Last Updated on March 4, 2023
Originally published in Beat Motel issue 2
Speaking to Rikki Flag recently he was quite animated about the type of reaction Red Flag would get in their home town pub from an all-ages crowd. He shouldn’t have worried as they went down a storm but more of that later…
Let’s start with openers Singled Out. In all honesty….they were ok. I’m not being dismissive of them as they’re young and obviously worked hard to get their set right. Maybe it’s still early days for them, having not seen them before I don’t know how long they’ve been together or how many shows they’ve played but there were moments in the set that had us wincing.
The constant feedback from the guitars was a bit irritating and needs some work as well as the musicians needing to stay on stage rather than fall off it but once they’d got past the technical gremlins and were into some well-known covers they weren’t too bad.
Given time, more gigs and some original material they could turn out ok.
Wally and the Wankers, what can you say about them? They are a sight that all gig-goers should experience at least once. If you want old-school, Ramonesesque, 1-2-3-4 punk rock then this lot are for you. They don’t profess to be anything but a bunch of punk fans having fun and that always comes across. I’m totally at a loss to name any of their songs but every time I’ve seen them they are very entertaining.
Boon Dog is a hoot as a front man, after many years stealing the mic from other vocalists whenever he can it’s only been a matter of time before he’s had a go himself and believe me he’s a natural.
After a few beers and a catch up with chums old and new (hello Donna and Andy, new Blog/drinking buddies) it was time for the mighty Red Flag. Guitarist Mickey had been complaining all night of a woeful hangover but there was no evidence of this once they hit the stage.
Rikki was late arriving due to a prior engagement with Ipswich Town’s appearance in the Youth Cup Final and was in great spirits following their extra-time victory over Southampton. I have to confess to not having a copy of the new album yet but that failing aside the Flag played a full-on set of classics old and new.
Every time I see them I never fail to be impressed by Malcolm on drums, he really is excellent. All the favourites from “Short Cut…” are played and the crowd responds with an ecstatic welcome that continues throughout the set.
A pit develops at the front and I’m always surprised when it gets that animated that people don’t spill onto the stage and wreck the backline but it doesn’t happen and there are many amusing quips about the ongoing Ipswich Pop Idol thread on the Punk News forums and the fact none of Red Flag featured, probably an age thing.
The kids even managed to support Rikki’s fledgling crowd surfing attempts which is not something I’ve seen at the Steamboat before but was incredibly funny especially when announcing afterwards that he got felt up and he wasn’t that type of boy !!!
As usual they finished with ‘Football Crazy’ and given the success of the local youth team earlier in the night it was particularly apt. Also after an evening’s alcohol consumption and a cracking set from Red Flag there’s no better way to finish than with wailing along to this song, which is what we all proceeded to do.