This is the band’s second time in this wonderful independent venue perched near the train station in the South East Wales city of Newport with its rich history of rock n roll shows. It’s the first show here since they released their third album and one of the last dates on their quick whirl around the UK before heading to the States nicely warmed up.

With a packed room full to bursting from teenagers to people in their eightieth year on this spinning rock and every age in between not somethign I’ve seen at a show in a long itme something wonderful is happening slowly but surely. The Bar Stool Preachers have certainly worked hard to pull in people of all ages and people of varying tastes to witness their brand of good time ska punk that morphed into something much bigger and to be fair on the evidence of their new record much better but whisper it there’s something in the air thats for sure.

Beaming smiles at a punk rock show and a heaving dance floor where people are lost in music as the band open up with ‘Call Me On The Way Home’ theres moonstomping, pogoing and just dad dancing going on left right and centre as the magnificent seven are leading us through all three albums with the best cuts from each record.

Tom seems excited and overjoyed by the reaction he’s getting and I can see why people are excited the band seem excited one is bouncing off the other like two magnets connecting ‘Choose My Friends’ is a blur of sweat and dancing whilst ‘State Of Emergency’ sounds massive. I look around and see people singing every single word back even from the new album that is only a handful of days old it seems everyone got the memo to sing along and join in the gang choruses louder and louder ‘Doorstep’ – exceptional. ‘Flatlined’ is exhilarating. ‘Race Through Berlin’ sounds massive with three guitars but the band sound like their in tune and tighter than a packet of Rizla papers.

‘One Fool Down’ is anthemic like a heaving football crowd singing with arms aloft and the doo-wop of ‘Love The Love’ is making me smile having seen these boys grow over the years to this is nothing short of brilliant. I’ve seen a dozen shows in the last couple of weeks with some being magical and I went to this knowing it was going to be decent because I’ve seen them plenty of times but I wasn’t expecting them to sound this good and so full of energy and the new songs made me want to just get home and play the new album to death ‘Don’t Die Today’ – stunning and the set was brought to a stop with my favourite song ‘8.6 Days (All The Broken Hearts)’ simply stunning.

Tom returned to the stage accompanied by Alex for a heartfelt ‘Lighthouse Keeper’ before the rest of the band join them for a pulverising encore of ‘When This World Ends’ and the knees up and we’re out of Here ‘Bar Stool Preacher’ bringing the curtain down on a truly wonderful performance but one I felt was only them running to helf speed they are getting better the more shows they play and by the time you read this they’ll be in the good old US of A and as they burn rubber racing around the country they will shift through a few more gears and if you can I can’t recommend taking in a show enough. Sadly I can’t see a venue like Le Pub being big enough when they next give shit island a whirl it’ll be bigger venues I’m afraid but I’m glad I can say I was there.

As a side, it was fantastic to see the band give Gibbs the mic where he expressed his heartfelt thanks for their book drive where they encouraged fans to bring books to the shows to pass on to kids who can’t afford reading books and the stack of paper books at the back of the venue was truly inspirational from a band who give a shit to an audience who gets it Tiny Paws reading I’m sure I saw Bungle wandering off to the tour bus with a copy of Yma O Hyd I didnt know he could read Cymru but fair play. the Bar Stool Preachers are going places and this is just the beginning. What a fantastic night.


Author: Dom Daley