Note: Sorry, no time for a full account of this show, but there's just enough time for some highlights.
At 10pm the sidewalk in front of Davey's was crowded. The Cowtown Playboys were loading out, leaving the stage to another rockabilly band – this one called The 58 Delrays. It's pointless to describe a rockabilly band – they all sound the same. There's a hiccupping frontman with an upright bass, a sideman with a hot hollowbody guitar, and drums that snap with a tight snare. Covers, originals – it all blends together. "Memphis, Tennessee" done well. "Ball and Chain" neutered by an Aussie singing in a borrowed southern drawl. Breaka Dawn has a lot of dance partners. She's light and easy to lift.
Braindead played a twenty-minute set. First show. Three guys on stage pulled from different scenes, playing to each of them. Oi, street punk, snotty UK punk. False starts laughed away by an energetic audience of friends. Songs dedicated to the punks. Songs dedicated to the skins. Harmony all around until a fight broke out. Someone was kicked out. He wasn't happy about it, so he kicked over a few motorcycles on the way out. That got him chased down by a crew. I didn't ask... he spared my scooter.
Degeneration is Oi. Capital "O." Bleachy jean jacket, Doc Martens, cuffed Levis, Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, Sambas, working class pride all part of the uniform. Songs with big guitars and bigger choruses built for gang vocals. No politics. Catchy as hell. Are they just "short of being really racist" as I heard whispered in hushed tones earlier in the night? No. And frontman Chris Gunner Miller says wont tolarate boneheads at the band's shows. But pride is nuanced, and an impromptu cover of Last Resort's "Violence In Our Minds" did little to quiet the trash talkers.
The Uncouth is oi. No capital letters. Smart. Also catchy as hell. Started with "KC United." Dedicated "Jonesy's War" to a fallen friend. Shot a video for signature tune "Living Wage." Cody asked the audience "make us seem better than we are." The audience mocked the band when it lip-synced the song for a second video cut. Final three song covers. Cockney Rejects' "Because You're Young" had everyone on stage. Threatened a cover of "Purple Rain" but didn't deliver. 2:30am. Club said its time to go home. You can't fight city hall.