Been looking forward to this gig for months and boy-o-boy it did not disappoint. Been a major fan of The Mahones for a long time and I remember well being heartbroken at not being able to afford to go their debut London show back in 1994. I also proposed to the Mrs at one of their Dalston gigs a few years back. These days they play London regular at least once a year except now that’s our lot until late 2015.
With the Rebellion Punk Festival money machine in full flow bands flock into the UK during August and they all want to play London so hardly surprising in a week that we had to choose between bands from Jello Biafra to The Adolescents to the Casualties to The Street Dogs and others that it wasn’t a overly massive crowd. Still it wasn’t small and with a good few London Celtic Punkers away at either Rebellion or Boomtown fest their can be no complaints.
The Black Heart was a decent enough venue, I remembered it as The Laurel Tree. Back in day I came to see Drop Dead play there. It was expensive then but Christ on a bike its £5 £6 and more now…for a pint! As a mate said “I normally want a lap dance with my drink at these prices”. I know its Camden but them prices are criminal at a punk gig. The sound was what really set the place apart though. Never have I heard either band sound so perfect. Even The Lagans spoons came out crystal clear. Nice big stage as well and The Lagan were in great form ratcheting up the punk of their folk punk for the occasion and belting their way through their LP tracks plus a few others and even time to play both their acapella sea shanties. Everyone was raving about their set afterwards and just goes to show how far they’ve come since they supported The Mahones last year.
Twas a hot and sweaty occasion so nipped outside after they’d finished for a smoke and a moan about the beer prices but must have been moaning too much as missed the start of The Mahones set. When we finally came in the sound was still as good and they were rocking through all the favourites plus a few songs about London chucked in. No ‘Celtic Pride’ but lots of Irish Folk Punk Rock! The set is a bit of a blur as we’d had a few in a proper Camden Irish boozer before the gig and I found meself in the moshpit against me better judgement.
Still I thoroughly enjoyed it but I’ll never be setting foot in that venue again. What is the point of them having great beers if people can’t afford them? From what I could see its the sort of trendy hipster middle class bar that’s ruined Camden. A couple of questions A) would people have still gone if it had been somewhere less trendy? Answer probably yes and probably more and B) would people have enjoyed it more if they’d been able to have 2 pints for the cost of 1? Answer you bet they would… especially me!
photos: 2) Vanessa 3) Iva 4) Vanessa
POST GIG EDIT!
Seems they did play ‘Celtic Pride’ I was just too pissed to remember it!
Got a long wait for them to hit our shores again now…