However both of us agree that the inclusion of Operation Ivy's 'Knowledge' is a treat, covered by these (Armstrong and Freeman's old band) and more commonly Green Day (BJ Armstrong is also an ex band member). Other highlights are the fast 'Maxwell Murder' ("Call 999!"), the ska tinged 'Old Friend' and 'Time Bomb' and 'Olympia, WA', showing Armstrong's gravel vocals still pack a punch.
So to cap it off, the band may be getting on a bit and do not jump about as much but they still have the feelings and passion for a genre of music that they are so much a part of. Looking at the mixed crowd tonight their music still appeals to anyone and everyone, from new kids who heard the songs from older siblings to old fans who have followed the guys from the beginning. With their last show here nearly two years to the day, lets hope that they do not leave it too long before they play these shores again.
Journey to the End of the East Bay
The 11th Hour
Fall Back Down
The Way I Feel
Who Would've Thought
It's Quite Alright
Something In The World Today
I Wanna Riot
Black & Blue
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article by: Danielle Millea
| published: 13/11/2008 10:54|