We’re just over three weeks into 2020 and tonight I’m ticking off gig number three just 24 hours after a BellRays show that will probably end up in my gigs of the year by heading across the Severn estuary for a night of bovver rock courtesy of Italian stallions Giuda and UK (angelic?) upstarts Hard Wax.

Also on the bill and opening proceedings tonight are local(ish) four piece BullyBones who take the stage looking like villains from a long lost episode of The Sweeney and specialise in a brand of 60’s garage rock perhaps more akin to last night’s headliner than tonight’s.  A sneaky cover of Gary Glitter’s ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me’ mid set though manages to win over pretty much anyone who wasn’t on the side of the BullyBones bad boys. Driven by the powerhouse rhythm section of drummer Owain Casey and bassist Illy Webster (who somehow manages to wear his Rickenbacker even higher than Joey DeMaio) guitarist Aaron Lee paints a very Pebbles-y picture over which singer Charlie Pullinger lays bare his Iggy meets Jack Daniels (as in Alan Lake’s character in Slade In Flame) soul.  The lads have a new 7” single due soon and I can’t help but wonder if it’s time to dig those old turtle neck sweaters out of the sideboard as we might be about to witness an all new Beat generation with BullyBones leading it.

Quickly swapping my Chelsea boots for some 14 eye oxblood Dr Marten’s and I’m all set up for Hard Wax to deliver some of their solid gold bovver rock anthems, having really enjoyed the band’s ‘This Is The Sound’ album released at the tail end of 2019.  Live, though what this still relatively “new” Hard Wax line up might be missing in both stage craft and attitude is thankfully made up for by those songs, with the highlights being the title track and ‘Have a Good Time’. It is, however, the tracks I’d not heard before, like ‘Bootboy Stomp’ and ‘Kings Of The Weekend’ that actually stand out, which makes me wonder why I’ve not yet ventured further into the band’s back catalogue?

A band I’ve very much been with from the start are tonight’s headliners Giuda, I remember when ‘Racey Roller’ first graced the deathdecks at Uber Rock Towers (as was) a full decade or so ago and it just made all of us stop in our tracks and ask “what the fuck is this?”  Very much a band out of time, I’ve witnessed the rock ‘n’ roll fever that the Italians have been spreading at festivals across Europe and at selected UK headline shows, but never before tonight at a gig within a half hour drive of my home and never before in a venue as tightly packed as Bristol’s Louisiana.

With the prospect of the band’s boot stomping anthems delivering the upstairs venue into the bar below I take up a place near the edge of the front few rows (which is refreshing to see is about 80% female) safe in the knowledge that if I’m going to re-enact the ‘Shake Your Foundations’ music video then I’m going down dancing, and from opener ‘Overdrive’ (with all its glorious and rather apt AC/DC overtones) for the next 60 minutes that’s pretty much what everyone does. There’s no time for chat it’s all about great music as the likes of ‘Back Home’ and ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ whistle past our ears like rock ‘n’ roll rockets and I defy anyone to not have their thumbs in their belt loops for the likes of ‘Number Ten’ and ‘Teenage Rebel’. The only problem is it’s all over way too soon, and after a four song encore we’re left to all wander off down the banks of the River Avon all Warriors-like to the strains of Joe Walsh’s ‘In The City’ booming from the PA. Still as endings go that’s as near perfect as they come, I just wish nights like this could go on for E.V.A (Ouch).

Author: Johnny Hayward


There’s something gloriously familiar about this second long-player from UK bovver rockers Hard Wax, something that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s something that right from the very first spin has me beaming from ear to ear, so it must be something good right?

They say the make of any band is the strength of their tunes…and here on ‘This Is The Sound’ Wax main man Tom Boutwood (ably assisted by Paul Bond on drums, Tom Murphy on lead guitar and Matt Colton on bass) has penned some of the finest Oi! infused terrace anthems you’ll hear anywhere this year. Just like the recently released Michael Monroe album it’s not exactly groundbreaking or genre-bending stuff but sometimes I just need my punk rock music to be just that, straight ahead and no-frills, and right here on ‘This Is The Sound’ what you get for your entry money are ten premium cuts of bovver boy rock ‘n’ roll.

Kicking off with ‘Welcome To Bovver Rock City’ this just shy of two-minute long intro bears all the hallmarks of Hard Wax’s upcoming UK tour partners Giuda, albeit a Giuda fronted by someone who sounds a hell of a lot like Ginge Knievel.  And that right there is the familiar thing I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the top, because at times during ‘This Is The Sound’ it’s just like Mr Knievel has returned from his self-imposed exile and is finally fronting the band he’s always wanted to front. The similarity really is uncanny, but trust me, there’s a whole lot more to this record that the singer sounding a hell of a lot like the ex-Sick Livers/Nicotine Pretty frontman.

Things really kick off in style on ‘Living The Dream’, a proper piece of punk rock argy bargy designed to get your oxblood a-stomping. Elsewhere ‘This is The Sound’, ‘Days Of Glory’ (ooh hello Sailor) and ‘Razor Part Rebels’ (complete with an otherworldly Ace Frehley guitar riff) all steam out the blocks full of cock-sure 70s glam rock swagger and just a few spins later you’ll be singing along like you’ve had this album in your life since your childhood.
When the world outside your window is slowly turning to shit ‘This Is The Sound’ is the perfect pick me up record with tracks like ‘Have A Good Time’ and ‘Not Just a Pin-Up Girl’ guaranteed to make you smile once again, and in ‘Boys Of A Saturday Night’ and ‘Stomp All Over The World’ you have the near perfect soundtrack for a right proper tear up…on the dancefloor of course.

Which just leaves ‘In For a Penny’, a track I went straight to when I first got my copy of ‘This Is The Sound’ simply because I initially thought “wow a Slade cover that’s gonna take some balls”. Well, it’s actually not a cover, although the guitar riff is equal parts Hill and Holder and it’s the kind of glorious call to arms tune that would have seen Hard Wax on Top Of The Pops had it been released back in the 70s.
With a whole raft of great new punk rock records released by UK bands in 2019 (if you think otherwise then you really do need to read RPM more) I’m delighted to say that ‘This Is The Sound’ is right up there with the very best of them.

Now go get your boots on and get down your record shop and get yourself a copy.

Buy this is the sound Here


Author: Johnny Hayward