Brought up in Scotland during the original Punk era of the late 70’s and 80’s I have many fond memories. In fact, I owe my nickname ‘Spike’ to my distinct hair style and the fact that I was one of only a few punks in my school class. To this day my CD collection contains many a Punk Rock album.
Imagine my delight when I was given the chance to shoot the UK Subs. I admit to not having heard much of their recent recordings, in fact I wasn’t really aware that they were still a going concern, but what an opportunity!!
Having confirmed the details with tour manager and wife of Charlie Harper, Youko, I headed off to Hannover. Bei Chez Heinz is reminiscent of King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow and has hosted probably as many big names. First up was TV Smith of the ADVERTS fame, another blast from my past!!! As if it was yesterday, I remembered the DJ at the youth club announcing “Clear the floor for the punks” and us lost bouncing up and down to “Garry Gilmores Eyes”………..A fast, energetic acoustic set during which Herr Schmidt played them all.
Alvin Gibbs and Charlie Harper sauntered onto the stage followed by Jet and Jamie Oliver (no, not the chef). Something they had done countless times before. A quick hello to the crowd and bang!!!…..full speed into a set of memories…….Warhead, She’s not there and of course Stranglehold. It wasn’t long before the crowd began moving in on the front of the stage and I had to make a sharp retreat. The UK Subs may have seen more than a few line-up changes since their hay day over 30 years ago. They may have gained a few pounds, replaced some hair with a few wrinkles, but they still have it. At almost 71 years old Charlie Harper has an abundance of energy and a stage presence that artists half his age would be proud of. I read an article today that cited “Charlie Harper is less a punk than a heroic old soldier”, never a truer word has been written. I take my hat off to you Mr Harper, may you continue for many years to come……
A special thanks to Simone @ Muttis Booking for her assistance and to Yuko for meeting me and making sure I had no problems at the venue.