Live Review: UK Subs @ The Zoo, Brisbane 7 October 2009
Review By Jose Eduardo Cruz
This rather cold Wednesday night presented itself as an interesting proposition from the start. It would have been safe to assume that if you had decided to set up a hair spray stall just outside the venue you would have made a handsome profit. Or perhaps spiked bracelets and belts may have also pocketed you enough for a six pack of beer.
This is a nostalgic night for many of the punters present tonight trying to relive past experiences from faraway places and long gone times. I had the pleasure of speaking to two such fans that could not contain their enthusiasm over what this meant to them. One had seen UK Subs 30 years ago before he migrated to Australia. The other saw them 15 years ago and duly noted the aging process that had taken a hold of Charlie Harper. Such is the life of a legendary trend setter.
Onto Charlie Harper; what a personality, he spent about one hour walking around The Zoo signing autographs and posing for photographs. Not one person was denied their opportunity to spend a few minutes with this punk legend. He didn’t just sign his name onto a piece of paper, he took the time to personalise each request. Some received small portraits, others miniature essay, all containing the punk attitude that defines the night.
It must be noted that it is close to a sell out crowd tonight, a Wednesday night in Brisbane! Such is the pulling power of these legendary punksters. UK Subs jump on stage and immediately the pit starts to rumble. The multiple Mohawks amongst the crowd begin to become a health hazard, but not a deterrent to dance. Obligatory crowd surfers appear like clockwork and even some stage divers that long ago became an endangered species. This is a huge set list of nearly 30 songs delivered with high intensity that puts to rest the notion that oldies can’t rock out. Have you ever seen a fifty year old man jump up into the middle of the air while holding a guitar and land doing the splits? Amazing to see such energy still present even after so many years in the industry.
An encore was in order and rightly delivered. Partially losing his voice due to faulty fold backs, Charlie thanks everyone for yet another great night in this Australian tour and with a croaky voice launches into the last three songs of the night.
After appropriating the set list I jump off stage and deliver a present to the fan that first saw UK Subs in 1979. With much delight he accepts the present and thanks me for a memento that will be framed and placed in a safe place as a reference to such an excellent night.
This may be the last time we see them, but it doesn’t really matter because tonight was good enough to be a goodbye show.
By Jose Eduardo Cruz