NOT SINCE THE ACCIDENT
Having mentioned their name in a recent review, it got me wondering what young Welsh punk upstarts NOT SINCE THE ACCIDENT had been up to recently.
As it happens they were scheduled to play not one, but two gigs, on the same night this week in Cardiff. The first showed how far they have progressed, with a support slot to punk legends, Vice Squad. This was rapidly followed by a cross town dash to the more intimate setting of Gwdihw to play on bill made up of several more underground punk bands. It was at the latter I got to cast my professional eye over them again
Speaking to lead singer Rhys Wilton before their set, he gave me the low-down on recent events that has seen them gig consistently and by so doing gain a hardcore fan base along the way. Whilst most gigs have been in the Cardiff area, they have travelled afield to Swansea, Pontypridd and Pontypool and will hopefully be going "international" later in this year by taking in a gig in Bristol. Support slots have been with the aforementioned Vice Squad, Drongoes for Europe and shortly they are to open the night for Citizen Fish.
The line up remains the same as when I last saw them - Rhys on vocals, whose slicked backed hair makes him increasingly resemble the Damned's Dave Vanian, impressively bearded Steve on lead guitar/vocals, Cardiff's answer to Travis Barker, Lewis on drums and bedrock of the band, Boris on bass. However it became immediately obvious, as they launched into set opener "Nothing Left to Hate", that they were now a much tighter and battle-hardened band. All the previous rough edges are gone and the constant gigging has seen them develop into a diverse punk band, which is not afraid to deviate from the time-honoured stereotypical three-chord thrash.
Also, impressively, they carry around a not inconsiderable number of followers who clearly understand what the band is all about, that is, writing about real life issues that mean something to them. Opener "Nothing left to Hate" is a point in question, being about the conundrum of some punk bands that turn so overly political they become exactly what they previously opposed. By being so concerned with perceived intolerance, they end up lecturing people about what they can and cannot do, and in so doing, become intolerant themselves.
'Words of Warning' revolves around the decline of the Welsh Valleys and the depressing legacy of the Thatcher years. Whilst the heart of the community was ripped out with the closure of the mines, the spirit remains unbowed and there is an eternal hope that one day they will rise up, phoenix-like, to a brighter tomorrow. The song ends with the prophetic line 'Burnt hands heal'.
With the band constantly writing material, new song "Silent Streams" gets its first airing, being about a recurring dream that Rhys has about the power of human imagination. It receives a good reaction from the crowd, as does old favourite "Oi Bordeaux", which revolves around the surreal, but true, episode of having parked their camper van next to a bomb in the provincial French town. Thankfully they lived to tell the tale!
"Charriere" is a take on the story of Henri Charriere, the French penal felon who was made famous in the early 70's film, starring Steve McQueen. Using almost a juxtaposition with everyday life today, it contains a rousing and uplifting chorus of "Never give in. Never give up. Hope!" Suffice to say this refrain was bellowed out long and hard by more than one member of the increasingly exuberant crowd.
They close out the night with my personal favourite "Digital Leash" that highlights their musical diversity and "Stoke the Fire. The latter being a subtle observation regarding the media frenzy over the recent death of a world celebrity (I'm sworn to secrecy who they are writing about, but maybe you'll want to drop them a message on their facebook page and they might be more forthcoming!).
They leave the stage to the cheers of a still small, but dedicated audience, who are obviously chomping at the bit to see them again. Given that they now regularly gig, I don't think they'll have long to wait to continue the party.
So, definitely a band that is on the way up and to prove the point they have their first release distributed by Brassneck records, which for the princely sum of £3 is a steal:
I know from speaking to them they are always on the lookout for gigs and, within reason, are prepared to consider any offer whether it is a club, squat or private party. So if you fancy having four mad Taffy's in your living room drop them a line: