Bash and Pop
Music Hall, Ramsgate, 30/6/2017
published: 16 /
Dastardly takes cover as Replacements' bassist Tommy Stinson's band Bash and Pop storm the Music Hall in Ramsgate.
Crazy little things.
What is it that’s going on in there...? Three minutes or so of some bottled headrush mayhem... and invisible to boot. Whatever they are Tommy Stinson and his crew have reeled in more than a few nuggets on new album ‘Anything Could Happen’ and right now I’m standing about three metres in front of them in Ramsgate as they rip through my ears, brain and anything else in the way with album highlight ‘On the Rocks’. The song doesn’t start with any great fanfare, just a pretty standard motif but by the time they get to the bridge it’s starting to cook and spit and then, holy moly, here’s the chorus and I’m off somewhere in another dimension wailing along with any words I can pick it out.. "It’s so sweeeeeet.. I love getting bitter" or something. This is heady stuff. I know rock n’ roll’s been round and round the block more times than, well, a professional block circling champion but when it chucks up something new and this good it’s obviously not done yet.
Unsurprisingly the gig’s not going to continue at quite this altitude - that would be medically unsafe, but it never dips too far with Tommy attacking the mic like a 'Nam veteran marine. And this is a crack squad he's leading, no mistake...Selvidge, Sirois and Perkins - remember this is war, first names don't matter - are like different parts of the same body and equally just as happy to dissolve a song into a comedy bad ending when it suits them.
"What does everyone do in Ramsgate?" Sgt. Stinson asks.., "Does everyone have a boat..?' (see I told you he was a marine) "I want a boat...I want to just get in it and point it towards the ocean..." OK but not just yet - you haven’t played other album highlights like ‘Never Wanted to Know’ or ‘Bad News’ yet. Thankfully he does, the latter even out facing The Faces. We even get some new unrecorded songs as well.
Tonight Tommy reveals a big heart pumping underneath the Keith Richards/Sid Vicious pouts and sneers. Sure, this is loud, brash pop n' roll but it's also soul music baby... it’s the stuff that keeps you and me alive. Soul music and a healthy dash of country I should add - in the way that country music seems to be just below the surface of so much great American music...like when Kurt used to role his mouth a little and sound like some pissed off farmer.
Whatever, tonight Tommy and band have shaken a tiny venue down by the seaside and ripped it loose from it's moorings. Tomorrow they're supporting Green Day at Hyde Park and you can bet Billie Joe will be watching from the safety of the dug out stage left.
Got to learn from the best.