Whilst this isn’t going to be the longest review I’ve ever penned (for reasons I’ll soon get into) I just had to get something down on (virtual) paper, simply because tonight is the reason that I still love going to see live bands so much.

Rewind a few weeks then, and completely out of the blue Fraser from Deathtraps/SLAB sends me a video clip of a band he’s discovered called The Atom Age asking if I’d go and see them when they play Newport, I play the song a couple of times, think it’s pretty decent but then I somehow forget about it. In fact, it’s only a few hours before doors tonight that I suddenly remember the gig is still very much happening and we then find ourselves having a proper old man stroll through Commercial St reminiscing about all the old shops we used to frequent (and in fact work in) as we make our way up to Le Pub handing over the King’s ransom of £7 to get in.

It’s at this point I do have to wonder where all those lockdown social media warriors are – you know the ones demanding they should be able to go see live bands when it really wasn’t safe to – yet now it is safe, they seem to be still in the house, on the internet. Ah well….

Thankfully any Bad News in Grantham style crowd worries are immediately waylaid though due to the fact that local crossover me(n)talists Pizzatramp are also on the bill and they bring with them not only the usual set of razor-sharp witted hardcore tunes, but also a very healthy number of fans who seemingly still can’t get enough of them. Me, it’s the first time I’ve seen them in quite some time, certainly since bassist Sam has left their ranks, and last-minute stand in bassist Rhys once again helps dig Jimbob and Dan out of the proverbial doo doo. Not that you would know it’s all last-minute mind. Not until Jimbob lets the cat out the bag straight after a frantic blast through ‘Millions Of Dead Goths’ early on. Admittedly there’s a Sam sized hole on the stage (as he’s stood behind me watching), and if you’ve grown up with the band from the ‘Two Quid/War Or Nothing’ days then you’re obviously going to notice that, but what the guys really need to do right now is to get someone like Rhys in fulltime and hopefully not lose any of the fantastic momentum they’ve gained so far. That task might have just got a whole lot harder to fulfil mind after Jimbob admits he actually likes the theme song to ‘In The Name Of The Father’ (tongue firmly placed in cheek) before the band close their set down with, what else but, ‘Bono’s A Cunt’. And that right there folks is why I will always love me a slice of live Pizzatramp.

And so, we come to the reason this review isn’t really that long. That’s because in spite of the fact that The Atom Age (all the way from Oakland California I might add) have recorded four albums since they formed back in 2009, I’ve heard the grand total of one song before they hit the stage, and that song they play straight off, so where I’d normally go track by track through a band’s set, this time I just think “fuck it – lets enjoy the racket”, and boy what a joyous racket it is. Imagine if you will a band drenched in the essence of Rocket From The Crypt, but with the odd hint of Dick Dale or The Cramps whilst also laying down some mighty fine Dirtbombs style rock n soul riffs flavoured with just the merest hint of Fuzztones psychedelia, and that brothers and sisters, is The Atom Age. 

The six piece deliver their set like they are headlining a packed arena not a pub with about 50 odd people in it, and dripping in sweat they also manage to get a well-deserved encore out of their newly acquired Newport fanbase….and this, this is what I meant right at the start of the review. This is what going to see live music is all about. I left with 2 LPs and a T-shirt and a huge smile on my face (and so did a fair few others). This is what live music is all about and The Atom Age are a band just waiting for you to discover. Get on it!!!!!  

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Author: Johnny Hayward