nxb3 on tour – Penetration at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton

After what must be a serious contender for gig of the year by Goy Boy McIlroy at Frankie and the Heartstrings record shop Pop Recs Ltd there was no time to hang around, the gig had gone on way longer than I had anticipated so it was a dash back to the car and a fast drive down to Stockton to The Georgian Theatre. I had really wanted to see the first support band, Newcastle Indie poppers Rexine who had impressed me the first time I saw them supporting Shonen Knife at The Cluny a year or so ago but their set had finished way before I arrived in Stockton. Main support Cyanide Pills were already half way through their set when I walked through the door of the venue so after grabbing a drink at the bar I made my way to the front to watch the last third of their set. They were pretty good and I’ll try and catch them next time they are up Newcastle way but over the last week with gigs 6 out of 7 nights, two gigs on both Friday and Saturday nights and at least a half dozen other gigs I wanted to be at this last weekend sometimes it’s not so easy to see a band that you like.

This would be the second and last gig from the Penetration tour, I’d also seen them play a very good gig the previous night in Derby at the excellent venue The Hairy Dog so I was expecting another good one. The band came on stage a little after 10:00, they had been waiting for Pauline who came into the venue just a couple of minutes before hand. They started the set with ‘Future Daze’ and ‘Life’s A Gamble’ to lots of cheering and clapping, there were also people singing along for entire songs but sadly no mosh pit. Pauline greeted the audience with “Well hello everyone, thanks for coming out tonight” then went on to thank both support bands before continuing with ‘Lovers Of Outrage’. Pauline asked who had been at the Georgian Theatre for their last gig there and a few people cheered, she went on to say it was loud, very loud, eyeball shaking and ear hurting loud and a mate later told me that he had been and the sound was so bad that he had walked out. I’m pleased to say there were no such problems this time, the sound was excellent, nicely balanced and clear vocals where I was standing which was at the front, just to the right of Pauline.
“I hope nobody gets seasick” was the introduction to the first of two fairly recent songs ‘Sea Song’ and ‘The Feeling’ then it was back to the old stuff with ‘She Is The Slave’. “Fancy doing this stuff at our age eh?” got a few chuckles from the audience before Rob played the bass intro to ‘Movement’ as a teaser and then for real. The excellent Patti Smith cover ‘Freemoney’ was next which ran into ‘Silent Community’ and ‘Don’t Dictate’ which finally got the mosh pit moving. ‘Reunion’ was introduced as “A song about reflection”, band introductions were made as Reunion faded out and a blistering version of ‘Nostalgia’ followed. The main set finished with ‘Come Into The Open’ and the regular closing track ‘Shout Above The Noise’
The band left the stage to loads of clapping and cheering for more and the band duly obliged with the same encore as at Derby, ‘Firing Squad’, ‘Danger Signs’ and finally ‘Stone Heroes’.

Another excellent gig from the band and I’m disappointed I won’t make any more of their gigs from this tour as they are really good at the moment.
If you get the chance then don’t hesitate, just go.
It will be a good one.

Upcoming shows are:
10th April Institute, Birmingham
11th April Garage, London
12th April Academy 3, Manchester
18th April The Fleece, Bristol
19th April The Globe, Cardiff
26th April ABC, Glasgow
4th May Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne
15th May Voodoo, Belfast
16th May Fibber Magees, Dublin
9th August Rebellion, Blackpool (TBC)
20th September Undercover Festival, Woking



nxb3 on tour – Punishment of Luxury at the Georgian Theatre, Stockton

Punilux are a hard band to categorize, they came to the fore with the emergence of punk in the late 70s and early 80s, not really either punk or new wave, I would probably label them as alternate or post-punk nowadays. They produced an amazing concept album called ‘Laughing Academy’ which is still one of my favourite albums to this day, and most of the tracks off it found their way into the set tonight.

They hit the stage at about 10:30 to a full house, indeed the gig was sold out several months in advance so the band still has a lot of die hard fans out there. Brian came onto the stage wearing white trousers and a black tunic over which he wore a white lab coat to the intro of ‘The Message’. There were a few sound gremlins during this song with a loose connection to Brian’s mic and later in the set to the keyboard both of which required attention from the sound tech. The Message ran straight into ‘All White Jack’ just as it does on the album and Brian donned a pair of sunglasses as he sang the lyric I’m in the dark room keep out the light, developing an image of you tonight… The band appeared to be a bit uptight from the start but were starting to loosen up nicely with ‘Radar Bug’ and then ‘Metropolis’. Brian spent a couple of minutes looking for ‘Yvonne’ before the band stormed into the track then it was back to ‘Laughing Academy’ and a quick crowd rehearsal of Ooh Aah, Ooh Aah for ‘Funk Me’ followed by ‘British Baboon’. An ‘old’ new song next in the form of ‘Fracture’, I wasn’t too impressed with this the first time I heard it back in 2010 but it’s definitely growing on me. Another new one called ‘Cry’ was next. The crowd were getting a bit restless with the new songs now and started shouting for ‘Babylon’ but they got ‘Secrets’ instead. Back to ‘Laughing Academy’ again and a rabid version of ‘Excess Bleeding Heart’ followed by the title track of the first LP ‘Laughing Academy’. Brian introduced everyone in the band halfway through ‘Laughing Academy’, there can’t be many bands that still have the same lineup after 35 years! Brian had the crowd rehearsing ‘BBBBBBBBBBBBBrainbomb’ before doing a storming version of the track, the band tried to leave the stage after this but the crowd called them back for the rather silly ‘Jellyfish’. There were a few more shouts for ‘Babylon’ but instead we got Brian: Here they come, they’ll never take me away, I won’t go to room 16, Neville: You will, Jimi: you’re already there, and the band finished on ‘Puppet Life’ which was their very first single on Small Wonder records way back in 1978. ‘Babylon’ never did get played but it was still an ace set, a long one too at just over an hour and 5 minutes.
An excellent gig from yet another seriously under-rated band from the North East, it’s great to see them still playing live although I wish they’d play a bit more often.

The full set of this gig was video taped by someone in the audience and uploaded to YouTube, It’s pretty good quality too and it’s at this link:

nxb3 on tour – Goy Boy McIlroy at KU Bar, Stockton

There are quite a few excellent bands that I’ve discovered by pure accident. Goy Boy McIlroy are one such band, I first saw them at The independent in Sunderland supporting the magnificent Chapman Family in December last year. I was so impressed I went to see their headline show at The Forum in Darlington then to their support slot at the Post War Glamour Girls gig at The Head of Steam in Newcastle. Their live shows are consistently brilliant and they are now one of the bands I constantly track for upcoming gigs that I can get to. So it was with a sense of anticipation that I headed down to Stockton to see them play a main support slot for Dexters at the KU Bar.

Not much of a crowd when I arrived at 10:20, virtually the two support bands and me. The first support, The Port Authority came on at 10:30 and played a decent set to about a dozen. People were coming in steadily now and when Goy Boy McIlroy took to the stage at around 11:15 the crowd had doubled in size with more coming in all the time. They kicked off the set with Agoraphobia and David wasted no time getting into the audience and taking a swipe or two at the mirror ball. He was back on stage for Psychological Plaything then back in the audience during the third song which I didn’t recognise so maybe it’s a new one. Ro-Langs was next followed by The Pilgrim and David was back in the audience again. He even ended up in the bands backstage room with the door shut for a while, continuing with the vocals all the way through. A bit of chat with the audience followed for David to catch his breath then it was straight into Black Glove and the set closer was The Actor.

This was another great gig by Goy Boy McIlroy who are fast becoming one of my favourite bands. It’s not often you get the chance to see such a great band play to small crowds in intimate venues like this. They are playing to dozens when they should be playing to hundreds, get to see them before they’re playing in big bland Academy type venues.

They need to start doing some more longer headline shows so we can get The Preacher back into the set, also tracks such as Peasants, Iconoclasm, God’s Calling and John the Revelator were sadly missed.