My last gig of 2018 was an appearance by York’s own PERCY off the back of their rather spiffing new album ‘Sleepers Wake’. I had the pleasure of reviewing that LP last month, just click here to see what I thought of it. But before I say any more about Percy I should tell you about the blooming bountiful support bands they put on the bill. Firstly it was Freek from Hull and York. This mightily talented duo blast out some stupendous blues based rock which for me is rooted in the best that old school rock had to offer; Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Yardbirds and Cream. On top of that they have a kinship with grunge and punk too. But I would love to know where Ellis Best’s monumental voice comes from. Freek also have an innate sense of fun which is epitomised in their closing song “Killer Moth” which is about……. a killer moth! The Rems were next up featuring three of Pompey’s finest musicians, including Steve ‘Bodge’ Duffield one of the founders of the sublime Beta Band. I felt so much eclecticism in their sonic assault which was blended with some perfect post punk vibes. Vocally I could hear tones of Joe Jackson in his pomp and even the much maligned Tin Machine. The latter was particularly strong on the jagged, punked-up “Pills”. The Rems are the sort of band that leaves you wanting more after the first time you have seen or heard them (and probably after the second, third and fourth time too). I definitely want to hear more from them!
Tonights headliners Percy are now at Percy Mark 3 having formed originally way back in 1996. They took a break in 2005 and spent a couple of years as the Nielsens before becoming Percy again. Colin Howard on guitar and lead vocals and Andy Wiles on bass and backing vox have been the core of the band since 1996. They are now aided and abetted by Paula Duck on keys and Jason Wilson on drums. One thing that seems obvious about Percy is that they really seem to enjoy playing and they are a tight unit in the live environment. Any act that can succeed in a small but fabulous venue like the Fulford Arms has to have some special magic about them and Percy have an abundance of it. If you were a fan of Mark E Smith you will love Percy, but while they might be influenced by the Fall they are refreshingly original. Their songs are all brilliantly told stories (“Alice Stone”), simple vignettes on life (“Off The Meds”) or fury venting political comment (“Why Are You Still Here?”). It was a great set that found the perfect cadence from the off and never dropped in either pace or quality. Particular highlights for me were the grungy quiet to loud and at times Pixies-esque “Hep” and the venomous put down of Brexit and all the lies that surround it, “Unicorn”. If you have never seen Percy live then you are in for a treat when you do. This will most definitely not be my last Percy gig!
Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the gig poster) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. (Watch this space for some top classy photos from me next year!) All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.