Propagandhi – London Shepherds Bush Empire

By paul

w/ Protest The Hero, Strike Anywhere
Koko, London
29th November

The usual story ? queues for collecting tickets mean you miss bands. The first band this evening happened to be Strike Anywhere, who you would not expect to be playing any club show before 8pm. The mood in line outside was anxiety ? people getting slightly annoyed at the thought of missing them, but luckily sanity had prevailed and they were on 45 minutes after doors, and I only missed a couple of songs. They took a damn good shot at warming up a sober crowd, pulling out plenty of older stuff as well as new. I think the bigger the stage the more Strike Anywhere seem to lose a certain something ? but ending on an amazing rendition of ?To the world?, they seemed to have the kind of fire about them that releasing a new record tends to bring. (4)

Protest The Hero fought a losing battle. Mutterings of ?who are these chumps?? and ?why are this lot on after Strike Anywhere?? reverberated around the back of the venue. In fact, they were probably slightly badly billed ? probably better off at a Parkway Drive show ? but new audiences and all that ? I was quite impressed to see them playing. But..I have the first record, which I don?t think they played anything off, and what they did play was all a little bit stale and over-indulgent. Metalcore is often impressive, but when you have to twiddle quite as much as PTH have to, you are routed to the spot. And following on from a band who are all over the place, you?re in trouble. PTH looked a little like a rabbit in headlights ? maybe worrying that this wasn?t their crowd to enough of an extent to let it bother them. (2.5)

Propagandhi. Again. Second time this year in London ? promoting the same album. Still doing that fucking ?Come to the Sabbath? song, and still having that camp guy who did the original clinging on like a little kid with its mum. But let?s face it, they are just amazing. Chris Hannah has the power to strike a single note and make it sound like the world is ending. The set this evening was liberally borrowed from ?Supporting Caste? and ?Less Talk, More Rock?, which meant quite a few tunes most of the crowd had probably never seen live before. Mix the unexpected with the classics (Back To The Motor League, Anti-Manifesto) and you could not fail to love it. 800 people singing ?Dear Ron McLean?? was a real sight to behold. Still the most important punk rock band in the world and everything (maybe) their set wasn?t last time around. Long live Propagandhi. (5)