A UK exclusive gig, and a surprising one to say the least. Lagwagon’s front man healing a show in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire of all places. Supported by Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano and a last minute addition of drummer Derek Grant also playing a solo acoustic set. Along with West Yorkshire’s legendary Random Hand on their final ever tour and local band Mr. Shiraz.
Kicking off the evening were Mr. Shiraz who have undergone a big change in the past few years from playing ska music and supporting bands like The Aquabats in Leeds a year ago, to a much heavier hardcore sound. Ripping through a set with songs about Bill & Ted, John Cusack and The Breakfast Club, they packed in a solid number inside the tiny venue (literally a shed behind a bar). Despite a small technical difficulties such as a cymbal stand very nearly landing on front-man Mikey Shiraz. And a broken microphone cable, Shriaz got things even hot and sweatier than it already was on the hottest day of the year.
Next up were Random Hand, hailing from Keighley, West Yorkshire on their final ever tour after touring the world for the past thirteen years playing some of England’s finest Ska-core. Packing out the venue right to the back wall, front-man/trombonist Robin Leitch offered something of a history lesson to keep things energetic yet safe. “British troops in the colonies used to drink tea sweat, thus making them cooler. Tea isn’t available in this room (that’s right, British people don’t drink tea everywhere they go) but dancing to mediocre ska-core is!”. Even offering advice from the very popular non-existent TV show “Bear Gryll’s Punk Gig Survival” to lick the sweat off the neck of the person in front. Despite the incredibly hot and humid condition, Random Hand did not in the least bit pull back as they fired through classics such as Anger Management, Play Some Ska and Scum Triumphant.
Last minute addition to the bill was Alkaline Trio’s Derek Grant who calmed things down a fair bit playing music from his solo album. Which the recordings don’t quite do Grant justice as to just how good his voice is. Playing tracks including Waiting For The End Of The World, Rockbox and Lucy which he informed the crowd is about dancing with the devil, to no ones surprise as at this stage, it would be somewhat unnerving to have a member of Alkaline Trio on stage and not mention the devil at some point. Grant also displayed his humerous side which isn’t often showed. Playing through his nervousness, he told the audience “this next song I wrote for my wife when she was just my girlfriend. It’s called Don’t Marry Me… So I guess she doesn’t listen to lyrics very well.” Grand closed his set with a collaboration from himself and fellow band member Dan Andriano. Playing Don’t Say You Won’t from the Alkaline Trio B-Side album Remains. Which has never been played live by Alkaline Trio and this was the first time it had ever been played with more than just Grant on the stage.
Immediately after, Dan Andriano took the stage for his set. Pulling largely from his first solo album Hurricane Season, playing songs such as It’s Gonna Rain All Day, From This Oil Can and the title track. With the odd additions from his new album Party Adjacent, playing the single Enemies and a track called Don’t Have A Thing along with his track for the Revival Tour album Waiting By Myself. With the heat still ludicrously high for that time of night in the north of England, Dan took his hat off wiped his head and desperately asked if it were Joey’s turn yet. But none the less carried on through. Despite breaking a string during Me and Denver, Andriano ploughed through with the crowd heartily singing along. He realised afterwards that the now missing string was a fairly important one to play his closing song, From This Oil Can, yet still played regardless.
Final set of the night was the Lagwagon front-man Joey Cape who has built up a solid reputation as a solo artist, from his two acoustic albums with the late No Use For A Name front-man Tony Sly. The biggest and basically only disappointment of the night came from this set, but not from Cape. The sold out 150 capacity venue was deserted, with a maximum of thirty people left in the crowd. Cape trudged on stage explaining how he had been ill all day upstairs, tucked up in bed. This however did lead to taking what was already a very small intimate show onto a whole new level. Opening with the crowd favourite Lagwagon song, May 16th. The crowd was much smaller but they were noticeably bigger fans with most people in the room singing along with every word. Asking the crowd if they wanted to hear a Scorpio’s song, as he started playing Lifer, he remarked “This song will always be for Tony”.
After playing a number of his own and Lagwagon songs including Burning Out In Style and Wind In Your Sails, Cape started to run out of idea and decided to ask for requests, with provided a fair amount of amusement, and him playing Violins and Making Friends. Upon hearing a number of requests Joey stated “Most of what you want to hear, I don’t remember how to play. But that’s fine as long as you are all drunk” (Which was the case for eighty percent of people in that room). Cape made it through most of Poison In The Well before finding himself lost, and then back on track after a few tries to remember the next part of the song.
Despite Joey Cape’s ill health and the absent crowd it lead to be one of the most biggest and intimate shows Huddersfield has possibly ever seen, to such a degree that many people would be fighting each other at the door if they knew what they would have been in-store for and what those select few were in attendance for.
Reminded Me Of: A personal size ham and chicken pizza that you believe should have cost you way more than it actually did.