Bash the Bishop Goes Fourth Punk Festival – Bar 42 Worthing – 27th-28th May 2017

MV’s new punk guy Steve bashes the bishop for a fourth time 

Organised by a member of Portsmouth punk band ‘5 Go Mad’ Alan Calver, as it‘s name suggest this punk festival in Worthing is now in it’s fourth year. Having played on the Saturday myself, apologies to the bands I couldn’t catch on Saturday and Sunday due to shifting my gear around etc but hope to catch you all some time soon.

Saturday 27th May

Brighton street punk band Harsh Times take the opening spot and power through an energetic short set, setting the tone for the weekend. They make a lot of noise for a three piece and enjoy every minute.

Ambition Demolition from Worcestershire/Gloucestershire play some great songs and hard to believe they have been together for just over a year. Their songs all have a very different feel making for a great set that leaves you wanting more. They are an accomplished confident band and even throw in Nobody’s Hero’s written by tonight’s headliners.

Archive 45 from Portsmouth are great fun and have some punchy songs with singalong choruses akin to early Ramones. Their set is marred with technical difficulty and further delayed by their singer trying to set his hair alight (and not on his head). They sing songs about   insanity, drug misadventures, sexual misdemeanors and related punk rock activity and claim to be the best band on the day. They leave the stage to rapturous applause although I am sure they would have liked to have played a couple more tunes.

Skurvi played their tight set with Jimmy getting the crowd going from the off. Their songs are tight, bouncy and catchy with some great heavy drumming, guitar and bass hooks, harmonies and plenty of singalong choruses. They put everything into their anthems and ‘football is my life’ should be adopted by every ground in the country. They enjoyed it so much as one of their final songs suggests they probably will be ‘doing this til the day they die’.

The Spacewasters – these guys can really play and play the kind of punk rock and roll that shakes the room. To me they were a cross between early Saints, Eddie and the Hot Rods, and Dr Feelgood with a hint of rockabilly and surf guitar thrown in. (couldn’t resist buying their album). ‘Leave me Alone’ was a stormer.

XSLF – For those too young to remember, Henry Cluney and Jim Reilly are original member’s of seventies Belfast punk band Stiff Little Fingers, and formed XSLF.  This was an amazing set cleverly blending Stiff Little Fingers tracks with material from their new album. Opener Suspect Device sets the tone and they bang out many early classics including Alternative Ulster, Gotta Gettaway, Fly the Flag, and At the Edge and it was great to hear ‘Here We Are Nowhere’.

The crowd sang along to every tune and a punk choir was assembled for ‘Barbed Wire Love’ including Charile Harper from the UK Subs. Johny Was is a fitting end as no one plays this quite like Mr Reilly. The new stuff was well crafted and still true to their roots, clearly a band who love what they do, love the crowds and the music.

As a member of one of the bands at the festival ‘The Dregs’ (Birmingham) seeing it from a playing point of view the Venue was great (especially the furry walls of the band room) and the layout is good so the band can also be seen from the other room. The sound was great and the audience were class. The fact that punk legend Charlie Harper was watching (one eye on the bands and the other on his beloved Chelsea in the FA Cup final) made it all the more special.

Sunday 28th May

Rage DC are a well oiled punk machine with an authentic 70s UK punk vibe but a lot tighter than their 1970s predecessors. They are clearly influenced by bands such as the UK Subs, Menace and Chelsea but with a much softer edge. They have plenty of sing-a-long anthems and worth checking out.

5 Go Mad from Portsmouth take to the stage and the rooms fills so quickly I have to stand in the doorway to watch the onslaught of our host Mr Calver and his other 4 mad band mates. These Punk workaholics play a great set full of the punk singalongs from their debut album “Lashings and Lashings of 5 Go Mad”  such as ‘Drinking and Wanking’, ‘Andy’s Bladder’, ‘Punk Police’ and ‘She’s Not Quite Right”

They are a great bunch of lads and this is Hard-drinking, un-PC, but is designed to be fun but have a message, like the Test-Tube Babies or the Anti Nowhere League.  They do have a more serious side which is witnessed in ‘Just Another Anti-War song’. They are the ideal band for gigs like this and went down a storm.

I have seen Angry Itch from my hometown of Birmingham many times and they never disappoint. They specialise in a kind of mix of dumb grunge and punk they wins over every crowd. Although they play it loud and dumb they’re actually pretty smart and hammer out their tight tunes whilst still having a laugh making them all the more enjoyable. This is a great set confirmed by all the punters heading for their merch, one man clutching his mug for dear life as he said to me “I couldn’t get one last time I saw them”

Locals Emergency Bitter apparently started their band after saying ‘we could get up and do that’ and were challenged to do just that. They get the crowd involved so much they are almost an extension of the band. They sing about everyday life in an ironic fun way. Their TShirt ‘cyder, football punk rock’ a song and album by the band, reflect the type of anthems they put out, such as ‘punk rock saved my life’ and ‘never growing up’.  I did really enjoy their set.

Anarcho punks Lost Cherrees have been around in one form or another since the late seventies/early eighties so I could well have seen them before not that I would have remembered it then let alone now. There have been many line up changes but Lost Cherrees are still screaming about the rights of the voiceless and long may they do so.

The band sound a bit like Poison Girls meets The Slits and have a powerful and clear mix and strong songs. The two female vocals make them a different proposition. They got better and better as the set went on and everyone warmed to them as they put out songs with real lyrical bite, choppy guitars and rock solid drumming. ‘Living In A Coffin” benefits from added drive and aggression, Tsunami Of Shit was great as was their rendition of Pulp’s common people.

Sweet Jonny from Brighton clearly have many musical influences and create a sound more akin to garage rock, and with very inventive drumming this makes them pretty unique. They are clearly well known in these parts and the locals sing along their set moving between full on punk to tracks with a funk feel but they always retain that heavy guitar. There are hints of the cramps in there and their songs seem to be borne out of a dislike of conventional music and a desire to do something new.

Menace – I have waited 40 years to see Menace which seems strange given I have every single they ever made. Whilst many claim Menace to be one of the first Oi bands they will always be punk to me. Original member Noel Martin on drums and many vocals is an inspiration to us all and these days it’s not how many original members are in the line-up but whether or not you mean it and whether the audience accept-it-as-genuine and feel-it.

Tonight is a punk-rock energising rock ‘n’ roll show and they play with pride and skill and it rocks. The new songs and not so new songs are every bit as catchy as their old stuff (their London Stories album is great). F…k You is a great song. The classic oldies appear in Civilised, GLC, Last Year’s Youth and Screwed Up. Don’t think I will leave it as long next time. A great end to a great festival.

FULL LINE UP
Saturday 27th May
HARSH TIMES

ATOMBUZZ

THE MISTAKES

HACKSAW

AMBITION DEMOLITION

ARCHIVE 45

THE DREGS

SKURVI

THE CRASH LANDINGS

THE SPACEWASTERS

XSLF

 

SUNDAY 28th May

FLOATING PALACE OF SIN

MURDERERS ROW

GEEZAPUNX

MISSILE 3

RAGE DC

T & THE MUGS

5 GO MAD

ANGRY ITCH

EMERGENCY BITTER

LOST CHERREES

SWEET JONNY

MENACE