Richie Ramone/Dig Lazarus/Sour Tusk –
Real Time Live, Chesterfield, Tuesday, September 22nd, 2022
Well it's a good few years since Metalliville Zine has covered a show here in Chesterfield and I must say that it was so, so good to get back and greet the wonderful owner again, Niki Stephenson – bless her! Such a lovely lady she is and an absolute pleasure to chat to.
Set List: Mission From God/Pretty Ugly/Ready To Play/Hail, Hail Rock 'N' Roll/Proud Mary/Drinking Man/Ramones/Crazy/Gay Bar.
Now look who are first on tonight... it seems we cannot escape them as we often have to endure them at Sheffield shows too... only kidding, I f*ck*n' love these guys, the masters of madness and menace or as I like to refer to them 'Muppets on Crack', the one and thank God, the only 'Sour Tusk' – Lord help us if there were two of them – hahahaha!
These musical critters were on a mission for the man upstairs and appeared to frighten the f*ck out of the quiet Chesterfield attendees – and these were punk fans – now that's either a put down or a compliment – I cannot decide on which but there it is... 'Tusk were as rabid and cock-sure as ever!
They were 'Ready To Play' regardless of how anyone received them since they were getting deafened by their punkish, thrashy, Motorhead induced Rock 'N' Roll or whatever it is they thram out to us in their 9 song set.
It was a smattering of smoke and strong bright stage lights that made the Sour ones shine as we were forced to, I mean enjoy their staple set of old and new material that included some prized fave covers too with a fabulous sound. They so know how to get a good balanced mix in here – credit to the man at the back on the desk indeed since everything stood out in its own right.
Sour Tusk, of course are as tight as ever and made up of Nic Rudd, also of Doomsday Outlaw (Drums/Vocals), Jake Johnson (Vocals/Guitar) & Neil Charlesworth (Bass/Backing Vocals) are in the same ballpark as Lemmy's famous band since they make sure that you won't forget them.
They insist on working hard with a crowd and getting them involved, never mind how reluctant they are to do so – and this lot were a tough order to say the least. The songs they know got them going and how could they not, especially when they got special permission for obvious reasons to play the song 'RAMONES' – what a privilege Aye? It went down good with 'Gay Bar' getting them going a bit too which closed their show.
Once again, they did themselves proud, even throwing that CCR song in there too about that lady called Mary. This trio it seems have an unlimited supply of Aces to play!
Set List: Outlaw/Get Out/Salacious/Road Runner/Never Change/Tell Me Why/Satisfied/Dexter/Jumping Jack Flash/Feel/Time Froze.
Now here's another one of those bands, that always seem to be on a bill for a festival or two that I have not got to due to being far away or have something else on if they are supporting somebody. Now at real Time Live, it's time to rectify that fact and see 'Lazarus live at last!
Dig Lazarus are a good strong and solid act with a splattering of songs that are a melting mix of hard rock, metal and almost punk rolled into one but even saying that, you still cannot pigeon their style at all! Yes, I know it comes across cliché, but they have created a sound that is all their own.
Like the last bunch who opened the night, they are also a three piece but are from further afield – the Midlands – Leicester to pinpoint it exact, made up of Ash Tustain (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Jack Cotterz (Drums) and Atticus Hall-McNair (Bass).
The audience really dug them (scuse the bad pun but I couldn't resist it) and got totally into their songs. The standout part for me personally, which is not a put-down on their own material by any means was their ballsy version of Jumping Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones who I am an enormous OTT fan of – they topped that too by incorporating the main riff of 'Bitch' that I never can get enough of at the best of times!
They are very power-driven and fire out some real great tunes to us with many highlights including the opener 'Outlaw' with its warm on the ears harmony vocals in the chorus that gave us a false sense of how the rest of the set was going to go, especially when the next song is the stand-off'ish 'Get Out' with its Black Sabbath 'Hole In The Sky' rollicking, riffing in some sections of the track.
There's also the Rhythmic almost leaning towards a bit of pop-punk in 'Tell Me Why' that is not a cover of The Beatles or Beach Boys hit; the ballsy indie rock like left of centre sound of 'Satisfied'; the deep gutsy 'Feel' and Stoner Rock of the closer 'Time Froze' with its Southern Rock elements.
Dig Lazarus were a decent filling for the event if you consider Sour Tusk and the Punk Rock headliner as the outer slices of the night! What a bizarre thing to come out with right? Whatever way you wanna look at it, their positioning on the bill worked well.
Set List: Durango 95/Teenage Lobotomy/Somebody Put Something In My Drink/Smash You!/I Know Better Now/I Don't Care/Better Than Me/Pretty Poison/Who Stole My Wig?/Blitzkrieg Bop/The Last Time/I Fix This/Howling At The Moon/When The Night/Enjoy The Silence/Chasing The Night/Not Afraid/Rain/Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.
And then somehow the audience were more alive for the main guy of the night, Richie Ramone who came from Punk Legends, The Ramones – not that you'd have realised from his adopted surname of course right? This Oi, Oi veteran was the man who replaced Marky on drums and a member of the seminal band from February 1983 to August 1987.
There is a highly recognisable lady in the line-up too who I remember as Clare Pproduct, now called Clare Misstake, former bassist of those quirky rockers, AntiProduct who also took care of the merchandise table too – talk about busy!
Dare I say, she is the one that appears to be the band leader and director somewhat, holding it altogether and starting each song off just about with her '2,3, 4 intro'. An absolute joy to watch who gives off some great poses and stage positions throughout the entire set!
For the first couple of songs, these being the speedy 'Durango 95' and wonderfully titled 'Teenage Lobotomy' the 'Double R' sang from his drum kit before coming down for the majority of the rest of the show, proving he could still make a thunderous sound at 65 years young.
The man was there in the room but it has to be said that he seemed to lack a presence as a frontman and make a massive impact or stance on the stage and instead leaving that duty to the rest of the band which I personally thought a bit strange and bewildering. He is a drummer though and fronting is not the most natural thing to do for everyone. The fact did not seem to bother many others in the room who lapped up all the Ramones numbers performed regardless.
He could have been tired after the touring and travelling in general. – though he was still up there doing it all these decades later despite withstanding that hard edge rock 'n' roll lifestyle which knocked out many since the bands original incarnation.
As you can imagine there was a stack of song in the set since Ramones songs and some of his own from his 'Entitled' album. What do you mean there was no 20 minute drum solo or solo spots of any kind? Well that is what punk went against in the first place and kept it short, to the point and simple.
Highlights along the way though included the lovable 'Smash You!', the moderate tempo 'I Don't Care' with Clare throwing in the bv's; the more laid back punker that is 'The Last Time' the slamming 'Chasing the Night'; the gem that is 'Howling At The Moon' and the brilliant 'Not Afraid'.
Then there was a cover of the moody Depeche Mode song 'Enjoy The Silence' which sees Richie thank Sour Tusk and Dig Lazarus before the song begins; a fab cover of CCR's 'Have You Ever Seen The Rain?' in true Ramones style and the staple classic that is 'Blitzkrieg Bop'. All of which got plenty of singalongs from the audience.
There was some flashy guitar playing though from a dude called Ronnie Simmons (also of Rose Tattoo) who reminded me of a young Johnny Ramone meets Johnny Martin of The LA Guns with the coolness and hooks that stage lights were truly made for the likes of. The bearded drummer, Chris Moye was extremely solid too and never missed a single beat, even at the fast tempo of these hurtling numbers.
The set was actually cut short with no encore and there were about 10 or 11 numbers left believe it or not with the show finishing with 'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker' but we'll let him off completely for that since he was courteous and gracious enough to meet the fans immediately after being on stage, having photographs with them and signing autographs too.
It wasn't the best show I have seen from a headliner but it certainly
wasn't the worst and falls somewhere in the middle.
By Glenn Milligan