Last Updated on March 4, 2023
Originally published in Beat Motel issue 1
It had been too long since LoveJunk played the Steamboat so once it was announced they were lined up to perform on Good Friday there really was only one place to be. Given the whole event was to raise money for the charity supported by our recently deceased friend Matt Elmy it made the night even more poignant.
First up were No Routine, a new band to these ageing ears. They were very reminiscent of several current emo / shouty acts but performed with a vigour and enthusiasm you rarely see from bands playing in pubs. There didn’t seem to be enough space on the small stage to accommodate them all so the singer and one of the guitarists spent the majority of the set standing in the crowd it certainly added to the atmosphere.
Being new to me I was totally unfamiliar with their music so my apologies for not picking up any names of songs however I will say the musicianship on display was excellent, I was particularly impressed with the drummer who clearly knew his way round the kit and made it look effortless.
Next up were local Oi heroes, the Rists. Last seen gracing Ipswich in July 04 they were hastily added to the bill as it was felt appropriate for them to play this show. Speaking to Mickey, Rich and Al beforehand it was clear they hadn’t had time to rehearse since that last show and were understandably a bit nervous.
The key to a Rists gig is the stupid tomfoolery and between-song banter but I suspect they all secretly like to prepare just a bit so it isn t actually as sloppy as they would have us believe.
That said they played a blinder, all the classics were there including XR3 which harks back to a bygone era and has some cracking references to an old Sunday morning football team we all played for. We were also mislead about the possibility of the now traditional food song but having noticed the unofficial fourth Rist, Emmsy, was missing from the crowd it soon became obvious something had been planned.
True to form they finished with a cover, this time it was Duck Eggs to the tune of Hot Legs by the Faces with Emmsy dressed as the Easter Bunny distributing mini eggs as he went. It wasn’t as good as previous Rists food songs Whole Lot Of Roses or You Ain t Seen Muffin Yet but given the lack of rehearsal it was still played well and you can t help but laugh at the absurdity of it, a triumphant return.
After a quick break for more beer, time to burn my thumb to a crisp with a cigarette lighter and a chat with other long-lost chums it was LoveJunk’s turn. I’ve always loved seeing this band as they write the kind of songs I like, immediate, hook-laden tunes that once heard are difficult to shake.
Usually, they turn up pretty pissed and consume more before playing which has resulted in some interesting shows but in this case they all seemed together, well, enough to play a good set. If you are familiar with their 2 albums Tribulations and Amstradivarius then you will know the bulk of the songs they played.
Opening with Ethan & Emma , my personal favourite, is always a good place to start and from there an excellent mixture of songs were played. The sound was good and the packed crowd were really getting into it. Second song in Scruff managed to turn off his mic but a vigilant bystander thought to turn it back on, sometimes not always a good thing!
Most of Matt’s family were in attendance and seemed to enjoy the show which I hope came across as the celebration of his life it was intended. The encore was particularly moving with the band donning t-shirts bearing Matt’s image before belting out some Ramones classics that really got the place jumping.
All in all it was a wonderful night. Good bands, an excellent atmosphere and the chance to catch up with much-missed friends. Added to which it turns out nearly £1,100 was raised for the Orchid Cancer Appeal which is remarkable for a small-ish town pub but goes to demonstrate the strength of feeling on display.