This was the first of (hopefully) many free shows at the Raven, a pub opposite some tube stop in west London that I’d never heard of. Lots of people were commenting on how weird it was having a punk rock show in a gastro pub, but a lot of the locals seemed to enjoy the spectacle.
First up was Limited Means. I am too biased to review this band for many reasons, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. It was their second show, but they are so tight already that you wouldn’t have guessed it. Their songs are getting more fierce and I particularly enjoy the faster, more relentless tunes they knock out. It was also the first night of a week-long tour with Neil et al., so I’ll be interested to see how their live show develops.
Next up was the unstoppable flatulent folk machine of PJ & Gaby full band. For those not in the know, this involves the addition of a keyboard and two familiar faces better known as Apologies, i have none. They effortlessly dropped in a couple of new tunes I have not heard apart from in their infancy, rocking them out hard to some respectable crowd bogling. They also played A MIllion Bottles which is one of the best songs in the world.
And Friends featuring Neil Sutherland then graced the spot in front of the specials menu for our entertainment. PJ has joined on second guitar for this tour, and watching those guys rock out together is always a joy to behold. Despite my reservations about Neil’s full band (because I loved the songs so much solo), this set allayed them. I could even prefer the full band version of Detonation… Maybe.
Tim Vantol played a impromptu set after this, his tour entourage having arrived halfway through the show. His Against Me! cover was spot on and thoroughly enjoyed, but I was particularly impressed by his original material. I am gutted I didn’t get to catch him the next day in the park down the road.
Jonny One Lung finished off the night, joined by local ‘Bush resident Paul on bass for a couple of tunes. He played a mix of his solo stuff, and songs better known by their renditions by 241ers and Suicide Bid. (Speaking of Suicide Bid, look out for their show in a couple of weeks in London /plug.) I’ve missed his dulcet Essex tones, and am looking forward to seeing his newly re-patriated presence in the scene.