UK Subs with The Mistakes supporting 30.4.2022 The 100 Club, Oxford Street, London
It’s only seven days ago since I saw The UK Subs in Glasgow at Scotland Calling, but I was up in town anyway. The added interest comes from The Mistakes, from Poole where I live – I did see them support the UK Subs in the unlikely surroundings of The Allendale Centre, Wimborne in April 2019. Bought their quite recent album (CD) A Head Full of Damage (2021) and here I am walking down into the historic subterranean venue that is The 100 Club on London’s Oxford Street to see them.
I was here a few weeks ago for Luke Haines and Peter Buck but this is only my eighth visit and all have been since 1999, so no I wasn’t here back when I was a suburban London youth. (More about the venue and previous visits here in my Spizz blog from 2019.)
As for The UK Subs, I didn’t see them until 2011, at Champions in Bournemouth, twice more in Dorset and last week in Glasgow. Despite buying my first UK Subs record – Stranglehold – about half an hour after I heard it on the radio on a Saturday morning in 1979 (Sunbury Record Scene), I waited 42 years to see them live….and now I’m catching up and frontman Charlie Harper is 77. Where did that time go?
I’m here with gig buddy Dave and we are in just in time for The Mistakes, after a pint in The Champion, our new favoured pub in the area, a few blocks away, to the north of Oxford Street.
This five piece Poole punk band have three albums that they’ve put out under their own steam in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The Mistakes describe themselves as ‘balls to the wall’ punk. It’s fast and furious with the pace slowing a bit when the ska influence comes in.
The sound is really good in here tonight. We pitch up front left. People are still coming in at 8.15pm when they start so plenty of room at the front at this point.
First few songs are the first two from the latest album which gives me a familiar start. Fourth song in is Kev, introduced as being about their number one fan ‘who’s just had a great day out at Millwall’ and is dancing at the front in a UK Subs t-shirt. My brain starts whirring and I remember bumping into this Millwall fan in the Nelson pub on Poole Quay a few years ago while a big FA Cup tie was on. It’s him, confirmed by scrolling through old phone pics to find a selfie with Kev and his Millwall flag after I told him I was a West Ham fan, after he’d given me a one fingered gesture, smiling.
The Mistakes are buzzing – enjoying the venue – what an iconic place to play. They go down well as the place fills.
I pop to the bar – decent selection and price given we are in Oxford Street – and fight my way back to my place. It is now packed as the UK Subs come on. Packed with blokes of an age mainly. The decorated leather jackets are out and band t-shirts galore. The UK Subs at The 100 Club is a punk pilgrimage.
The mosh gets going and there are some youngsters in there as well who can’t be older than 20. After one song a young bloke with a mohawk haircut and an Anti-Nowhere League emblazoned leather jacket leaps on the low stage for a selfie with his arm round frontman Charlie Harper. What’s the reaction?….smiles for the photo “10 out of 10 for f*cking front” and the lad jumps down. Charlie’s beaming. He loves it and remarks on how good it is to see new generations appreciating the music. Youth in general gets a clap.
Great sound with a set laced with UK Subs gems Barbie’s Dead, Stranglehold, Tomorrow‘s Girls … and Warhead is the old Subs song of the moment sadly…. we rock on while we can eh. (YouTube Top of the Pops version)
“There’s a burning sun
And it sets in the western world
But it rises in the east
And pretty soon
It’s gonna burn your temples down
Warhead, warhead, warhead
Warhead, warhead, warhead”
The UK Subs keep the old punk flag flying once again. But tonight it was great to see The Mistakes coming up here to the legendary 100 Club and bringing their newer sounds… and Kev.
(On YouTube you will find a recording of the whole gig posted by YeAuldMetaller. 36m30s in for a rousing rendition of Warhead✊. 30m20s for the young punk grabbing a Charlie selfie 😁)