Punk Rock Bowling – Day 3, Monday 27th May

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So we are into the  third and final day and it is promising to be the hottest one yet (temperature wise). By 10.00am the temperature is mid nineties.

We are lucky that where the Downtown Festival Grounds are located, affords a certain amount of shade which is a life saver!



Doll Riot

All female Doll Riot from San Diego are first up today with a shortened set due to technical difficulties.

They worked very hard in stifling heat to entertain the sparse crowd. These girls are young but they have real punk rock attitude as shown by their song Fuck You, played with some enthusiasm

They covered the PJ Harvey number Sheela- Na -Gig, and other songs included Murder Spree, Parathesia, B29 and Mrreowrr before sadly running out of time.


Kate Clover

The Street Party Stage is completely rocking to the sound of Kate Clover and her band. Kate is resplendent in a red 50s pencil dress with leopard trim and is flanked by her black suited, white shirted band, a classic look.

This is no nonsense, straight ahead punk ‘n’ roll played with energy and aplomb. This music is just Fun, with a capital F. Their energy is captivating and Kate commands the stage with her immense presence, there is no doubt of who is in charge of this band!


Love You To Death
Channel Zero
Daisy Cutter
Love Bomb
Like A Domino
Follow Your Heart


Another strong female band ( seems to be a pattern this year), are the 3 piece Vial from Minneapolis. Their fast, catchy punk engages the audience, and they soon have a sizeable circle pit underway.

The songs were short, fast, melodic and hard hitting. The band even did a cover of Nirvana’s Territorial Pissings. To introduce the song they got the audience to chant “Piss, Piss, Piss” over and over, which they were happy to do with much gusto. We were introduced to their Furby mascot, who, according to the band, wrote their song Road Kill because it “loves driving cars and hates misogynists”.

Good set, good band.




Two Faced
Falling Short
Ego Death
Friendship Bracelet
Territorial Pissings
Ur Dad
Chronic Illness Flareups
Just Fine
Piss Punk

Die Spitz

As stage entrances go this was possibly the best of the festival, all 4 members of Die Spitz cartwheeled their way on to the stage before launching into a highly energetic set.

Bassist Kate Halter was full of swagger as she jumped around and laid down ferocious bass lines. The whole band were up for this and were much appreciated by the audience.

I did find some of their songs a little samey, but there was enough energy and attitude on show to make you think that they will go places.

English Beat

Much like The Skatalites did on the first day, English Beat brought a feeling of calm, good times and enjoyment for all to their mid-afternoon slot on the main stage. Their mix of reggae and ska was sure a welcome addition to all the great music that had preceded them.

They seemed to have some sound problems during soundcheck, but they soon launched into Rough Rider, a Prince Buster cover followed by a lively Twist & Crawl. The sun was blazing down, and the crowd were enjoying the music and any shade that they could find.

Dave Wakeling has great stage presence and clearly seemed to be enjoying himself today. The set ended with two classics, a storming Ranking Full Stop and perhaps their best known hit, Mirror In The Bathroom.


Rough Rider
Twist &  Crawl
Best Friend
Save It For Later
S.K.A. Spells Ska
Ranking Full Stop / Mirror In The Bathroom


Bratmobile are famed for being one of the first generation of riot grrrl bands. They have lost none of their energy and put on a fine show today.

Their short, quirky songs delighted the sizeable crowd, and you could tell that there was a lot of love for this band.



Love Thing
I’m In The Band
The Real janelle
Cheap Trick Record
Gimme Brains
Cool Schmool
Kiss And Ride
Bitch Theme
Brat Girl
Come Hither
Supreme Nothing
Cherry Bomb

Stiff Little Fingers

Stiff Little Fingers were absolutely magnificent today. It is a long, long time since I have seen them, but the power of their songs remains unchanged. From the opening song (and what an opener!) Suspect Device, to the closing Alternative Ulster, their set is packed with absolute classics.

These include a cover of The Specials Doesn’t Make It Alright and Bunny Wailers Roots Radicals Rockers & Reggae. We even have a new song amidst the classics , Hate Has No Home Here, that fits seamlessly into the set. Jake has a perfect rock ‘n’ roll voice and belts these songs out.

One of the best bands of the day!



Suspect Device
State Of Emergency
Roots Radicals Rockers And Reggae
Hate Has No Home Here
Just Fade Away
Doesn’t Make It Alright
At The Edge
Wasted Life
Nobody’s Hero
Tin Soldiers
Gotta Getaway
Alternative Ulster


Wow. Just Wow. What a performance from Scowl and singer Kat Moss in particular. Surely the most energetic performance of the festival, as she threw herself around the stage in an electrifying performance. Truly, you could not take your eyes off of her.

The music was hardcore punk played at breakneck speed and sounded great. Definitely a band to watch for in the future.


Gogol Bordello

If, by this point in proceedings, you were flagging at all, then Gogol Bordello came along and re-energised the entire audience. With their infectious brand of Gypsy Punk, the band got the whole crowd moving.

The sound of violins and accordion filled the air as the band gleefully cavorted around the stage. They were so full of energy and unleashed it upon the crowd. Their enthusiasm affected the crowd, and it was perhaps the most uplifting set of the entire festival.

It certainly got people in the mood for Madness if they weren’t before!


Sacred Darling
I Would Never Wanna Be Young Again
Not A Crime
Immigrant Punk
Wonderlust King
My Companjera
Fire On Ice Floe
Immigrniada (We Comin’ Rougher)
|Start Wearing Purple



So, to the final band of Punk Rock Bowling 24, Madness.

America had been waiting 43 years to see Madness, tonight they had to wait a little longer as the set was held up by technical difficulties that had seemed to plague day 3. Not that it could quash the enthusiasm of the crowd, hell they had waited this long, what’s another 20 minutes?

Then, all fixed the band stroll on stage, and it’s straight into One Step Beyond and the audience erupted. It may have been slightly slower than all those years ago, but it was still epic. With only an hour on stage we get all the hits you would expect, but we also got a hefty acknowledgement of their roots with three Prince Buster tunes (the aforementioned One Step Beyond, Girl Why Don’t You and Madness) and a cover of Lord Tanamo’s Taller Than You Are.

So America, after a wait of 43 years was it worth it?

A resounding YES from this audience, that’s for sure!


One Step Beyond
The Prince
C’est La Vie
My Girl
Girl Why Don’t You
Taller Than You Are
If I Go Mad
Iron Shirt
Run For Your Life
House Of Fun
Baggy Trousers
Our House
It Must Be Love
Night Boat To Cairo

So that’s it over for another year.

Despite pre festival moaning about the line-up by fans, this has been an exceptional festival. I have seen so many bands I was unfamiliar with, and by and large they have been great.

The festival is well run, there is more than enough time to get between stages so nothing is missed. The security has been tremendous and friendly throughout.

It is not all about the music, it is about the people you meet and the friends and memories you make.

So a big shout-out to the Punk Rock Bowling Crew with whom I shared Cabanas at the pool parties, To Rachel and Jacob who remembered me from last year and to Mikie Farber from the band Badass, who is just the nicest person you could wish to meet.

See you all next year!

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