The band are definitely preaching to the converted - a crowd with their fists in the air and grins on their faces. An eclectic mix of people - veteran punk fans (Stiff Little Fingers tees stretched over middle age stomachs and ladies with Siouxsie Sioux haircuts); women dressed in florals that look like your Great Aunt, moody teenage first timers and bellowing lager louts. Really, the atmosphere is more rowdy family reunion than typical rock show.
A Friar Tuck-a-like holds aloft written placards containing song titles that get the fans whooping Mutiny, Jukebox Generation, Psycho. Lead singer John Robb drips sweat from his head and sleek shirtless torso. Pete G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. machine guns the crowd with his Les Paul Electric Guitar; Johnny Skullknuckles sports both an impressive quiff and razor sharp sideburns. The stage is decorated with pirate flags and faux fur covered amps. Hands are shaken, cheeks are kissed and half the audience is dancing on the stage with the band by the encore.
When hes not running on the spot arms pumping, Robb squats at the stage edge passing the mic into the pit. Everyone knows every word by heart. Robbs eyes bulge and you feel his adrenalin. Maybe its the home crowd, maybe they always play with such gusto, but they seem so excited to be performing at Academy 3, it feels like Goldblade have until tonight been banned from playing.
The music is hardcore but with a few cheeky references thrown in. An Angus Young riff in single AC/DC, a bit of sea shanty here and pulsating surf guitar there. Lyrics are political but good humoured. Che Guevara, Caesar, Simon Le Bon... no-one is safe from getting a mention. For all the talk of riots and revolution, the atmosphere is electric but strangely calm. Robb apologises for getting snot on a girl thats stuck front row centre as he proffers a bandana to wipe her down. No-one is pushy or aggressive and even the mosh pit feels like an OK place to be.
The bands songs are a kick in the pants the thumping music an assault on your ears. The gig may be a sell-out, but the band certainly isnt. These guys arent in it for the money - theyre from gritty Manchester, not sunny California. Goldblade are out there doing what they love. And if you dont like it, the title of their encore says it all Kiss My Ass.
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