Anti Nowhere League + Red or Dead
Friday 21st April 2023
The crowds were thin at first at The Tivoli in Buckley, North Wales, for this evening’s entertainment – but that changed soon enough. Happily, the situation started to develop during the opening set, meaning that support band Red or Dead were able to play to fair sized crowd.
I say happily, ‘cos Red or Dead deserved to play to a decent size audience. Hailing from a bit further up the road in Conwy, the fourpiece are an accomplished group of musicians who are obviously inspired by classic 70’s punk, such as The Clash. Very impressive, with catchy tunes and a message, Red or Dead easily grabbed my attention and refused to hand it back. Definitely a band to keep an eye on, there’s a variety in sound and musicianship that hinted at an even wider repertoire – some research reveals they often play acoustic sets, which sounds very tempting.
Anti Nowhere League shouldn’t really require any introduction. I became aware of these deviants thanks to their association with The Damned many years ago, tales of debauchery spreading ahead of them like a bushfire. Now with just head lunatic Animal remaining in the band, he’s backed by a great, well tenured group of musicians who can really deliver on the band’s legacy, performing it with the respect – and ferocity – it deserves.
Hit singles aren’t really the order here, but of course ANL give us their wonderfully raucous treatment of “Streets of London” (yes, that one) in a set riddled with classics. That songs infamous B-side, the still unbelievably filthy “So What” makes an appearance too, earlier than I’d expected, complete with a concise history lesson from Animal, covering police raids and the later Metallica renaissance. The song still raises a smile and rocks like a nun on a washing machine.
The whole band play brilliantly, the result being a set that was even better than expected. For the uninitiated, Anti Nowhere League live in the corner of punk that’s largely UK Subs with a big, fat dollop of Motorhead. From “I Hate People”, “Let’s Break the Law”, a cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” (my Mother-in-Law wouldn’t dig it) and through to “We Are The League”, song after song is fast and furious with never a dud.
As anticipated, the audience loved it and the atmosphere in the Tiv was one not to be missed. Classic punk rock from Anti Nowhere League, who gave us quality tunes performed with the zeal and attitude it deserved. So glad I was there.