Goldblade Review – Manchester Academy 3 – 14.4.07

 The Punk movement may have metastasized into EMO, but there’s no cashing in on adolescent angst for Goldblade. Their show is a riotous energetic celebration of music; a bunch of guys old enough to know better, evangelising about the ‘Power of Rock ‘n Roll’.

The band are definitely preaching to the converted - a crowd with their fists in the air and grins on their faces. They’re an eclectic mix of people - veteran Punk fans, women that look like your Great Aunt playing the air keyboard, moody teenage first timers and bellowing lager louts. Really, the atmosphere is more rowdy family reunion than typical rock show.

A Friar Tuck-a-like holds aloft written placards containing song titles that get the fans whooping – ‘Mutiny’, ‘Jukebox Generation’, ‘Psycho’. Lead singer John Robb drips sweat from his sleek torso. Pete G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. machine guns the crowd with his Les Paul Electric Guitar; Johnny Skullknuckles sports both an impressive quiff & razor sharp sideburns. The stage is decorated with pirate flags & faux fur covered amps. Hands are shaken, cheeks are kissed & half the audience is dancing on the stage with the band by the encore.

When he’s not running on the spot – arms pumping, Robb squats at the stage edge passing the mic into the pit. Everyone knows every word by heart. Robb’s eyes bulge and you feel his adrenalin. Maybe it’s the home crowd, maybe they always play with such gusto, but they seem so excited to be performing at Academy 3, it feels like Goldblade have until tonight been banned from playing.

The music is hardcore but with a few cheeky references thrown in - an Angus Young riff, a hint of sea shanty here and pulsating surf guitar there. Lyrics are political but good humoured. Che Guevara, Caesar, Simon Le Bon… no-one is safe from getting a mention.

The band’s songs are a kick in the pants – the thumping music an assault on your ears.

The gig may be a sell-out, but the band certainly isn’t. These guys aren’t in it for the money - they’re from gritty Manchester, not sunny California. Goldblade are out there doing what they love. And if you don’t like it, the title of their encore says it all – ‘Kiss My Ass’.

Words / Photos: Kirsty Umback


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