A legendary punk band like GBH coming to your neighborhood with a special show celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of their most loved albums is something you don’t want to miss out on. So there we were on a Saturday night at On The Rocks in Helsinki to properly celebrate ‘City Baby Attacked by Rats’, ready for a night of good ol’ punk.
The band opening the night was not an unfamiliar sight. We caught the Helsinki locals Likaiset Pikkarit some years ago live at one of the Hvnk Pnkrck editions and knew we were in for a set of fun and catchy punk rock from a band that radiates fun. Vocalist Nipe‘s slightly gritty/smokey voice is a perfect fit for music like this, their bright green colored haired drummer Rike is always a delight to see in action and besides the gold glitter slapped all over the chests of both bassist Joonas and guitarist Spike, that same guitarist adds a glam flair a la New York Dolls to it all that sort of makes them a quite unique sight. All in all a fun start of the night to get right in the mood.
Second in line was Broken Trend, a band that mixes punk with some (post-)hardcore touches and poppy melodies into a quite engaging kind of music. It might not seem the perfect fit with the old schoolers of GBH, but they definitely put their all into it with a high energy performance where the bassist jumped during as good as every single track in the set. They were saying that it had been quite a while since they last played in Helsinki and were damn happy to be at it again. And quite some people in the crowd seemed to appreciate it a lot as well, including some girls adding a decent amount of soap bubbles blown in the air.
During Broken Trend, a long line was starting to form at the entrance with an average age that was well above any crowd with the earlier bands. The old school punks were getting ready to get in for GBH to kick off their special 40th anniversary show of the ‘City Baby Attacked by Rats‘ debut album and it was clear that most people had been getting ready (read: drinking beers) in the bar above the venue for this gig. I honestly haven’t seen On The Rocks this packed since long and all I can say is that it was well-deserved. These guys are absolute legends in the punk genre and are able to still kill it like they’re only half their real age. They’ve influenced tons of bands but could easily wipe the floor with as good as anyone with their attitude and stage presence. And the crowd clearly had been waiting for this show for a while because as soon as the first notes were barfed out of the speakers, everyone went absolutely wild with beers flying through the air, a moshpit throughout and people shouting their lungs out in excitement. It was a rowdy, sweaty and filthy bombshell of a night and there can’t be enough of those in my books.
Slit Your Own Throat
Am I Dead Yet?
Passengers on the Menu
Boston Babies (Slaughter and the Dogs cover)
I Never Asked for Any of This
Give Me Fire
City Baby Attacked by Rats
City Baby’s Revenge
Bomber (Motörhead cover)
For more pics of the night, go check out the photo report here.