Occasionally I go along to a gig where I am not the oldest person in the room. It's not often, but it does happen. Usually I leave a gig thinking how it would be nice to be young again, have all that energy and dance around like a mad thing. Of course if I was that young and spent all my time dancing I wouldn't get to do the whole gig photography thing.
Tonight's F-Club reunion was the total opposite. This was a gig for the generation a little before mine. In fact a fair percentage of the folks who went to the F-Club were music fans and formed bands that I became a huge fan of. I would love to say that I knew everything about that scene and was there, but I wasn't. I only went tonight because Wolfie (nicest bloke in rock and roll) of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry was playing in The Expelaires and had asked me to go along and take some pics.
This was a gig and a crowd born out of the tail end of punk. I was just starting secondary school when this lot were out clubbing and gigging. The line-up tonight was made up of Knife Edge, The Expelaires and Penetration. The crowd was made up of an even greater number of the Yorkshire post-punk music crowd with Red Lorry Yellow Lorry (past and present), Skeletal Family, The Mission and many more represented. This was a real reunion, and one that represented the roots of arguably Leeds' most creative and influential period. I am a bit lucky that I get to chat to a few folks who were around through that period and can fill me in on the missing details. In fact, tonight, I am doubly lucky. The walking musical encyclopedia that is Neil Hunt (boss of Zig Zag Lighting) is here. Not only can he help me out with interesting facts and tales, but he is also lighting the gig which is means I have a fighting chance of getting some nicely lit shots (The Brudenell can be a little hit and miss with lighting)
Knife Edge rattle through a flat out punk set. It is a tasty enough starter and paved the way nicely for what was to follow.
The Expelaires rip through a more post-punk offering. Heavy guitars, literally in the case of the hand crafted steel guitar on stage right create a more industrial punk sound. I was doubling up with both video and stills tonight and doing my best to keep both going. The Expelaires deliver a fine set that goes down well with the home crowd. It is probably the most musically interesting set of the night as it sat neatly in that spot between punk and what was to follow.
I chatted with loads of folks in the build up to the Penetration set. All the conversations had one thing in common. That was resounding praise for Pauline Murray and co. There was to be no disappointment. Penetration delivered a straight punk set that didn't have any of the nods in the direction of popularity for which many bands strive.
The bands were great entertainment and the crowd gave each a warm reception. I suspect that a good many folks came along the relive their youth and catch up with old friends as much as see the music. For me, it was an interesting glimpse into a music scene that shaped the one I loved so much back in my day, now where is the schedule for them Blood Brothers gigs?