Bombskare/Hello Creepy Spider - Bar Bloc - 07/09/16 - Alex Main

It's Glasgow, it's September, and the sun is incrementally sliding lower behind the edifices of the cities west end.
As it does the shadows grow ever longer, start to take on more substance, and begin to slip fingers ever deeper into the nooks and crannies of the streets.
As the natural light slowly relinquishing control of the day and begins to leave the neon and halogen to fight the darkness of the night something feels wrong.
There is something discombobulating.
Something not quite right.
Something that is difficult to put a finger on, something that......oh wait, it's not raining and it's warm.
Really really warm.
In fact it's bloody roasting.
Dare it be said, but it could even be described as sultry.
What the hell is going on?
Sultry is not a term that readily slips off the tongue when describing Scottish weather.
Not at this time of year.
The two words should never be used together unless it's to say it is never sultry in Scotland.

Warmer climes may be comfortable with a weather report that talks about the evening being tropical, but c'mon, this is Glasgow!

When we speak about being damp in September it is because the torrential rain has managed to soak through every layer we have worn.
Not because sweat is running in rivulets down our backs and pooling around the gooch area.
And yet here we are on a Wednesday night outside Bar Bloc and they could film a remake of 'waterworld' between my anus and bawsack.

Did I say damp?

I'm under selling it.

People are melting into the pavement.

Nah, this isn't right.

And inside it is warmer again.

A combination of Bar Bloc not being the biggest venue and it attracting a large crowd for a midweek show means there is barely a mouthful of oxygen to snatch.

It's like a gathering of the underground clans inside.

Of course with Bombskare playing there's the Ska Train tribe representing, assorted members of our nations other Ska legends Esperanza are in attendance too, then there's the yellow movement members proliferating, the mysterious Chibmarks are out, oi, oi, oi, we are of course carrying the New Hellfire Club flag, and it seems that everyone in attendance is either in a band, or devotes their time to keeping Glasgow in the position of one of the best music cities in the world by actively supporting the grassroots elements.

Even with the strange weather, that may or may not be, a portent of doom, there's a great deal of positives to be taken from a successful evening such as this.

One being the reappearance of 'Hello Creepy Spider' on the gigging circuit.
The duo have a supernatural ability to mould serious subjects into short sharp pop punk songs that they fire out relentlessly at those who come to see them.
From emotive relationships problems to nuclear war there is nothing that they will not address.
On the surface, if attention isn't paid, it could all slip past as being disposable three chord punk rock, but it's clever sleight of hand stuff, musical misdirection that has you tapping your toe and nodding your head to the frenetic beat while the words being howled and spat out work their way in and settle down to take residence in some little corner if your brain.
A little corner where they will wait until you least expect it and then jump out to reveal that there is really a great deal of depth and understanding of the world going on in the songs they write and perform.

The talents of Matt Johnson, who fronts the band, simply cannot be underestimated, or overstated.
His role as the focal point of the band is just one aspect of who he is.
It's part of the surface stuff of one performance that doesn't hint at everything he does when not behind the mic pushing Hello Creepy Spider forward.
From solo recording projects, collaborations with other artists, writing a book and busking to performing solo at house shows he is the definitive driven artist.
An unrelenting force of nature who gives far more of himself to us all than he takes.

And let's not forget Stef Watt who provides backing vocals and drums.

Without Stef holding everything together it would be difficult to imagine the band working.
He's the guy with the tight grip on everything.
The one who is holding it all back from the precipice where it would slip over and tumble to crash on the rocks if he wasn't holding it together.
The man is a drum machine and fluidly eases the tempo back and forth as required.
Again it is a balancing act and on the tightrope he never puts a foot wrong.

In short this is a stunning band that everyone should really be aware of.

Bombskare are a different premise again.
A nine piece ska band who hot on the heels of appearing on a BBC show about hard-working, but unsigned bands, which they bloody well won, are out to enjoy themselves.

I've lost count of how many times I've seen them play clubs and festivals, but Bar Bloc is most definitely the smallest I have seen them squeeze into.
With the band taking up virtually a quarter of the space that's set aside for the acts and audience, and the crowd being at capacity, it was down to the security to knock back anyone turning up with a cat to swing with a 'not tonight mate.'

While the heat was building up to the level of unbearable - which is like a hundred degrees beyond the scientific 'taps aff' that Scottish meteorologists normally consider to be the uppermost of what we can handle - the band refused to let it get in the way of delivering a set designed to leave 90% of personal trainers on their knees and begging no more.

Ska, is of course good time music.
There's few who wouldn't succumb to its charms, but when a band like Bombskare are in the driving seat they take it to a whole new level.
From their own Crime of the Century to the live favourite of Walk like an Egyptian to a ska classic like Sally Brown they show time and time again why they are one of the jewels in the UKs Ska scene.

When Bombskare are in full flow it is difficult to keep up, but keep up the audience did.
With superhuman strength they kept dancing with the band beyond what should be possible.
Cardiovascular workouts are not supposed to be pushed to the limits that were smashed and left in the dust in Bloc.
Mid set the throng of skanking gig goers was added too as Bloc staff joined in and let their hair down.

In all honesty that says it all.

After a long shift in a busy bar the thought of jumping into a crowd to jump about in wild abandon is not often at the forefront of the minds of bar staff, especially when feet are gnawing at ankles and screaming for a break, but it is testament to the bands talents to engage with a crowd that they not only pushed that to the 'it might be a good idea level'. but actually made it a reality.

Who knows what is next for Bombskare, but unless they are doing a favour for a friend it is doubtful that they will revisit venues of this size.

Maybe they could open a gym and start a franchise and that's what is next.

Fuck that boxerscise shit and pole dancing as a thing.

Bring on the skacercise fitness regimes.

Guaranteed to sweat off the pounds.

Especially on hot September nights in Glasgow, and there's something I never thought I would say.

Absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

Check them out here