Punktuation’s Gerrerd Gilonan heads down to The Horn and Half Moon in Stortford for a night of new and emerging bands!
Back in the late 70s, a young punk jumped on a bus from Birmingham heading to the bright lights of London to see a band. The band was The Clash. I was that young punk.
The Clash moved on from London to finish their tour. I stayed. Moving from squat to squat, spending my hard-won dole on gigs and speed. The punk scene was booming. From The Marquee to The Music Machine. From The Nashville to The Hope and Anchor. There was always someone to see. Someone to hang out with.
Fast-forward 40-odd years to a Thursday evening in Stortford. I found myself in the back room of The Horn at the Half Moon where JukeboxLive was promoting a night for new and emerging bands.
Each brought its own brand of post-punk energy or math rock rhythms to a well-attended event.
Great Northern Pike kicked off the night with their first proper gig outside of college rehearsals. Alfie Flanagan on guitar, Freddie Bone on bass and Archie Cornell beating the skins. Although newcomers, they played an accomplished set.
Next up were Caution Elderly People. Hailing from Hoddesdon and Hertford, they thundered through a raucous set of hard-core punk reminiscent of Sub Pop.
At ease with the audience, they were my favourite band of the evening. Oran Simpson on lead guitar, Sonny Mays on drums, rhythm guitarist Sophie Keys and bassist Maya Hirica are ones to look out for if you like your guitars dirty.
Finally, Thieves took the stage. Another three-piece (Sam Husband on drums, Ollie on bass and vocals and Bill Sherman on guitar) and sounding like a tight combo. Again, the feel was post-punk with some great thundering bass lines underpinning solid drums and bright guitar.
It was great to see each band support the other bands when on stage, joining in with a youthful, exuberant and, at times, boisterous mosh pit.
I think the kids are alright.
PS If anyone finds Caution Elderly People’s watermelons, they need them at the stage door.
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