Certain people at RPM have been banging on about Leeds punk mob Cyanide Pills for some time now. We dig ‘em and we own all their albums, of course we do. We may even go as far to say they are the natural successors to the likes of The Buzzcocks and even the Ramones. Don’t believe us? Take one listen to the back catalogue and thank us later!
Yet, the only chance we get to catch the elusive mob is at Rebellion or the odd London date. They seem to tour mostly in Europe, and who can blame them. Germany, Spain, Italy…they love the pogo-ing punk rock of Cyanide Pills.
This band have the back catalogue and the live reputation to match, and I was not going to miss the rare chance of catching the spikey oiks on (near to) home turf.
First up tonight are LoGOz. They have been doing the rounds for a while now, some recent support slots with the likes of Maid Of Ace and The Bar Stool Preachers have seen them get the word out to a wider audience.
Tonight the four piece band seems to be missing a bass player. It matters not one bit. 2 guitars and drums seem to suffice for the catchy, punk pop the trio deliver. Singer Peesh wears his SG swinging from his knees and delivers his tunes like Billie Joe Armstrong meets Captain Sensible. Which is quite fitting, as they do remind me of mid-nineties Green Day with the quirky vocals of The Toy Dolls.
Short, sharp songs with buckets of energy. The likes of ‘Bones Of Yesterday’ and the topical ‘Anti Social Media’ are instant slabs of pop punk goodness with buzzsaw guitars and great harmonies. They go down well, a great band worth getting down early for.
Up next are Gateshead yob rockers Continental Quilts. I don’t know what the singer’s called, but she looks like a Debbie, so we’ll go with that for the sake of argument. Debbie looks like she’s off to a 50’s rock n roll convention with her dirty uncles in their matching baseball jackets and shoes. But looks can be deceptive.
She looks like butter wouldn’t melt, but happens to be a fiery little demon once their set kicks off. This band is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as musically they are trashy as hell and deliver a high energy set. Recent single ‘C’mon Get Back To Gettin’ It On’ is a glorious, glam rock stomper that nods its head to Suzi Quatro or The Sweet. I think they played it twice! And ‘Motor Sicko Fever’ is raw, high energy garage rock at its finest.
Great gang backing vocals and bundles of enthusiasm make the Continental Quilts experience something worth dragging your sorry ass away from the bar for.
Four songs into Cyanide Pills set and singer Phil Privilege (not his real name) has already put his head through the ceiling of The Fulford Arms. Sporting a battered white leather jacket, the singer shakes the plasterboard from his hair, rubs the dust from his eyes and carries on singing ‘Making Her Mind Up’, one of many highlights from a 45 minute thriller of a set. Yes, Cyanide Pills have a clenched fist full of bangers and they deliver the lot at a frantic pace tonight. Seriously, this is an ‘all killer, no filler’ show.
The songs are so short that their 45 minute setlist is scrawled on the back on an old A3 poster. That set mixes up all three albums nicely and there is much to get excited about. ‘I Don’t Remember’ and ‘Alone Tonight’ from last year’s excellent ‘Sliced and Diced’ fit the set like old friends, and ‘Sit Tight’ and ‘I’m Bored’ are full on, high energy Buzzcocks style anthems for a jilted generation.
In biker jackets and skinny jeans, guitarists Alex and Sy point their guitars to the ceiling as they peel off every Thunders lick they know, while new (stand in?) bassist Conor Hussey holds down the low end, looking every inch the Sid Vicious clone he plays in The Sex Pistols Experience.
While the band jerk about like men possessed, their singer nonchalantly swigs from a can of cider and sprays mouthfuls of Dark Fruits in the general direction of the seemingly oblivious bassist and guitarist to his right. Full on, edgy punk rock man!
At other times he’s in the crowd, loving the moment, living the punk rock dream. “Johnny Thunders lived in York!” he shouts, as an introduction to the fabulous ‘Johnny Thunders Lived In Leeds’. It’s a song that is as cool as the title suggests it should be. One of many set highlights along with the topical ‘Government’, with its “robbing me blind” refrain, and the sublime ‘Suicide Bomber’, surely one of the greatest punk rock songs of modern times.
Forget buying a ticket to see Green Day in an enormodome. This is where true punk rock is at people. As we always say, the smaller and more intimate, the better. This is where the likes of Green Day started anyway, the sort of venue where they learnt their trade. The sort of venue where you can see the whites of their eyes, feel the sweat as it splashes against your own drenched t shirt, and feel the blood rush through your veins as the power of yet another classic anthem beats through your chest.
Cyanide Pills left their mark on The Fulford Arms both physically and mentally tonight. They are arguably the best punk rock band in the UK right now, and I would pay good money to see them any day of the week. In fact, I like them so much I might just move to Germany in the hope of catching them live more often.
Author: Ben Hughes