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Thursday, 25 April 2013

UK Subs - XXIV (February 2013)

 Current Line Up Left to Right: Jamie Oliver (Drums), Alvin Gibbs (Bass, Vocals), Jet (Guitar, Vocals) and Charlie Harper (Vocals, Harmonica)

Twenty Fourth album from one of the premier Punk bands on planet earth!

Charlie Harper doesn't know the meaning of the word slow down and at his age you would have thought he would have thrown in the towel and have his slippered feet up reading the newspaper at home and enjoying a much deserved retirement. Not so. He has gathered the crew around and set about topping their last album - Work in Progress (released in 2011) and you know something, they have topped it and thrown a fair few surprises into the mix - a nice bonus of 12 Acoustic Songs!!

You'd be surprised if you think that the UK Subs are just Charlie Harper with a few lads as backing band you'd be very wrong in making that assumption because the band have all contributed to this album. Charlie of course does all the vocals apart from on 'Black Power Salute' and 'Stare at the Sun' which Alvin Gibbs takes the lead. Gibbs has also written songs for the album and so has drummer Jamie Oliver and guitarist Jet. On the acoustic tracks Charlie and Alvin split the vocals between them.

A few people in reviews have pointed out that 'Coalition Government Blues' seems a little out of place but the harp driven song written by Alvin Gibbs shows that even at 68 years young Charlie and the UK Subs have still got something to say and to me it fits perfectly. 

The UK Subs do what they have always done, and musically it's not rocket science (that's not a criticism by the way) and so the inclusion of the 12 acoustic tracks is somewhat a huge surprise. Among the acoustic tracks is a great cover version of Ian Hunter's 'Angel of Eighth Avenue' and other standouts include 'The Outsider' (penned by Harper) and 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' (Jamie Oliver and Alvin Gibbs).

In a recent interview Charlie was asked what would happen after the Subs had completed an album for every letter of the alphabet, I loved his answer, "Hey let us get there first but we will still be on the road. I will just be too old to remember new songs."

Previous Albums: Click on the links to listen to the complete albums.

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