Plan AEdit this event
- Boat Race, Bickleton »
Rumour has it that the Ga Ga’s threw a hissy fit over the state of the PA and flounced off with a hundred quid in pocket. For doing sweet FA! As scams go, it’s hardly in the Malcolm McLaren league, but given that it would take me two and a half weeks of doing nowt to make that on the dole, you’ll forgive me if I’m a little cynical.
So with the headliners having fled the party, it’s up to the black-clad men of Houston 500 to hold court. But in the meantime former Wildheart Jeff and mates are holding their own party. With hair gel, boots and tattoos, Plan A pump out fashion-be-damned classic punk from start to finish. Jeff’s vocals build from a West Coast (California that is, not Southport...) like sneer to a fearsome Lemmy-esque roar, while bassist Nik sings up into his mic, just like the warty one himself.
Plan A may wear their influences on their beer soaked sleeve – The Ramones’ distortion-saturated power chord pop, the brash swagger of the Clash and the polka-like bounce of hardcore – but the sheer boisterous bounce and blokey strut of the band lift them above the myriad of punk revivalists clogging up the toilet circuit.
Now, just prior to the start of Houston 500’s set, associates of the band whom I will not name to protect the GUILTY, persuaded three very drunk teenage girls to write the band’s name across their tits and inner thighs. Strictly for promotion, of course. So, how did I feel then when mere moments into the set I was mobbed by the very same girls? Well you can’t go to prison for necking, Guv. Besides, they said they were 17... so needless to say I could have been more attentive for Houston 500... during the brief moments I was allowed to breathe, I gleaned this...
Houston 500 lure the audience in, demanding the modest crowd move into the lip of the stage. Opening with the brash riffs of ‘Arrested’ they bring their Essex boy Brit-rock swagger to the dark and dense sounds of their US stoner metal heroes. Ploughing straight on through to the more punk-driven ‘Head Down’, they pump out a fuzz-tone racket marrying the sludgey riffs of the big-pupiled likes of QoTSA with the cock-in-my-pocket sleaze of the eighties’ leather trouser brigade. ‘Endless’ is an unashamed lighter-waving rock anthem. In the months to come it will air on a million MTV screens as a million football jocks slyly slip their arms around their cheerleader girlfriends...
‘Reborn’ and the brilliantly titled ‘Queen of the Crackwhores’ drag us back into less sensitive territory, Dave getting plenty of his unhinged whoops and yelps into the band’s stadium-sized pop metal. A brief encore of ‘Ace of Spades’ (something of a Motorhead theme tonight...) and H500 are gone, presumably to bigger and better things (but first to get pissed and sleep in the guitarist’s car...). Now run home girls before your mother notices you’re gone...
Tommy ‘Glitter’ Mack
Photo by Stuart Nicholls (www.stunphoto.co.uk)