Barb Wire Dolls/Segrëgates/Young Urban Parasites - York, The Fulford Arms - 25 May 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Saturday, 10 June 2017 04:00

The hottest day of the year so far, too hot for a punk rock show in a claustrophobic atmosphere, notorious for getting hot 'n' sweaty, even in December? No way, bring it on! Barb Wire Dolls hail from Greece, they are used to the heat, but us Brits...well, fuck me, it's hot in here and my skin is glistening with sweat before the first band has even picked up an instrument. Oh I'm so up for this, let's sweat!


Barb Wire Dolls 1

Local indie band Young Urban Parasites open proceedings tonight and their brand of jangly, punk pop is as refreshing as the beer I gladly hold in my hand. Bespectacled singer Sarah has that quirky Zooey Deschanel/student thing going on and smiles throughout as she sweetly sings along to some instantly catchy tunes. 


Their songs are short, fast, yet guitar driven too, coming on like The Rezillos meets The Primitives with a splash of The Sundays thrown in for good measure. If you were to take a picture of Young Urban Parasites live and posted it on Snapchat, you could add flowers and hearts and make them even cuter than in real life.


I like ‘em, I like ‘em a lot. Shame really, as it turns out this is one of their final shows, as Sarah is moving to the good ole US of A. What is our loss is their gain I guess.


Now, Segrëgates are a completely different prospect. They play proper punk rock like they mean it and like it should be played. They come from York and they sound like Motorhead. Head shouter/bassist Smell even plays bass like Lemmy and has his mic set the same way. Smell happens to be very tall, so his mic stand is literally inches away from the ceiling of the Fulford Arms stage. 



Fast and raw, the likes of 'Turn It Loose' sound marvellous, drummer Filthy Deviant Bilo is stripped to the waist in the growing heat and keeps up a frantic pace.  Smell has good between song banter and even dedicates one song to guitarist Dr J Horn's, sister, and how much he would like to "fook her", to use his words. Good songs and great live, I will be keeping an eye out for them again.


I have been meaning to catch Greek punk rockers Barb Wire Dolls for a while now. Famously signed by Lemmy personally to his own Motorhead Music label a few years back, the band have a lot to live up to. 2 albums into their career and they seemingly tour hard, play hard and damn, they look cool. Two guys, two girls and one Isis Queen, a hot and sweaty night at the enclosed confines of The Fulford Arms seems the perfect setting to catch this five piece for the first time.


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Opener 'Heart Attack' sounds ace, as bare chested guitarist Pyn Doll peels off the riff. The enigmatic Isis Queen, dressed in ripped fishnets, silver hot pants, heels and a boob tube with the slogan "Make Riot Not War" scrawled, comes on like Debbie Harry meets Hazel O'Connor with a touch of Doro Pesch thrown in for good measure. She commands the stage, singling out each and every audience member down the front one by one, making eye contact and singing the words right to them. Those that aren't glued to their phones taking pictures that is.


'Surreal' sounds cool live in all its low slung, laid back glory, 'Darby Crash' is full on, relentless punk rock power, and 'Take Me Home' shows their more melodic side, yes this band have anthems and they are not afraid to use them. 


The new songs played tonight from upcoming album 'Rub My Mind' promise much as well. 'Call Me' has a weird, sorta System Of A Down feel to it which is cool and the bass driven 'We Are Champions' is full on anthemic punk rock with a rousing chorus over frantic instrumentation. It's enough to make me get the album pre-ordered on vinyl later that night.


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While the band are a full on ball of energy, the focus is of course Isis Queen, who revels in the glory of the leader role, punching the air and throwing rock shapes in full on Doro Pesch mode, she uses every inch of the stage available to her and we lap it up. Killer new single 'Back In The USSA' is saved for the end, with its pop sensibilities and punk rock attitude it can not fail to leave a mark on first impressions alone.


Raw and undiluted, Barb Wire Dolls triumph in a live setting. Isis Queen led her troops into little old York for the first time and it was a triumph to all who witnessed it. Along with the likes of the UK's very own Hands Off Gretel, they lead the new breed of bands that have something to say, primed to pounce on a young generation hungry for punk rock and music that means something. Two bands with strong female leaders that we really should be championing and pushing in the direction of all who will listen to keep music live. Are you listening?


PHOTO CREDIT: Photos © APK Event Photography.


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