The Roughneck Riot @ Liverpool – live review

The Roughneck Riot
Mello Mello, Liverpool
Saturday 27th October 2012

It’s only 4 o’clock in the afternoon; the city is packed with shoppers and tourists, but head away from the consumer hell and you stumble across Mello Mello, the creative space run as a Community Initiative – as such all manner of madness takes place within its walls; on this occasion Liverpool’s Free Rock ‘N’ Roll have set up camp for another all-day event, this time round there are two stages spread across two floors each rammed with emerging talent from across the city and the surrounding North West area.

It might in some circles be time for high tea; however for Warrington’s Roughneck Riot is time to show Liverpool quite why they are spoken of in such revered tones – to achieve this, the Riot explode on-stage and set about delivering their own brand of Celtic tinged punk rock. Mello Mello is intimate; there is no divide between band and audience…the best way to experience the Riot.

The Roughneck Riot @ Liverpool – live review

Front man Matty balances over his mic stand as he leans towards the maelstrom that is the mosh-pit before introducing ‘Pissin In The Wind’ from the Riot’s second album, the recently released ‘This Is Our Day’ – behind him Caitlin sets about abusing banjo, whilst Jade hurls an accordion skyward, all being powered by solid throbbing bass and thunderous drums over which the engaging riffs and melodies pin you to the floor.

Without pausing for breath ‘Ignorance Is Easy’ cements the fact that Roughneck Riot are one of the bands able to seize the punk standard and carry if forward; there are those that consider their variety of Celtic punk to have begun and finished with the Pogues first couple of albums – the Riot however have clearly got a very different view on this; they pay with utter conviction, their passion is engrained on their faces as their rabble rousing choruses ignite joy and elation into the frenzied crowd as they offer up ‘’Million Miles’, and ‘What About Us’ – the band are pinballing across the cramped stage fuelling the fire, wide-eyed with excitement as they deliver their very own bar room brawl punk rock.

The Riot tear through all corners of their back catalogue, the level of song-writing and their unrelenting proficiency belies their age; a fact I’m sure their peers will be aware of as they nervously peer over their shoulders.

The Roughneck Riot @ Liverpool – live review

Roughneck Riot are rapidly scaling the Celtic punk food chain, they are an intoxicating mix of brutally effective aggression laced with an innate understanding of song-writing; see them now before they will have to confine themselves to major festivals and arenas.

The Roughneck Riot are on tour throughout the UK right up to Christmas.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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