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Saturday 17th February 2018

The 100 Club, London

“Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

I’ve got tickets to the Godfathers

You can come too!”

How to treat your other half on Valentine's? Take her to the Godfathers Valentine’s Day Massacre gig! How could she complain? Firstly, she got to experience the atmosphere of the Chinese New Year as we wandered our way through China Town along Wardour Street up to Oxford Street and made our way through the glitz and neon lights down into the dark nether world of the iconic 100 Club. Secondly, she gets some history thrown in – the 100 Club is 75 years old with many photos of the famous acts that have performed there over the years framed on the walls.

The ‘wheels of steel’ spinning in the corner pumped out some of the sounds from years gone by with the enthusiastic DJ pumping the air in time with the Punk and New Wave sounds! And of course, the evening remembers the infamous Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 Chicago masterminded by Al Capone and celebrated ever since by the Godfathers as part of their post Punk, Alternative Rock gathering with their high energy, crunchy riffs that might help woo the special person in your life! And they more than fulfil my promise to the other half of a gig to remember. The lead singer – Peter Coyne – walks and talks like an East End gangster, completely at home in his London heartland shouting, “London belongs to me tonight!” and as he has more than a passing resemblance to the Krays, dressed in his black shirt and Dinner Jacket, no one is going to argue! The bass player could be Al Pacino and Steve Critall physically assaults his guitar in ways I have never imagined to squeeze sounds out of his instrument.

The Godfathers have been around since the mid 80’s and have turned out nine pretty decent albums in that time including ‘Birth, School, Work, Death’ which always gets the crowd singing along nicely. Their most recent album, ‘Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ released last year to critical acclaim and in my view, reminds you of all the good things you liked about them in the first place, but with the modern vibe for 2018. This ‘modern’ vibe doesn’t take long for the crowd to start rocking along. For those of you who have been to the 100 Club, it does have one big draw back – a massive pillar in the middle of the stage! Mister Coyne (or Sir to his friends – well he is a gangster!) used this to some advantage - challenging each side of the audience to outdo the other in the noise stakes! Not surprisingly we were in the winning side and it wasn’t long before a mini-mosh pit broke out so we could recapture our youth for a few minutes of slam dancing! Musically, the band were fantastic and Coyne’s growling vocals brought the recordings to life. The set list covered all the band’s albums but their sound is so consistent, they could have been from the same album except for ‘Hey Ho Let’s Go’ by the Ramones as a final cover to finish the evening off. If you haven’t heard of the Godfathers before, check them out and come down next Valentine’s - it will be a date!

Chris Bourlet

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