“Red hot!” exclaims Godfathers singer Peter Coyne, standing as judge and jury on his own band after one particularly blistering song finishes and lies discarded on the Lexington stage.

“Fucking red hot!!” is the verdict for the next one.

The Godfathers are quite clearly approaching combustion tonight as a new line up wows the party faithful and their lead singer is, like us, watching this as much as taking part. This is punk rock as purpose. Sheer sonic intent. Punk has always meant many different things but no one disputes what the punk attitude is. Here it’s coated in the dark primal riffing of ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’-era Steve Jones. For all the DIY it inspired, the Pistols masterpiece was a crafted act of violence and the Godfathers music similarly is not afraid to flex it’s muscles. New guitarists Mauro Venegas and Steve Crittall supply maximum taught riffage on demand, while new drummer Tim James couldn’t make it look any easier. If Isambard Kingdom Brunel had designed punk bands instead of giant steamships he’d probably have come up with this lot...you can almost see Fred Dibnah at the side of the stage frantically sketching diagrams.

Manning the controls of this pulsating hissing beast is Peter Coyne.

Sometimes lead singers don’t have to do very much to command respect. Peter wins ours the moment they walk onto the stage. The applause ripples out through the venue, but he knows it’s a bit polite. He motion,s “Gimme gimme” with his hands and is immediately rewarded. He’s over the line. We’re his. From that moment on he paces a small area at the front like a seasoned lion tamer. The songs are not so much sung as individually delivered. These are not thoughts, they’re messages. It’s not inferred, it’s said. ‘I Want Everything’ and ‘Cause I Said So’ pretty much sum it up. As they say, if you don’t ask….

An hour or so later old favourite ‘Birth School Work Death’ wraps things up and there’s celebration in the air as bass player Chris cocks a snook at his brother Peter instead of a handshake. The band leave the stage and remind a well and truly ruffled Halloween crowd that next year will be thirty years of the Godfathers.

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