No Time For Smoko! The Chats Spin Through 25 Songs in a Frenzied Hour of Aussie Punk Perfection in Leeds.
Words and Photos John Hayhurst (@snapagig)
My Third time seeing The Chats but first with new guitarist Josh Hardy, who looks remarkably like the previous Josh ‘Pricey’ Price, in fact I can’t tell the difference at all except this one won’t be throwing himself into the crowd and surfing as tonight we are at Leeds Uni – The Stylus, and it has a pit where security are looking a little worried at the raucous crowd in front of them. I see one mask, and one mohican hairstyle, both will be lost to sweaty moshing over the next 60 minutes.
In a scene not seen since the bygone days of proper punk in the mid 70’s, this Aussie 3-piece rattle through 25 songs in just over an hour, sub 3 minutes each and little time in between for banter other than to call everyone a c*nt and have a drink. No Smoko breaks tonight, and in a Ramones like fashion Matt Boggis on drums can do the 1-2-3-4 and it could break into anything after that. The biggest suprise of the night is that Eamon Sandwith has lost the mullet, gone for the short bowl cut instead, but with his trademark gurning growl and occasional pogo we know it’s definitely him.
They play everything at 100 mph and yet the crowd are shouting back every word “All I Need is a Buck or Two” during favourite Bus Money and equally Identity Theft lifted the levels further. New songs like Struck by Lightning and 6Ltr gtr fit in neatly and then Smoko lifts the roof off the place (if it actually had a roof – Stylus is in the basement). Surprised they didn’t leave that till the end, but they don’t do encores, “We don’t do the one more song bullshit” this is a no nonsense wham bam punk show and after AC/DC CD and personal fave Temperature we have a cover and then Pub Feed to close.
Done and on to the next one, if you get the chance and want to see a proper 100mph punk show with no breaks then you must see this band. The Chats tour continues through the US till the end of May and then they come back to Europe in Late June.
The Chats Setlist (possibly not in this order):
Nambored, Billy Backwashs Day, Stinker, Drunk n Disorderly, Bus Money, The Kids Need Guns, Mum Stole My Darts, Jet Lighter, CCTV, Casualty, Nazi March, Dine n Dash, 4573, 6Ltr Gtr, Ross River, Struck by Lightning, Identity Theft, Can You (Wiggles), Smoko, AC/DC CD, Temperature, Better Than You, Paid Late, Borstal Breakout, Pub Feed.