Joining the venue as second band, the Down and Outs played out their final song, the mass of people milling around was a good indication that the show would not disappoint. The scouse group’s offering was a spirit raising song that took the edge off the cold experienced moments earlier in winter’s first efforts to draw into the city of Leeds. Following on from the Mercury League, more of the Down and Outs’ music would have been in order; however you just can’t beat a reliable transport system and, alas, they played to an audience minus one.

What a pleasure to be back at Joseph’s Well, a venue highly regarded by the punk community for its honest atmosphere and for the wealth of alternative bands it draws. The humidity had certainly started to increase in the pub-cum-venue as penultimate band, the Loved Ones, made their entrance. Excited murmurings turned into a roar of satisfaction: The Philadelphian trio had unquestionably attracted the crowds too.

A moderately good set followed, even if lead singer, Dave Hause, was having real trouble keeping the microphone in the right place. Some rousing songs did their job in satisfying the hungry audience but a flurry of similar sounding tracks did little to really grasp the imagination and time flew by aimlessly as the mind wandered. In a crass attempt to buoy the crowd yet further, Hause affirmatively stated that this was perhaps the best gig he’d ever played. The audience didn’t buy it and it seemed as if respect for the Loved Ones had momentarily been lost.

With the moist air now stiflingly warm and as atmospheric as required at a punk rock gig, Strike Anywhere took to the stage. Involving a mixture of their back catalogue, Strike Anywhere’s set was fluid, if perhaps rushed for lack of time. As with any recently released album, 'Dead FM' played a large part in the proceedings but old favourites, left the old contingent of fans, as well as the new, with much to rejoice about. Gleaning the best from 'Dead FM', tracks like 'Sedition', 'Allies 'and 'Hollywood Cemetery' set the early pace before Strike Anywhere hit into the impressive 'To The World', a track found on volume one of the 'Rock Against Bush' compilation series.

Occasionally introducing political rhetoric between songs, and sometimes of reasonable worth, Strike Anywhere’s pauses were totally befitting of the surrounding tracks and the band’s ideology. Later, the rampaging 'Instinct' marked a more personal note, giving solace to victims of domestic abuse, with the emotions spilling out into the frenzied crowd.

Joseph’s Well’s small stage reduced Strike Anywhere’s on-stage activity to a minimum; not dissuading a few stage-divers however. Doing a reasonable job, lead singer, Thomas Barnett, used the available parts of the stage to good effect and allowed one aficionado to join him in front of the microphone, even if for a short spell. Given the burly nature of the interloper, he may not have had a choice. In offering a long intro into their final song, Strike Anywhere built the tension brilliantly, before the curfew cut short any hope of an encore.












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