Gig Review: @FLAGband at @TheUnderworld , Camden, 2nd August 2016

Channel 3

CH3 are something special. The crowd knew it, I very quickly realised it. They had an especially rabid little group of fans standing front and centre, one of whom was invited onto stage for “You Make Me Feel Cheap”, for which they needed “a woman to sing this one”, much to her great delight – that was definitely a moment for her to treasure! These guys have shamefully never been on my radar, but I’m SO glad they are now.

A Wilhelm Scream

A Wilhelm Scream were almost a sporting event, such was the feverish movement onstage coupled with all of them wearing shorts and sweating it out like warthogs. Meanwhile the crowd were turning their “hardcore pop” music (yeah, that’s a thing now) into a contact sport. Incidentally, bassist Brian J. Johnson is INCREDIBLE. He made moves on that bass that are so sexual they should probably be illegal, whilst simultaneously producing the most immense sound. Damn good!

FLAG

Stephen Egerton is quite the most ferocious rhythm guitarist I have ever seen. His perspex guitar sheened with sweat as he slashed and burned his way through segue after segue with all the fire & skill of Johnny Ramone on Angel Dust.

You know the age old tale of the quiet kid at the back of class causing the most trouble? With Bill Stevenson, it’s a case of the quiet fella at the back of the stage making the most noise. He’d give any Punk drummer a run for their money – I can’t imagine what would happen if he actually chose to hit those drums using the full force of his muscles! He hit the mark with every single beat. On. The. Money.

Half way through his vocal onslaught, Keith Morris quite rightly stopped proceedings when some idiot decided to spit on him – he was suitably scathing in response, to the sounds of an approving audience. Making his moody way through the rest of the set, it later transpired that he wasn’t feeling too hot – he fooled us all, giving us what we wanted – a boisterous, agitative, inebriating performance.

Dez Cadena spent the evening eyeballing those who were analysing every move FLAG made – which was pretty much everyone in that hot, sweaty room. The coolest of the cool, he effortlessly ambled through all 23 songs in front of a few hundred people whose high expectations were very much met.

If you want the ultimate in bass guitar shred, Chuck Dukowski is your man. My god, that man can work that bass (< understatement!). If he’d have played any harder, I reckon he’d have obliterated that instrument. He later also proved he’s a thoroughly good man by chatting away to me post-gig and offering me a beer – who was I to refuse?!

DSC_4085

That night was one of outrageous energy levels and rage verging on insanity – there was no pause for breath or thought, and certainly no time to think about the amount of bruises which would later make themselves known.

An unpredictable, dysfunctional yet immensely zestful and exhilirating night was had by all those present. Anyone who doubts the existence of Punk Rock needs to go and watch FLAG. Pronto.

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