Pete Carpenter // image by Phil Watson @philwatsonphoto
28 May 2018
Every time you arrive at Motion, regardless of the event, you get the exciting feeling of attending something that isn’t entirely legit.
What I mean for those of you who’ve yet to go, is that after queuing in a grey car park next to what appears to be an abandoned factory, you’re directed to push your way through huge plastic strips in the entrance way. Once inside you find a cavernous space which is perfectly suited to this kind of show.
First to take the stage for this Britrock Must Be Destroyed show were Dodgy, best remembered for their ‘96 feel good hit ‘Staying Out For The Summer’ which they got to early in the set. They followed this up with ‘California Gold’ from their current album, a mellow yet rocky summer anthem which shows that they still have the ability to pen fantastic songs. A few more songs later and we had another new track ‘Never Stop’, which lead singer Nigel Clark dedicates to the “Brexit Balls up…” Another great song which promises new album What Are We Fighting For? to be a solid contemporary piece of work. No Dodgy show would be complete without ‘Good Enough’, so when the open notes are struck the crowd responds with a resounding cheer and a singalong that threatens to drown out the band.
Next up were the simply brilliant Yorkshire act Terrorvision. With a plethora of hits and extensive touring pedigree under their belt, Terrorvision never fail to put on a good show. As the crowd swelled, Tony Wright and the rest of the band bounded on stage and launched into ‘Discotheque Wreck’, shortly followed by ‘Alice, What’s the Matter?’, which has the drummer windmilling his arms during the breakdown. Tony Wright then introduced the band and announced the next song, ‘Middleman’ to a roar. All through the set, the hits kept coming with ‘My House’, ‘Some People Say’ and the superbly catchy ‘Perseverance’. When they reached the end of their stage time, Terrorvision closed with ‘Oblivion’ to the undying favour of the fans.
This tour was billed as a multi-headliner with all the bands playing full sets in rotation every night. Despite this, the loudest cheer of the night came when the backdrop for The Wildhearts appeared behind the stage. The band has a dedicated fanbase across the country, especially so in Bristol where they frequently sell out the O2 Academy and every other venue they set foot in. The already crammed hall became increasingly denser as even more bodies packed in to see the definitive line up of The Wildhearts. Ginger, CJ, Rich and, for the first time in nearly 20 years, broken-legged Danny McCormack made his way across the stage on crutches, settled into his stool and beamed out at the audience who were chanting “Danny, Danny…” over and over. The look on all the bands' faces told you everything you needed to know, and when they played the opening riff to ‘Sick of Drugs’, the whole crowd went nuts. Followed up by ‘TV Tan’, ‘Suckerpunch’ and ‘Caffeine Bomb’, there was barely time to breathe between songs.
Lead singer Ginger introduced the band one by one, Danny receiving another wave of adulation to his apparent bemusement. Things slowed down a little then, though not by much, as we were treated to another roster of songs that could easily comprise a greatest hits on their own. Highlights were the glorious ‘Nita Nitro’, and obviously ‘29X the Pain’. The Wildhearts ended by giving the crowd what they wanted and played a blistering ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’
Last up were local boys Reef. ‘Naked’ was the first song they played, aptly, seeing as it was the song that broke them into the UK. Accompanied by a light show comparable to a tsunami of photons, the band were backlit by waves of blinding white, red and orange. Following up with ‘Stone for your Love’ and ‘Consideration’, they had the intensity of a band at the peak of their game. The riff to ‘Place your Hands’ and Gary Stringer's unmistakable vocal had every single soul in the room bellowing along with them. This seemed to be the catalyst they needed and when they pulled out tracks like ‘Summer’s in Bloom’ and ‘Revelation', they had everyone eating from their hand. They ended with the outrageously appropriate ‘End’. Until, of course, they played the only encore of the night. As the last refrain of ‘I’ve got Something to Say’ died out, there was no denying that they definitely did, and everyone in that room heard it!