It’s early Sunday evening and outside the Westgarth it’s freezing. However, inside it’s hot and busy and there’s a real atmosphere of anticipation building for The Godfathers.
First up are Ratty and The Watchers who deliver a superb set of fast, punchy, pop-punk rock ‘n’ roll. The addition of Neale Floyd – once of Penetration and tonight making his first public appearance for 38 years – on extra guitar duties, makes this set of songs special. Powering through ‘Firefly’, ‘Bury My Heart’, ‘Tsantsa’ and more there’s plenty of buzzsaw guitar as well as nods to the Hot Rods, Chameleons and even Bowie with riffs aplenty to keep your hips swinging.
Second band up, King Mojo, never disappoint – and it’s a good job really as they seem to pop up at a lot of gigs I go to. They’re indie new wave mod with a big Jam/Weller/60s garage sound and they deliver a set packed with guitar-driven energy, great keyboards and tight rhythms.
In terms of the headliners, it’s hard to describe just how good The Godfathers are. Opening with ‘This Is War’, a superb, snarling anti-establishment rant driven along with relentless bass and piercing guitars, The Godfathers don’t let up for one second of this 22-song set. ‘This Damn Nation’, ‘I Want You’, ‘I Want Everything’ and ‘I’m Unsatisfied’ drag us back to ‘85/’86 and classic debut album, ‘Hit By Hit’. Six tracks from the raw, storming rock of ‘Birth School, Work, Death’ via classic cuts from ‘Unreal World’, ‘Jukebox Fury’ and the masterpiece that is 2017’s ‘Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ bring The Godfathers smack bang into the 21st Century.
Tonight, The Godfathers can do no wrong. Twin guitar sounds from the never still Steve Crittall and Alex McBain, thumping rhythms from Tim James and Darren Birch, together with the growling vocals, superb lyrics and piercing stare of Peter Coyne is just a superb combination. Add in a blistering cover of ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ and once again this band leave us with a night that will live in gig folklore for a hell of a long time.