Fastlane – Cleethorpes Beachcomber

By paul

There’s one thing about the Winter Gardens that strikes you as you walk in – it’s like a fucking youth club. And a big one at that. There are kids everywhere – the place is teeming with 12-year-olds (there were easily 300 of the fuckers) and you can almost smell the hormones as you walk in. Not only am I the oldest in this place, but I’m the oldest by some way. Not only that, but I am easily old enough to father half of these kids. And I’m honestly not joking – there are kids of 7, 8 and 9 here and maybe even younger. But then there’s no surprise – the ‘bar’ serves slush puppies and there’s even a hot dog stand INSIDE the venue. There’s no other place like Cleethorpes Rock City in the world.

It’s the reason why I never go to local gigs like this, because without sounding like a snob, I like to enjoy the music and not play kiss chase or have a sneaky snog underneath a table. So when you have punk rock family in town, you just have to make the extra effort. Whilst [SPUNGE] are headlining this little two-week jaunt (and it’s the ska-punks who the kids have come to see), I’m out for my good friends in ROUTE 215 and FASTLANE. I haven’t seen these boys in far too long and we arrive just in time for 215 to grace the stage.

Now I’ve seen Rod and co go through three new births as a band and they’ve probably hit their mark with their current scuzzed up rock-influenced sound. 215 are always a great live band, but look a little lost on a stage which has a large barrier separating the kids from the band. Still, running through the vast majority of ‘Shock ‘Em Dead’ the band impress as usual, even if they’re not running at 100% ‘Taste Your Sweat’ and ‘Jesus Was Sexy’ even embark minor singalongs. Or it may have just been me and Dave. Either way, solid as usual and always worthy of your English pounds if they visit your town. (7) for the set, (11) for catching up as I haven’t seen them in forever.

FASTLANE should be so much bigger than they are. Infact, it’s an absolute travesty why they’re not criss-crossing America as their sound is perfect for the Yanks. Tighter than a knats arse, the band simply get better every time I see them. Feeding off the crowd’s energy (spinkicks and hardcore moves to Fastlane?!) the band throw themselves into the majority of ‘New Start’ and do it with their usual excellence. I don’t need to go on – any regular reader knows I love these guys like family and that won’t change. Go out, catch them on tour and be inspired by one of the UK’s best live bands. (9)