Chad I Ginsberg, isn’t a happy man. It’s 10pm and the singer/guitarist is at the end of CKY set tonight and he asks the packed crowd in Birmingham if they want one more. “We can only do one,” he says. “they’re kicking us out for a disco.” He turns to bass player Matt Deis at this point and snarls: “man, there’ s always a disco everywhere we go……” With that he launches into their last song, “Escape From Hellview”, and the show – as it has so far as I can tell on every other night of the tour – ends.
That exchange is rather more important than it might usually be, given that Ginsberg has largely been unhappy throughout. The sound, in fairness, was far from good in opening song “Rio Bravo”, whether he needed to petulantly throw his mic down and say to the sound man “sort this to the way it should be or we can’t play,” is open to question.
Indeed, the opening quarter of the set is marred by sound problems and the vibes being given off onstage are tetchy. Not that this bothers the audience too much, given the chants of “CKY, CKY” that fill the awkward silences.
By the time “Shock And Terror” hits, everyone seems happy, and things get going. “Replaceable” – from their most recent record is a highlight, as is “Head for A Breakdown” and “Sink to The Underground” is the type of party you might have expected.
The airing of their biggest hit, “96 Quite Bitter Things” is met with some neat self-deprecation (“how many of you came tonight cos your friend wanted you to and you thought ‘who the fuck are CKY? aren’t they that band with the song that goes…..”) jokes the frontman. They are, it does, and it goes down a storm.
This is followed by their now ubiquitous cover of GG Allin’s “Bite It You Scum” and I swear I can see Ginsberg smile. He had a lot of frustration to clear tonight, evidently.
CKY have had better nights than this, its fair to say. I’ve seen them play a marvellous gig as support to Skindred, for example. The sound didn’t help, maybe. But the question of whether a 50-minute set is long enough for headliners of reasonable sized venues, and with a reasonable sized back catalogue, is one they might reflect on – it is effectively the same set they played at that aforementioned Skindred gig.
An off night for a good band. It happens. And for my money – although the hardcore lapped it up – it happened here.