Glen Burnout Addresses The Death Of Tyre Nichols On “Behind A Badge And Gun”
Maryland’s Glen Burnout has released the hard hitting single Behind A Badge & Gun that confronts the death of Tyre Nichols at…
Secret Gig - Pirate Studios, Sheffield, UK - 11th March 2023
After last weeks sub zero show by Death Valley Girls what could be better than crossing the snow bound Pennines for a secret gig by Rum Lads in deepest darkest Yorkshire? Although there are warmer options for a Saturday, we are here and beer is provided so all is well, apart from one of our number managing to fall out of the car at a necessary coffee stop, but only fresh wounds were sustained so we carried on regardless and arrive at the location for what is a showcase of Rum Lads new album, and it turns out a good chunk of the next one.
The invited crowd slowly arrive as kick off time approaches, some driving, some wander up clutching intoxicants, as the hour approaches we are packed into Rum Lads rehearsal space like sardines and we’re away. After an introduction that outlines their political allegiance, the band launch into their set from their forthcoming album, as well as upcoming appearances at Manchester Punk Festival and Rebellion Festival. It’s clear from the outset that this is the working class voice of resistance, this is a band who nail their colours to the mast from the outset, don’t like their views then the message is simple, fuck off.
This is also the chance to hear the tracks from their new full length, as well as a few that will feature on their next album, prolific seems to be something of an understatement when you consider they haven’t hit their first anniversary yet. Every song rings true with working class attitude and in opposition to everything that is wrong with the UK, and let’s face it pretty much everywhere else in this ongoing binfire. It’s good to know that there is vocal opposition that does not pull their punches, and this is a band that does not hold back with the Richie Rum Lad front and centre in the tiny space that hosts this afternoon’s secret gig.
Even though this is in their rehearsal space in a far flung corner of Yorkshire, they play to the invited crowd like their lives depend on it, there is nothing half arsed about Rum Lads attitude and delivery and their politics, and yes everything is political to Rum Lads. This is intense vocal opposition that raises a middle finger towards the right of politics, they are unapologetically in your face and direct, which is how things should be given the fucking state of everything right now.
Given their pedigree, that includes former members of Angelic Upstarts, Propane 4, Corporal Bones and of course Richie’s former solo outings as Rum Lad, none of this should be a surprise. Every song is a short sharp political blast that rarely goes beyond two minutes, with each track being a raw and direct gut punch. There is no debate, this is Rum Lads, this is who they are, this is what they have to say, and it needs saying.
As Richie put it at the end of the gig “we’re not trying to build a fan base, we’re building a family”. In that spirit afterwards Rum Lads and the majority of the invited crowd all dutifully head to a local pub. Friendships are formed, nonsense is talked, drinks are consumed and spilled and the day carries on late into the evening. Several hours and many rounds later an impromptu Ramones covers set from drummer Jim The Fin breaks out in the pub, no one blinks an eye, this appears to be a regular occurrence with the drum beat hammered out on the pub table by those sober enough to keep in time, apparently this is normal here, why I didn’t I visit Sheffield sooner?
Influenced by the old school to some degree, but this is no nostalgia trip, Rum Lads reflect the state of the UK at the moment. We all hope for better days ahead, but for now a vocal opposition is a necessity and that’s what you get from this quartet, no bullshit, no pretence, just telling their truth. But don’t assume this is a po faced regurgitation of the headlines that is solely preaching to the converted, Rum Lads are a good humoured and irresistible force of nature, one that is defined by the title of their debut full length, Noise Terrorists. The revolution starts here.
Photography by Steve White. You can visit Steve White‘s Flickr site here