Paranoid Visions, Loaded 44, Liz is Evil and the Dubtones – Dublin – live review

Paranoid Visions, Loaded 44, Liz is Evil, Dubtones
Fibber Magees, Dublin
20 July 2012

There are plenty of Irish bands on the line-up for Rebellion in Blackpool this weekend – we take a look at the selection and their warm-up in Dublin last week.

The Irish bands making the journey over to Blackpool’s Rebellion Festival is increasing each year. This year is surely some kind of record. Paranoid Visions, the Dubtones, Setting off Sirens, Liz is Evil, Statics, Chewing On Tinfoil, Blood or Whiskey, and the Outcasts  will all be in attendance. The créme de le créme of Irish Punk.

Last Friday a few of the bands played a warm gig in Fibbers Magees in Dublin.

Statics were due to play first, but had to pull out on the night. Things are running a little late when I arrive, but I still only manage to catch the last song by the Dubtones. However, I’ve seen them lots before and I can testify to their brilliance. Their debut album ‘End of Transmission’ came out in 2010 on their own Lower the Tone label, and it is a rousing, relentless blend of Punk/Ska, with stand out tracks such as ‘Propaganduh’, ‘King of My Wasteland’ and title track ‘End of Transmission’.

This is their second appearance at Rebellion, and this year they have secured a great slot at the Olympia 2 on Sunday. Talking to them after the gig they were excited about the prospect of bringing their idiosyncratic style of punk/ska back to Rebellion. It will be just the tonic for the push over that final hurdle on Sunday evening.

Liz is Evil are also making their 2nd appearance at Rebellion this year. They have just released their sophomore album “Baby Boom” on FOAD. Their set in Fibbers included new tracks such as ‘Little Miracles’, ‘Hit Number One’ and previous single, the excellent ‘Anno Domnio’. They are an exceptional live band, and never disappoint. They have a real infectiousness to them and are head rattlingly heavy, blending rock’s more grungey elements with some great punk hooks.

Loaded 44 are not Irish, but they are playing Rebellion. I first encountered lead singer Beki when she was played here with Steve Ignorant as part of the Last Supper European Tour. She is joined in Loaded 44 with Steve and Nelly from The Lurkers and Hi Fi Spitfires. The treat us to several tracks from their album, including ‘Wasted on You’, ‘When I’m With You’, ‘Drop the bomb’ and ‘ We saved the world today’. They finish with an exuberant rendition of the Clash’s ‘Janie Jones’. Beki is fiercely energetic front woman, with a great command of the stage. She blew the crowd away here at the Last Supper gig in 2010, and I imagine it will be more of the same come the weekend.

“We are the last punks left” growls Deko, lead singer of established punk outfit Paranoid Visions, it’s not a weary cry, but a defiant statement, and a mantra that’s repeated through their set. Thirty years later, they are still here, and still committed. Clutching the microphone surveying the audience with a sneering anarchic stage presence, Deko is punk personified. “We are the scum that talks back.”

They play a blistering set that includes ‘Sex Kills’ from their last studio album ‘Beware of the God’, and they rip through ’40 Shades of Gangreen’s ‘Rock N Roll N Revolution’ at break neck speed. They have recorded a new version of the track with Steve Ignorant on lead, which will be released on Louder than War in September.. The set also includes the outstanding ‘Outsider Artist”, a track that features special guest TV Smith. The version tonight doesn’t suffer because of Tim’s absence.

The band recently admitted that they think the current line up is their best yet, and testimony to this is the fact that ‘Outsider Artist’, and new single ‘Poles Apart’ are some of the finest recordings the band have produced.

There is a theatricality to their performance, but that’s not to detract from the severity of it. The band’s songs are serious, and they are written from a perspective of protest, they demand your attention. But it’s never all doom and gloom, you often get PA smiling across at Aoife and Sarah tonight, it’s just as much about the fun, and It is that juxtaposition that allows for the self confessed pranksters to continually show up between boy bands and manufactured tack in Ireland’s top 10.

For several years now, Deko has been flanked on either side by Aoife Destruction, and Sarah Mitchell. It must be an arduous task for both vocalists, vying for attention when you’re sharing the stage with such a capable, imposing front man. The girls have managed though, and they have become integral to multilayered dimension of the band.

Both women are going to get a chance to stretch those chords a little further this weekend when the band take to the Almost Acoustic Stage for a six song strong set. The they have been rehearsing it extensively, and treated a Dublin audience to a preview on Saturday night. I was unable to attend, but I have heard Aoife dominating Penetration’s ‘Don’t Dictate’.

With so many of the their special guests appearing over the weekend, surely something might happen???

And the others…

Blood or Whiskey had there own warm up gig on Friday night (27th of July), and by all accounts it was a cracking gig. The band have been busy recording their new album which is due out soon. They took a long gap from playing live to focus on it. The returned to the live setting in April this year, taking up the reigns like they’d never been away. In April the showcased a lot of new material, and I imagine they’ll be eager to do the same for the Rebellion audience this weekend.

Setting Off Sirens are a fantastic live band, they’re the first band up out of the Irish contingent. Despite having debut album “Step Up” under their belt, they play the new band stage on Thursday.

Like the Dubtones, Chewing on Tinfoil are a punk/ska band. They’ve been warming up for Rebellion by going on a tour of the UK, also taking in a french date. Runnin Riot are Rebellion veterans too, they play regularly here in Dublin, and are a tight, exciting live force.

The Outcasts played here last year, their first time since the supported the Clash back in ’84. The gig was great, and the band plan to release it as a DVD. There is a strong possibility that in the next couple of months the band, and indeed the whole Northern punk scene, will receive a lot of attention as a result of ‘Good Vibrations’ the new film based on the life of Terri Hooley.

The final band, and one that hardly needs these inches, are Stiff Little Fingers. In the run up to Rebellion they’re playing Wales on Friday night, and Scotland on Saturday night. They’ve been putting on energetic, and ecstatic live shows thirty five years, and show no signs of letting up.

Rebellion Stage Times: Irish Acts

03.08.12 Paranoid Visions, Almost Acoustic, 7.10pm

04.08.12 Statics, Bizarre Bazaar, 2.30pm

04.08.12 Runnin’ Riot, Olympia 2, 3.05pm

04.08.12 Liz Is Evil, Bizarre Bazaar, 3.20pm

04.08.12 Chewing On Tinfoil, Olympia 2, 5.15pm

04.08.12 Paranoid Visions, Olympia 1, 7.00pm

04.08.12 Blood Or Whiskey, The Arena, 9.30pm

05.08.12 The Dubtones, Olympia 2, 5.30pm

05.08.12 The Outcasts, Bizarre Bazaar, 9.10pm

05.08.12 Stiff Little Fingers, Olympia 1, 10.20pm

With thanks to Peter Jones, and Frank Cronin.

All words by Ray Burke. You can read more from Ray on LTW here.

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