2 excellent shows over the weekend of 18/19th September – even if I do say so myself but judging by the feedback received I’m not alone in that opinion.
First up on Friday Penetration returned to the Georgian Theatre for their 3rd show. Agonisingly close to a 3rd sell out, just a couple of bodies short but the crowd that turned up were treated to a fantastic show. First up were The Band Of Holy Joy fronted by lifelong Penetration fan Johnny Brown. Pleasingly a good proportion of the crowd had come in early to see them play a selection of older material and tracks from the latest album Land Of Holy Joy which has deservedly been getting rave reviews through out the music press. It’s undoubtedly the album of the year so far to these ears.
Penetration were making their debut with ex Buzzcock drummer John Maher and had had limited time for rehearsals for him to learn the new & the old songs but listening from out front it didn’t matter. Clearly there was some nerves in the band and the songs weren’t note perfect but hey, it’s punk rock, it’s not meant to be!!! The band played a good selection of material from the new album Resolution which tellingly went down favourably as the crowd responded in a positive fashion to the old & the new material. The stand out track for me is Beat Goes On, classic pop song but with that trademark Penetration sound, absolute classic in the making. The band were drained at the end but what a show they put on. As a lifelong fan I’m biased but I have to say I enjoyed it immensely which when you have the promoter’s hat on its sometimes hard to do but not tonight.
Over to the Westgarth Club in Middlesbrough on Saturday for a slightly curtailed Stereogram Records night. Unfortunately show openers Lola In Slacks had pulled out of this show and shows in Edinburgh & Glasgow. It as too late to replace them so the show went ahead with just The Cathode Ray & Band Of Holy Joy.
Stereogram Records are based in Edinburgh and were formed by Jeremy Thoms who’s band The Cathode Ray opened the show & very good they were too. Hard to describe their sound, but various people were saying XTC, Magazine sounding but what the heck, they were really good & went down well with everyone. They’ll be back in the new year to play on The Fallen Leaves show in April – can’t wait.
The Band Of Holy Joy are a band I’ve come to late in their existence. I’m not one of these people who go learning about bands on Google & buying up the back catalogue then claim to have been a fan all along – so a lot of the early stuff I’m not familiar with but the last few years they’ve been prolific in their output & released some quality material. Land Of Holy Joy which was released on September 21st is a fantastic album, which should be heard by a much bigger audience. They played lots of tracks from it and with the stunning visuals recreated on the temporary stage backdrop it was quite a superb show.
Great bands, great venues, great audiences, a fantastic weekend. The beat goes on, here’s to the next shows.