Arriving at Tut’s to the more than slightly gutting information that chaotic Danish punks Iceage are not playing isn’t the best way to start the night, and finding out that they are actually in Glasgow and they are not playing down to some simple communication problems may push it over the edge for some.
Regardless we move on, and much hyped, Odd Future signed, Californian hardcore four-piece Trash Talk open things up.
Trash Talk are fast and hard but there’s something about frontman Lee Spielman’s delivery that make you instantly latch onto why there are so many youngsters at what is essentially a gig for hardcore oldies.
That is not to say Trash Talk don’t have their good points, they are raw and energetic, much like their hip hop label owners, and their riffs are good enough to provide interest if Spielman’s vocals and in your face delivery aren’t your cup of tea.
They provide a short opening, only 30 minutes, jam packed full of short bursts of powerful hardcore and stage diving chaos before asking for a weed hook up and leaving us to tonight’s hardcore punk legends.
OFF! are essentially a hardcore punk supergroup and they draw a massive collection of old guys looking to relive the early to mid 80s heyday, and the word that this could be their last tour pulls a few more eager punters too.
Frontman Keith Morris, former vocalist of both Black Flag and Circle Jerks, cuts a charismatic figure at the front of this four-piece as he spills tales of a colourful past.
OFF! aren’t just a welcome blast from the past either they’re a tight unit and their music feels fresh despite an aged style and ageing members, but let us not forget this band have only been together three years.
Morris’ recognisable dreadlocks may well be diminishing but his presence certainly isn’t as he shouts his way through a set of hardcore punk that sounds as classic as the band member’s ‘80s work.
Between dedicating songs to long passed best friend Jeffrey Lee Piece, of scene setting punk blues act The Gun Club, telling stories of hanging with Black Flag and almost misreading the Tut’s sign, the band spark into action with joy written all over their faces, especially that of bassist Steven Shane McDonald, these guys have certainly not lost their love for what they do.
If you are to hold anything against OFF! it’s maybe that they are slight dismissive of current hardcore punk, Morris is first to sing the praises of his 80s contemporaries but there are no nods to this generation of DIY punk acts.
I suppose if you’re being picky 45 minutes may not be deemed long enough for headline slot but at an average of just over a minute a track you certainly get a lot of songs for your money, and it’s powerful stuff, fast, raw, attitude filled bursts of classic hardcore punk that we just may never see again.
Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Amandine Eap