I arrive at the sunny surroundings of Camp Nou on a match day where 100,000 supporters file past the salubrious surroundings of Butyclan Music Bar unaware that inside are four fearless Rock n’ Roll pirates navigating their way across Europe converting followers of sleazy punk n roll to their wild and wicked ways, but I know, for I’ve also travelled far and wide to be here for this show. So, imagine my horror when I enter the venue whilst local punks Black Babies are tearing into their LAMF retro punk sound but in Catalonian so I’m fucked if I know what they’re talking about anyway. It was downstairs to an underground lair housing a bar in a cage and not a lot else – a low ceiling and a shitty PA and that’s pretty much what you have. Hey, it’s only Rock n Roll right?

Ravagers take to the stage and immediately have sound problems and it looks like there isn’t a decent mic in the building let alone a PA that can handle some sleazy Rock n Roll hell it would struggle to handle a school sports day announcement but being the road dogs they are the band smash on regardless. They kick into the opening track with no vocals and the muddiest sound ever which is a shame because apart from all the problems not of the band doing they sound tight as fuck and the benefit of being on the road through mainland Europe is paying dividends. ‘Down The Road’ is their latest video so should be familiar to many in attendance but again no vocals it’s not until ‘Just Another Rat’ that we get some vocals in the mix which helps and finally we can relax and get on with some top-notch punk n roll. The band quickly get up to speed and is smashing songs old and new, ‘Blackout’ turns the temperature up a notch or two before ‘Drowning In Blood’ cuts the mustard and was dedicated to Baltimore knife crime and by now the band are flying.

Alex Hagen is doing a sterling job leading his gang somewhere between the swagger of Stiv Bator and a whippersnapper Johnny Thunders but he’s ably supported by Matt Gabs and Sam Hariss on Bass who along with the prince of pound Ray were stoking the heat in the engine room and pouring petrol on the fire out front as the tunes were coming thick and fast. ‘White Widow’, ‘Sick House’ and ‘Nasty Nights’ all sounded tight before they hit the jackpot with their cover of the Lord’s classic ‘Downtown’ showcasing the rhythm section and how tight they’ve become over this tour.

Before you know it we’ve hit ‘Cold Heat’ and the band is being told to get the hell out of dodge which only leaves time for them to rip through ‘High On Stress’ and we’re outta here.

With all the challenges of the room being inappropriate for a rock n roll show playing half the set in total darkness and the lights being a disco light and someone switching the house light on and off I kept waiting for Vim Fuego to fall down the stairs but hey ho oh and a 1980s PA, the band soldiered on and made light of their challenges and turned in an excellent set of Punk n Roll of the finest quality despite their testing surroundings.

Now, next time come to the UK at least for a couple of shows, I’ll be there singing along and championing some low down dirty, sleazy, punk n roll. God bless Ravagers for tearing it up across Europe on a proper tour playing Rock n Roll loud, fast n with the fury it deserves. Top turn, Top tunes top night out in sunny Barca. Gracias.

Author: Dom Daley