Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bad Manners (and friends) at Bradford Rio

Full of cold and feeling sorry for myself, I nearly didn't bother with this, but I'd already forked for the ticket. Besides, I always think a good, hot curry is great for colds and if Bradford's good for anything it's a curry and one of the best places is Omar's. Famous for it's massive naan breads, they do great food at good prices. A chicken dopiaza and a family naan between 3 of us did a great job before heading to the gig at Bradford Rio. It's a reasonable venue. Decent enough size, although the bar is a bit small and the choice of drinks is limited. Stella at £2.70 was the only viable option for me in the face of a Carlsberg onslaught. As you may have expected for a Bad Manners crowd, skinheads, Doc Martens and braces were the de rigeur fashion items. But not dressed like that, I never felt like I didn't fit in or belong. A lot of folks are instantly put off by the skinhead look, but you should really know the roots of ska in the Caribbean and the whole history of Rock Against Racism. In other words, it was a boisterous, but good-natured crowd.
Ostensibly a Bad Manners gig, I was also interested in the support - Splodgenessabounds, the Macc Lad and The Ruts.

It was Dave Goodman of Splodgenessabounds that kicked things off with a few choice ditties including the one hit single, 'Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps please', among some festive tunes like 'Tommy the christmas tree' and the Rolf Harris classic 'Two little boys'.

We were promised the Macc Lad - i.e. Muttley of the Macc Lads on his own. It didn't happen. Instead, some of the Bad Manners band played a few Macc Lads numbers for our listening pleasure. Not bad, but a bit disappointing that Muttley didn't make it. Still nice to hear 'Sweaty Betty' and 'Fat Bastard' live, as well as versions of 'Johnny Be Good' and The Police classic 'So Lonely'.
Final support act were The Ruts. Long-time favourites of mine from the punk era. Obviously not the original line-up, given that Malcolm Owen died 26 years ago, but the feller they've got in was very good - very enthusiastic and suitably angry. Paul Fox on the guitar was simply awesome. The passion was still there, but I can't help feeling folks that age should be getting angry about a lack of NHS dentists or putting their kids through college rather than 30-year old problems that inspired the whole punk movement. That said, some things are still relevant, like Jah War and the whole Blair Peach thing that isn't too far away from racial tensions that exist today. Managed to get a couple of really low quality pictures:

Warm ups done, it was time for the main event.
Buster Bloodvessel is a national treasure. One of the great showmen in the country in my opinion.

The whole place was rocking. Much pogoing, plastic pint pots flying, as all the ska classics came out. Guns Of Navarone is a personal favourite. I saw the Skatalites last year and their version was very different to these guys and neither can be faulted for interpreting a classic. It was the first time I'd heard Woolly Bully outside of Bradford Bulls' Odsal home, and therefore the first time I'd heard it without wanting to throttle someone. It was also the first time in many years that I'd not heard anyone singing "We all hate Leeds" when Tom Hark was played. Sadly I had to duck out for a lift home just two songs into the encore, so missed the inevitable rendition of Lip Up Fatty. Still, Special Brew and Ne-ne-ni-ni-na-na-nu-nu just about made up for it. Apparently, they finished with Lip Up Fatty and a quarter-hour version of the Can-Can.
All that bouncing, pogoing and ska jerks and everything really does work up a sweat. I cant help thinking that someone is missing a trick - a ska workout video: it'd be a winner.
Great gig, wild atmosphere, good laugh all following a good curry. Cracking night out all round.


Asim said...

It was a good night, I was very suprised by your enthusiastic dancing to Wooly Bully though ;-)

Was impressed with The Ruts, being a youngster they were new to me, but I've managed to find a few of their tracks today and like what I'm hearing.

Gary said...

I can see it now, you and Rob of Keighley, three quarter length jeans, 18 hole DM's, Ben Sherman shirt and red braces, dance mat, head band, lager and a bowl of curry, leading the ska-cercise video.

Oh the revenue, think of the TV advertising campaign - keep this one under your hat while I charge the batteries on the video camera will you ?

The Big Fat Phony said...

Mr D dancing? Frog. Blender.

John_D said...

Skacercise. Nice. I think I'll copyright that