Anti-Nowhere League/This System Kills/Hacksaw - Bristol, Bierkeller - 14th October 2010 Print E-mail
Written by Matt Phelps   
Saturday, 23 October 2010 06:00
ANWL_1"Good Evening, We're Hacksaw and we're not very good". With that opening gambit from one half of Bristol's Hacksaw things don't look good, but the infectious enthusiasm and zany songs the duo (guitarist George McSaw and drummer Roy D Hacksaw) soon start dishing out get the punk party started in fine fashion. Firing off rapid bursts of stupidity and trading vocals in tunes like 'Do Not Feed The Geese, They're Dead!' football anthem 'Go Bath City Go' and the Tarbuck/Forsyth baiting 'Golf Comics' Hacksaw soon have the crowd on their side. It's a rough mix between Kevin Bloody Wilson, the Ramones and Napalm Death that best describes what these guys create and with Roy's cracked and twisted cymbals looking more like airplane wreckage than musical instruments it's clear to see that the guys play as hard as they laugh. Throwing out several dozen toilet rolls into the crowd ahead of the infamous 'Bog Roll', ensures that the accompanying scene to the final track of their set is a full scale paper storm, a tissue tornado, screaming from left to right, back to front and every place in between leaving the Bierkeller floor looking like the Andrex puppy had a rocket up it's arse.
This System Kills up next. A swift yet powerful 30 minute set from the Welsh contingent offers a more mature sounding, political angled assault on the senses that's delivered with a hardcore smash in the face. Gems like 'Under Banners', '30 Years' and 'If The Cap Fits' fill the set with an immense sound and frontman Pig commands the stage with a level of confidence fitting his advancing years. Unfortunately though This System Kills go by seemingly less appreciated than they should be, the younger parts of tonights audience still more interested in throwing toilet rolls around. Shame, but a cracking performance from the TSK guys all the same.  
ANWL_2Striding onto the stage Anti-Nowhere League waste no time ramping up the volume and launching fist first into an opening trio of tracks that grab the rabid crowd firmly around the throat and shake them like an epileptic pit bull. 'Let's Break The Law', 'We Will Survive' and the brooding power of 'Nowhere Man' all get the temperature rising. Before our first treats from 'The Road To Rampton' album come in the shape of 'The End Of The Day' and 'Run' both perfectly delivered and enthusiastically received, band and crowd ticking along together perfectly like a well tuned engine. The rhythm section of Nato (drums) and Shady (bass) unleash a wall of pulsing sound at deafening volume while Animal prowls back and forth, growing, shouting and spitting out lyrics over some pretty indecent gesturing to the likes of 'Woman', 'Animal' and 'Talk Dirty To Me'  
The set list is a real mix of everything, something old ('I Hate People'), something new ('Skull & Bones'), something borrowed ('Streets Of London') and something blue ('So What'). The arrival of 'So What' turning the air inside the club as blue as a pensioners barnet. Chaos engulfs the baying crowd circling the front of the stage as Animal surveys the scene, a glint of satisfaction flashes across his jet black shades, safe in the knowledge that 30 years on from the authorities trying to ban the song it still lives on as strong, if not stronger than, ever. Job done they leave the stage.
Returning for more the double strike of 'For You' and 'Never Drink Alone' sees pints spilling and bodies flying before the blistering 'Pig Iron' sticks in a metal injection of speed and ferocity ahead of the anthemic 'Rocker'. The calls of 'Who are ya?' start to echo around the Bierkeller prompting Animal to growl in reply 'WE ARE......THE LEAGUE!'. Sending the crowd spinning and moshing into one final frenzy to finish off the night. 20 classic punk tracks banged out in just over an hour left everyone exhausted and smashed but at the same time totally refreshed and invigorated from witnessing a real band doing the things they want, when they want and on their own terms. No bullshit, no ulterior motives, just pure fucking punk rock!


Long Live The League!