Farewell to touring then as the long anticipated UK Tour hits the road and a sold out Globe is bathed in sweat in anticipation for the regular South Wales show which has always formed part of the bands UK tours from way back the Subs have never done the easy tours they’ve always shown up in the nooks and crannys of the UK in the far flung forgotten corners, not that Cardiff is a forgotten corner of the UK but you know what I mean. Charlie has obviously thought long and hard about how he should spend his retirment and one of the hardest working frontmen throughly deserves to put his feet up and enjoy his retirment but theres one last huraah as the band who’ve become one of the finest live bands anywhere on this spinning rock regardless of age because Charlie is proof that it is merely a number as he pogos on the stage in stupidly hot venues.
Menace are on the stage with their 77 punk rock anthems and they seem to be having a ball it has to be said and the nicely filling venue is reciprocating the love being given the punks dancing down the front. Reliving the days of the Roxy with songs like ‘GLC’ which are lapped up by many in attendance. It must be great being in a band who were on the fringes of punk back in its inception still being able to knock out the songs you wrote as young men and still seeing older people singing back like not a single day has passed – call it nostalgia call it heritage whatever but remember these songs meant something to the writers back in the 70s and they still mean something to the listeners now almost fifty years on.
Anyway, the reason why I’m in attendance is to witness the South Wales date of the end of the road tour tour by the magnificent UK Subs and as the band take the stage and rip straight into ‘Scum Of The Earth’ and without the blink of an eye were into the drum intro of ‘Born A Rocker’ this school night Globe audience is determined to lap up every single sweaty second of this and the band minus a few guitar hic ups are giving it back in spades knocking out what is effectivly the longest encore I’ve seen in a while. It’s pretty much the very best of the UK Subs played by a band who are right on it and sounding fantastic as well as looking like their having the best of times as well. ‘New York State Police’, ‘Barbies Dead’, ‘Emotional Blackmail’ are all dispatched with aplomb.
Its fair to say Charlie sounds good and when he says humbly, thank you it means a lot you genuinely know he means it and its fair to say tonights crowd are giving it everything and its a joy to witness. ‘Kill Me’ and ‘Limo Life’ take things to the next level but when Alvin introduces the best song Guns n Roses never wrote there is much merriment in the room as ‘Down On The Farm’ is despatched with menace and venom that Guns n Roses never mustered no matter how hard they tried but good on them fo rdoing a good job on a monster song.
By the time we reached the singalong of ‘Warhead’ even the walls of The Globe were soaking wet but ‘Riot’, ‘Stranglehold’ and ‘Disease’ brought the main set to a crushing stop its hard to believe that almost an hour had just been dispatched. This could or shold go on for hours but then signing off leaving your audience wanting more is always a good place to be. I’ve been lucky enough to see the band over 30 times and its fair to say that this is easily as good as they’ve been at anytime in that period and they are nailing it time after time and it’ll be good to see how they sound after laying back on the touring which Charlie explains several times hes no tdone yet just no tdoing these mental long “get in the van” tours across europe and the UK year in year out which is cool with everyone in here whos beaming from ear to ear after winessing a band on fire.
The encore delves right back into classic Subs territory as ‘CID’ makes way for an emotional ‘I Live In A Car’ a song my son used to love hearing when he was a toddler and struggling to speak and would nag to hear the subs car song, fair to say I rather enjoyed hearing that again. As we neared the finale of ‘I Couldn’t Be You’ and ‘Party In Paris’ the band bounded off only to be hauled back on by the baying masses to play a well deserved second encore that almost brought the roof in – ‘Squat 96’, ‘Keep On Running’ because sing-a-longs before the curtain finally fell on a fitting ‘Teenage’ and then a beaming and clearly emotional Charlie left the stage. It was done the final night in south Wales as part of one of their ever winding UK tours was done and dusted.
Thank you for some epic shows along the way and I for one can’t wait to see the UK Subs live again somewhere sometime in the reasonably near future. what a fuckin’ band, and what a way to sing off. Brilliant!
Author: Dom Daley