The Claude Pub Cardiff

I am patently aware that most people reading this are too young to remember the days when you risked life and limb going to a punk gig. In the late '70s there was a very really possibility that you would have some free plastic surgery handed out by firstly Teds, and then later Skinheads. Even the Mods could give you a nasty boot in the bollocks with their Hush Puppies. However those days are long gone and now you could take your granny to a Green Day gig without any fear her being molested. Or so I thought.....

So you will appreciate my surprise when arriving outside the venue (with my trusty sidekick The Pitman) to find a minor riot occurring, with at least 5 police vans in attendance, blue lights blazing and bodies in various states of disrepair strewn across the street. I'm sure there was some police brutality going on but it was difficult to know who was thumping who given the number of people indulging in the pugilistic mayhem. It fair brought a tear of nostalgia to my eye (or maybe that was the pepper spray). Anyway it turned out that the pub had also been booked for a wake and that the suited revellers were not in fact here to see tonight’s headliners Punks Not Dad.

Now I have always had a problem with bands like Crass who were unable to write any song without it having a right-on message, and in some bands like
Conflict the spirit unfortunately lives on today. However people forget that for every Sex Pistols there were also the Ramones, for every Clash there was the Damned, that is to say bands that didn't take themselves too seriously but still embodied the spirit of punk rock. And so it is with Cardiff's finest Punks Not Dad, or as they would succinctly put it:

'The kids don't understand us,They think we're full of shite
But we are The Dads,AND THE DADS ARE ALRIGHT!'

But lets get this straight these blokes can really play their instruments, with a big Pistols guitar sound, and can make a fine old racket that would
match any decent reputable punk band. In fact this gig is ostensibly a warm up for their date tomorrow at Cardiff University's Hardcore/Punk night along with Fizzy Milk & Hacksaw.

They take to the stage and launch straight into 'We are the Dads', a Sham 69 reworking if ever I heard one, which is warmly greeted by the sizeable crowd bolstered by the last stragglers from the wake who are slowly drinking themselves into oblivion. The band go for the original punk look with thin ties and jackets festooned with badges and safety pins, although I was a bit alarmed to see that their drummer appeared to be Adrian Childs from BBC1's The One Show.

'The Boy looked at Johnny' starts off with Pretty Vacant style intro that Steve Jones would have been proud of and rattles along at a fine old rate. However at this point part of the audience turned a bit nasty and the band were stopped mid song. It took me back to The Clash in 1980 at Sophia Gardens when Mick Jones put down his guitar to plead with the crowd to stop fighting (oh the nostalgia of it all!). However having ejected the trouble makers the boys continued apace belting out 'Permanent Frustration' and finishing with their chart topper(?) 'Punks Not Dad' with its cracking God Save The Queen guitar lick.

If you want a excellent night out, and prefer you punk with a smile on its face, you could worse than check out Punks Not Dad when they next visit your manor. Sid Life-Crisis (Vox), Joe Strimmer (Bass), Johnny Cardigan (Guitar) and Steve Jones (Banging) I salute you !!