Rough Trade one of the finest independent record stores in the Western World situated in the fine city of Bristol – home to many a good venue and champion of the arts be it paintings or music Bristol has always had a good grounding and been the stop of many a great band. Tonight it played host to Brightons finest those cheeky chaps who make up Bar Stool Preachers. The venue is a clean purpose-built a big storeroom. Sure it has air conditioning (not switched on obviously) no windows, Painted black, no bar for people to congregate around and chatter its just four walls with a stage at one end with a pretty decent PA and tonight upon its boards treads the 12 legged groovers who are on a mission and six-man mission to spread the word of unity and Rock and Roll and whilst they go about their work they do it with a ten-mile wide smile and a helping hand. You see the Bar Stool Preachers aren’t just a ska-punk band who dabble in several genres of punk rock but are busy making friends across the globe as they make sure there is a pretty impressive BSP carbon footprint left for all to see. If they’re not stateside or in Europe, they are zig-zagging across the UK playing to larger and larger venues packed with jumping bodies who are believing and getting on board this runaway train of a band.
They are about to release album number three as they finalise details and tracklist for it whilst making sure the songs are also road-tested as they seamlessly weave the new songs in with the old favourites. Tonight got sweaty very very quickly as the enthusiastic audience didn’t need any coercing from Tom to get with the programme they were up for it from the start.
A bold move from the band starting with the awesome ‘One Fool Down’ that’s a statement of intent right there. The old old songs from that first record get things up to speed as ‘Trickle Down’ and ‘Looking Lost’ reintroduce everyone with what a good night out sounds like. Next up we get introduced to some of the new material and what an impressive couple of tunes they are with ‘Late Night Transmission’ and ‘Don’t Die Today’ showing that the band are on the right path with even better material and just watching them look like they are having the time of their lives all the time just like a great band should. It’s not playing to a packed main stage at Rebellion or Punk Rock Bowling nor is it 20 thousand diggin the tunes in some aircraft hanger in Germany but you do get the same level of performance and once you lock into Gibbs metronomic tic from side to side you’re involved, oh don’t try running on the spot like Bungle he’s a professional.
Tonights set was perfect and went by in a flash as old mixed with the new and everything in-between as ‘8.6 Days’ ‘Raced Through Berlin’ kissed ‘Start New’ and ‘Ballad Of The M1’ off the first album and then they were gone, wow that was glorious stuff an exhilarating performance for an exceptional band who are right on the money at the moment and as they re-emerge soaking with perspiration there is time for a couple more and its a tight as two Rizzlas romp through ‘Choose My Friends’ before the inevitable knees-up of ‘Bar Stool Preachers’ and they were done.
These boys deserve every adventure they are being presented with because they have the X-Factor and more importantly they have some exceptional tunes no change that not some they have many exceptional songs – they are grounded and they are hungry and appreciative. Get behind one of the brightest hopes we have on Shit Island now when can we do this all over again?