Live music, Irish Centre, Basingstoke - Friday, October 16

THIS show was all lined up to be a pretty poignant affair, marking as it did the fact that Si, drummer with Ill Gotten Gains and numerous other local bands, is off to Australia for a year, which will be a real loss to the local scene.

It kicked off with The Imbeciles from Fleet, a very young punk band, who really need much greater recognition. I have seen them several times before and each time they have gotten better.

Basingstoke Gazette:

On this night, they proved that faith in them is well placed, because they played an awesome set. If they keep this up, in the next couple of years they will be unbelievable.

Next up and down from London for their first visit to Basingstoke were The Werecats. I had not seen them before, but they came to me highly recommended.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Again, I was blown away by how good they were. Really fast, poppy punk in style. So very catchy with a great blend of male and female vocals and backing vocals. They even reminded me a bit of the B52s or even Lush.

I have put them straight on my "go and see again pronto" list. What was on paper a good show was rapidly turning into a great show.

Main support was provided by Bandits UK, down from Newbury, who are great mates of Si and the headline band.

Basingstoke Gazette:

I have seen these guys dozens of times before and they are never less than excellent and yet tonight they were even better. Perhaps it was the crowd, or the occasion, or the alcohol, who knows - but this was a killer set.

There was a large crowd in the venue anyway, with a great many of them up on the dance floor loving every minute of the set. I know all the songs well and live they are just perfect.

All too soon it was time for the final band, Ill Gotten Gains - who as well as seeing Si off, were celebrating the launch of their debut album (digitally).

Basingstoke Gazette:

This is another ska-punk band who do not do things by halves.

On this occasion, it was all about having fun and things got off to a suitably chaotic start. However, they soon settled into a fast-aggressive delivery, guaranteed to get even the hardest of hearts to shake their heads and tap their feet.

They even played a slightly longer set and yet the time seemed to fly by - and all too soon it was all over. It is no exaggeration to say that this was one of the best shows I have been to this year!

Thanks to all the bands who played - it was like having four headline acts - and thanks to the Irish Centre for being such great hosts to a bunch of rowdy punks and other misfits.

I can hardly wait for the next show on Saturday, December 5. 

Neil Duncan, Issuepunkzine