Monday, 15 September 2014

4/10/2013 The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing @ The Garage

Dropped into the nearby Wetherspoons for a couple of liveners before the gig as there is no way I am paying £4.60 for a bottle of Newcastle Brown in The Garage. Sorry to the support acts, but hate being ripped off and I really don't want to spend any more time in the venue than I absolutely have to - so I'm still in the pub at 9.30.

I arrive at The Garage with a few minutes to spare to find it quite full but probably not sold out for the band's largest headline show to date.
The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are a band like no other. Steampunk as a culture is closely related to Goth and has been growing in popularity in recent years - as far as the musical side of this subculture goes I don't think anyone comes close to this band for bringing it all together.
There is obviously a strong punk ethic to this band, both musically and in attitude - but the music also contains hard rock, rock 'n' roll, and heavy metal influences. The music is more sophisticated than normal punk rock and the standard of musicianship is also higher than you might expect. There is also a lot of humour involved - some of it quite black, and some not - this band are actually a lot of fun!
The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are steadily building a solid following, and for good reason. The lyrics of their songs are interesting, entertaining and intelligent. They sing about subjects as diverse as Victorian engineers like Stephenson, day-trips to the seaside, drinking, gentleman's etiquette, and sea monsters!
The atmosphere in the venue is terrific and the crowd are well up for it. In a quieter moment during the set cigarette lighters are even held aloft - when was the last time you saw that?
Behaviour like that is normally stomped on by 'Security' pretty quickly in these smoking ban days, so the current  generation hold up their smartphones with video lighter flames instead at most gigs - a sad sign of the times. Fortunately this crowd realise that is uncool and not retro enough so out come the real lighter flames.

After playing for nearly an hour the band leave the stage for a short break, then it's encore time. They have saved some of their best songs until last - 'Brunel' is one of their finest and this song about some of the Victorian engineer's great achievements goes down a storm! Then they finish with one of their maddest numbers 'Margate Fhtagn' - sort of Chas & Dave meet Metallica. Seriously. But not very serious - a man in a Victorian swimming costume singing about taking your granny for a day-trip to the seaside, only for her to get eaten by a sea-monster? No really!
A top quality night of great entertainment from The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. It's only the second time I've seen this band - the first being a very free crowded show at Camden's tiny Wheelbarrow pub, but I will definitely be going to see them again.

So it's back to the pub then...

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