Thursday 22 December 2011

UK Subs live at Relentless Garage London December 17th - Review by Paul Mileman

UK Subs live at Relentless Garage - Photo by Steve Worrall
One more Xmas comes around. Time for a UK Subs gig. I have tried to do this each year since 1981. Not always got it together, but when I do, it´s always fun. Never two gigs the same. Early Friday morning flight from Oslo, Norway. The first thing that struck me when arriving in London is how bloody cold it was. The second thing was that I saw a poster "celebrating 40 years of Queen", the band that is, not the monarch (she´s winning that one..). Anyway, it made me think about the Subs. Only 5 years to go, and they may actually get to album "Z" in that time!  

Photo by Paul Slattery
The Saturday started out alright actually (West Ham winning at home 1-0), despite it actually getting colder. Then a swift trip over to the Relentless Garage. We missed the Charred Hearts supporting as we went for the pizza/pasta option in the restaurant over the road, got in to the venue mid-way through The Defects set. Never seen The Defects before, and they surprised me. OK sound. Would see them again. Then they played several Clash songs and went off stage.  

UK Subs time. Swift turn around on stage, and then The Subs appeared, Charlie looking like Kurt Cobain (my mate observed). "Emotional Blackmail" for starters, then all the expected songs…and…"Hey Santa" (wouldn´t be Xmas without it), "Riot", "Bitter and Twisted", "This Chaos", "Creation", "Hell Is Other People", "Strychnine"...Can´t remember all the songs, but they came back for 3 encores, or was it 4? Too much Red Stripe… 

A lot of familiar faces at the front, nice to see the punk rock aerobics is still going strong, but I notice that it´s starting to get difficult for the longer songs…Note: Please shorten all the new songs to 1 minute.  

UK Subs live at Relentless Garage - Photo by Paul Slattery
 You cannot knock the UK Subs for this gig at all. Great sound, great songs, great musicians, great venue, great friendly crowd and Red Stripe on tap. Really looking forward to the "X" album, with this line-up, which does seem to really get better each time I see them. And it was really good to see the newer songs creeping into the set, and not just a "best of" gig. Get down and see them now!

UK Subs Guitarist Jet live at Relentless Garage - Photo by Paul Slattery
Charlie Harper live at Relentless Garage - Photo by Paul Slattery
- Review by Paul Mileman, Oslo, Norway

Check out Paul's band RIOTS at their official web-site or Facebook page. 
Paul also runs the official UK Subs web-site.

There is an excellent UK Subs historical archive/resource site called called Time and Matter which is well worth delving into. It features a huge archive of memorabilia, photographs, news, reviews and interviews. There are also contributions from current and ex-members of the band, including tour Blogs, information on various side-projects and charity appeals.

Paul Slattery photographing the UK Subs - Photo by Steve Worrall
A packed Garage enjoying UK Subs - Photo by Steve Worrall
Charlie Harper - Photo by Paul Slattery

UK Subs - Photo by Paul Slattery

Drummer Jamie Oliver - Photo by Steve Worrall

Bassist Alvin Gibbs - Photo by Steve Worrall

Many thanks to Paul Mileman for contributing the review and to Paul Slattery for photographs.

For more "bonus" photographs of the show please visit the Retro Man Blog Facebook page.


  1. A mate of mine recently saw the Subs support Motorhead; Charlie Harper ambled on to the stage and said: 'We're out of our depth here.'

    They weren't.

  2. They were great John...! The Subs always seem to be written out of trendy Punk retrospectives, never understood why. They were there at the start, played the Roxy, never split up and still rock like hell..!