Hahahahha, this is a blast from the past! Bad Manners are playing in Reading’s Subs 89, far too good to miss.
I never managed to catch them in my younger days, so tonight is a must. I’m going with my faithful frontrowers, Neil, Martina and Kathy!
I have never been to Subs89, and I do love exploring new venues.
The drive to Reading isn’t too bad, parking is just round the corner and not too expensive, all good so far!

There is a little queue when we got there, it looks as though they let a few people in at a time, so far everybody seemed to be a of a mature age…lol…..didn’t really expect anything else! Now I can see why only a few at a time, there is a tiny table at the bottom of some steep stairs, you ticket gets checked and your hand stamped. And up we go….what a great place, it so reminds me of a good old seventies disco, low ceiling, dim lightning, sofas and tables scattered around, definitely old school décor, absolutely love it! This is the right place to see Bad Manners…..
Only a handful of people are here already, the barriers are deserted, so I best go and put my “towel” down! Martina and Kathy go off to get some drinks, and on their return Martina and Neil go and sit down. We take some silly photos, as you would, trouble is it is so dark we can’t actually see what pictures we taking.
Kathy and I stay by our “towels” and soon enough there is activity on the stage, people coming and going, tuning instruments, getting the stage ready for the Support band The Skangsters. Kathy get’s chatting to a young man in a red t-shirt, he plays the Sax, and we do love a man who plays the Sax. I find out much later his Name is Chris Oswell, or Welly for short, an awesome Saxophone player….!! Oh yes, I’m in the mood for dancing!
More people have now arrived, and still, not many youngsters! I have been to a gig from the Angelic Upstarters quite some time ago and it was a similar situation, mainly men and many dressed as punks, I’m sure in the real world many of them are respectable adults with respectable jobs. I think it’s great, we can show the youngsters a thing or two yet!

The Skangsters are on stage and ready to roll, and rolling they are, talking about a feel-good-factor! Just before they started playing the lead singer Wayne came off the stage to the barrier to give one of the girls at the front a hug, they must know each other, Kathy and I stretch our arms out for a hug too, and yes, he does come along and hugs us too.
These guys are warming up the crowd big time, we are dancing and clapping, the sound is brilliant, their covers of “Ghost Town, “Slow boat to Cairo” “A message to Rudy”  are brilliantly performed. The Reading based nine-piece band play a varity of ska – reggae and two-tone classics, if they play anywhere near you it’s a must for you to go and see them. Love these guys!!

We get chatting to a young man while we waiting for the stage to be set for bad Manners, he is joined buy his wife, I give out a couple of badges. People here are just so friendly, it still amazes me, big burly men, some scary looking and they just so nice! It was the same at the Selector gig a few weeks back, so you see, never judge a book by it’s cover.

The main act, Bad Manners are due on stage soon, and a large crowd has now gathered, we still maintained our spot at the barriers, stage left for a change, let’s get prepared for a bit of moshing and pushing…lol! As I look towards the middle I can mainly see men, supposedly grown-up men!! A couple of girls are braving the middle of the barrier, good luck…lol!
And it was time, all but Buster Bloodvessel are ready on stage….and here comes the man himself, larger then life still, full of energy and ready to go! First few notes and the crowd was instantly skanking, clapping and singing.
I noticed that Martina is getting a little squashed, so I swap places with her to make sure she and Neil aren’t being pushed about  too much.
The girls from the middle of the barrier soon moved and came to stand on the side by the Security guards, much safer place! Most people were friendly and just enjoying themselves, occasionally bumping into us or each other, but no harm done. There is one guy though that is very annoying, he smells of stale sweat, seems to be quite intoxicated, I guess there is always one :-(, this one though is just getting to close for comfort, he seems to want to push to the barriers, he’s really close up behind us and his arms on either side of you clinging to the barrier. The security guard (who is lovely by the way) gives him a warning but when he doesn’t stop he gets taken out of the crowd, I’m not sure what happened to him after, and I have a little pang of guilt, but this is just not the way to behave. Thank you to the security guys who came to our rescue, only trouble was that in the scuffle Neil got hit by an elbow accidently, due to the tumour it caused his head to start hurting and Neil wasn’t able to enjoy the rest of the show 😦
He insisted on staying where he was so none of us girls would miss anything. I do have to say I did have a wicked time, loads of dancing and singing with the guys behind and next to me. Richard next to me really was great fun, singing and jumping….! And let me tell you, fully grown men, climb over the barrier, rush onto stage and do some dancing, brilliant,, Mr. Bloodvessel doesn’t seem to mind at all, it happens twice, it’s just people having a great time.
There is a photographer in front of us, Dianah, she is having a ball too, she is dancing between photos and is quite happy to pose for one herself. That reminds me, I need to mail it to her…..
Buster Bloodvessel still has his old charisma if that is what you can call his extremely long tongue…..he still has that cheeky glint in his eye! His stage presence is amazing, his performance is everything I hoped it would be. All the musicians seem to have as much fun as we, the people on the floor, not one person as far as I can see is able to stand still. In front of us the young man with the trumpet got a funny thing around his mic, so most of the time he looks like he has a halo, the young man with the Sax is joining in big time, dancing, being silly having fun basically. They played all the favourites, “Lip Up Fatty”, “Special Brew”, “Can Can” and “Lorraine”, not to forget “Skinhead Love Affair” and “my girl Lollipop”” you just to good to be true”…..I would advise everybody to go and see these guys, you can’t help but feel happy (and sweaty) afterwards.
Sadly there was no set list, shame I would have really liked one!
A quick chat to Richard, the young man that was next to me, a badge and a promise to send the photos once he finds my blog! 🙂

We make our way back outside, poor Neil is still suffering, a very kind person ask if he was ok or needed help as we come down the stairs, I know some people may think he is odd or drunk…..but that is their problem.
Kathy went to the bar I think, we wait outside for her, she turns up with a glass of water hidden under her coat (you not supposed to bring glass out of the venue), the security guard spots it and comes over to say he has to take it off us. We explain that our friend has to take some tablets and he lets us off, once done we give the glass back to be taken inside.
Quick word about the venue Subs89,  I love it! Small and cosy but big enough for  a electric atmosphere, great sound and light, amazing security staff…..it makes such a difference to have good natured staff and a well run venue, thumps up for you Subs89!
I shall be back…………

And just so you all know, Neil will see Bad Manners in Brighton on the 10th June, he was so looking forward to this gig for various reasons. Our Friend Jana from New York got another couple of tickets for the Brighton gig!
Thank you Jana……I will of course report back! 🙂


About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

2 responses »

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is brilliant! Loved the evening and your blog … especially as I am mentioned and Chris Oswell used my photo as his profile pic!! xx

  2. Martina says:

    Just me again … I did enjoy the music which I thought i wouldn’t …. The venue I liked too… The guys there (gigers, skunkers) were very strong I thought but the same time the gentlest …. I really enjoyed the eve … Steffi well done for the report ! Enjoyed it and memories came back to me !

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