Young Knives, Reading

“We’re all slaves on this ship, we’re all slaves on this ship, this ship’s sinking”

Tuesday 1st November 2011

Reading’s a funny old place. Too close to LDN to really have its own identity like, say, Southampton, but pretty much all the facilities you could hope to have. Jimmy Carr recently played at the Hexagon, so there you go.

Sub89 is a cracking small  venue. Daughter No. 1 (henceforth known as D#1 for brevity) gets asked for ID on entry, which pleases her immensely (“They think I look like I’m only 21”) until she realises its a 16-plus gig.

600 capacity, but I reckon you could squeeze a few more in here at a pinch. Quite a big hall for a small venue, if that makes sense. Only half full on  Tuesday night.

Quick word about the support bands. I got there too late to hear Quiet Quiet Band but the tracks I listened to were really good so I will deffo be seeking them out in the future

I DO get to hear Chewing Gum Weekends, who straddle a number of styles, sometimes going from abrasive hard-assed white reggae to prog to fisting the air anthemic indie then back again to reggae. Tight as a post-credit crunch bank manager, they have the songs, notably “Go Hard Or Go Home”, which is a fine sentiment ! Give ‘em a couple of years.

“Who are these people? They are too stupid to be your REAL parents”

The Young Knives are one of the bands that D#1 and I have in common. Tunes, scuzzy punky guitars and proper lyrics.  They look like young farmers but sound like a hardcore punk band.

They’re from Loughborough and they assure the Reading massive that “our town’s shitter than your town”. Having worked in Loughborough for a few months, I can confirm this. Its not quite shitter than Barnstaple though.

One of the characteristics of their songs is that I’m rarely 100% certain exactly what they’re alluding to … but what I do get is usually pretty dark, so maybe I’m better not knowing.

“And I will never go down fighting”

Last time I saw Young Knives they were headlining an NME show at the late, lamented Astoria in London, a victim of the Cross-Rail Network link that is being built for the Olympics. We also lost the best (indeed only) chippie in the West End, the legendary Dionysius, scene of so many post-gig munchies fests for so many people …

That show was fantastic. Seemed to mainly consist of school-age kids, which can sometimes mean a fairly static crowd, but this lot were there to mosh like demons. Found myself being used as a shock absorber in the mosh pit, which was fair enough I suppose given my girth. Saved a kid’s life in a mosh pit once, you know, but that’s a tale for another day.

“Fake rabbit, real snake, Terra Firma, Terra Firma”

This show is lower-key, being the last show in a long tour.

Young Knives play for an hour or so, including encores, which seems a little tight as they have three fine LPs to choose from.

They didn’t play Hot Summer – what a bummer. But we did get Terra Firma and She’s Attracted To and Loughborough Suicide and I Love My Name and Turn Tail, all of which were belted out by the small but enthusiastic crowd dahn the front. And after witnessing Bill Bailey doing Hallelujah in the style of Kraftwerk the other night, tonight we get Young Knives doing The Model in the style of … well, Young Knives.

Good show all in all. Another half hour would have been perfect, but you gotta love Young Knives

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *