Live: Attack! Vipers! – Kelsey’s, Leamington Spa, 14/1/11

The Leamington scene has been under threat lately. With the closure of Spayce, the last venue that wouldn’t charge extortionate amounts to the promoters, it looked like there was little hope for us. Laurence and Move To Leamington put on a show or two in his house (such as the RVIVR show last year that was epic) but it’s just impractical. However, tonight saw a kind of revival as student bar Kelsey’s offered the top floor for a night of punk rock. It was, to say the least, an interesting evening.

First up were Lineker (who I sadly can’t find a link for online!), a band clearly named after the Walkers man/popular ex-footballer. One of the other bands made a joke that they should put out a split with a band called Gascoigne. It would probably be a stellar release. Apparently one of their first shows as a new band, they performed well! Pretty gruff stuff but not too heavy. Hopefully, they should be playing more shows near here soon.

Cannons And Tanks were up next and as always, were bloody great. Having caught them with RVIVR last year, it’s safe to say they’ve definitely pulled it all together now to form a much tighter unit. Matt thought they sounded a little bit like Small Brown Bike, which is probably obvious from the name. If you like that kind of stuff, then Cannons And Tanks are most definitely for you. It’s music from the heart and it sounds awesome. At the end of their set, they threw in a cover of Waiting Room by Fugazi. From the opening bass riff, I was apprehensive. I am not a huge fan of covers and to even touch Fugazi is usually asking for trouble, but it was actually a pretty impressive attempt and I can’t wait to hear more from these guys.

Caves had a bit of a mixed bag going here. The beginning and end of the set were both excessively awesome, with those awesome pop melodies shining on through, but the middle of the set was a little lacklustre. However, it was still a very good performance. Caves just have this awesome energy, as if they could play all night, and it definitely transfers into the crowd. Some of the oldies there were getting very excited. The new material sounds pretty good and they have a new CD out soon – check back here for details.

Section 13 were very average. Although the majority of the audience were there to see them, they were the worst band on the bill. They play an 80s brand of hardcore which is just impossible to make original. Were they playing that kind of stuff back then? Probably, but if that’s the case, then it’s time to move on. The highlight of the set was possibly the weirdest moshpit I have ever seen, as old dudes in tartan collided with lager louts in a kind of slow frenzy. When I have lost the jadedness of youth and am old and enthusiastic, then I’ll mosh like that. Until then, I’m content to remain vaguely hipster-esque with my arms folded and the occasional toe-tap. They might have done covers, but I couldn’t really tell.

So, hooray forAttack! Vipers! who were just incredible! This is brutal hardcore at its best and a fine example of what’s coming out of England right now. A combination of intense growls and great melodies, they could be likened to early Fight Paris but way more brutal. A great crowd reaction was almost as entertaining as the band themselves – human pyramids and what can only be described as dizzy dinosaurs with almost every member of a band there picked up and thrown in the air was absolutely mental. For a tiny room at the top of a shitty bar, the sound was great and managed to pull up some highly bewildered looking students from downstairs. Hopefully, Attack! Vipers! will be coming to the all dayer in March, as they are certainly not to be missed.