Do you believe in the power of rock and roll?
A slight diversion from the main subject matter of this blog, but a worthy one I think – firstly for the cause tonight was raising funds for. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up to create respect and address abuse and intolerance against alternative subcultures – in memory of Sophie who was murdered in 2007 after a disgusting attack on her and her partner Rob. A hugely worthy cause so hopefully everyone there bought themselves a wristband.
Secondly it was being hosted at Foremans, a deliciously non-conformist carbuncle gleefully retaining its punk rock roots whilst being increasingly surrounded by bland corporate chains like Revolution or Slug and Lettuce in the centre of Nottingham, overshadowed by the bleak Cornerhouse eyesore. With a capacity of 55 people you’re guaranteed an intimate gig venue with some awesome people. Thirdly the act was Goldblade – a lure in itself, but one I was intrigued to see in an acoustic setting.
Before all that though was the bonus of an acoustic set from Static Kill which was a great way to get things started – rattling through a set of their own songs and finishing off with an ace rendition of The Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black. The bar was filling up (unsurprisingly – it’s tiny and the gig had sold out), with Static Kill going for two guitars, vocals and bass it was intriguing to see how Goldblade would make use of the limited stage space available to them.
It turned out to be a single guitar (or banjo), a couple of mics and perhaps the most interesting percussion set up of a microphoned-up Kopparberg box and another floor drum. From seeing Goldblade a few times now John Robb’s electric energy on stage is the thing you generally take away from it – so it interested me greatly to see him in action without the backing of an incredibly loud band. Unsurprisingly he didn’t disappoint!
The set was fairly short but packed full of anthems with the kind of crowd participation levels you’d expect from Goldblade – John was all over the bar, on the bar and – indeed – eventually outside bellowing ‘Psycho’ with a throng of the crowd gleefully joining in much to the confusion of the bouncers stood outside the nearby drone bars and other random passers by.
I tried to capture a few moments on camera but frankly John is such a never-ceasing whirling dervish he’s impossible to get a picture of with a mere smartphone even in burst-photo mode. His impromptu George Formby medley (thanks to the banjo coming out – the pickups failed, so it ended up being played into a microphone), or indeed renditions of Paper Lace songs and references to Robin Hood made it a charmingly personalised Nottingham affair.
My only regret for the evening was being passed by for being inducted into the belief of Rock and Roll – but having had a chance to bellow ‘My name is Psycho’ into the mic a few times followed by the encore rendition of the same song outside in the streets of Nottingham more than made up for this minor matter – and it was time to head off home, being a Sunday night and needing to be up early in the morning for work.
Suddenly the power of Rock and Roll seems to have failed me, huh?