• U.K. Subs play The Guildhall, Gloucester, England


CHARLIE HARPER- vocals & harmonica

JET- guitar



 U.K. Subs pictured Japan 2013 - click to enlarge


From the Gloucesterhire Echo

Original - click here

Review: UK Subs, Gloucester Guildhall

Life can be cruel. There you are feeling like you had missed it all musically – born too late to claim allegiance with the punk movement at its birth and too old to understand what The Wanted are about . All seems lost.

And then, suddenly, you get thrown a lifeline – a chance to meet one of the makers – a band worshipped by diehards and still attracting new fans; the UK Subs are in town. Or rather Gloucester Guildhall.

Charlie Harper formed the UK Subs in 1976. Shane Meadow’s film This Is England chose the UK Subs for its sound track 30 years later.

And here was Harper (seemingly ageless), Jet (very loud guitar), Jamie Oliver (drums – thankfully not the TV chef) and Alvin Gibbs (bass) mixing with the punters between support bands and loving it.

Formed when a generation despaired for an antidote to UK radio play heavy with Cliff Richard’s Devil Woman, Wings Silly Love Songs and Elton John and Kiki Dee doing Don't Go Breaking My Heart, UK Subs literally saved souls.

A squint at YouTube warned this would be no nostalgia trip. And so the Guildhall gig proved. Proper life-long punks were here, fans and new followers.

Harper, born in 1944, plays 150 to 200 gigs a year. If the UK had an honours list for services to bedlam, Harper, 69, would be on it.

Looking like Shaun Ryder’s uncle, what Paul Weller could have been if he’d chosen to run a surf shop and with a sprinkling of Ozzie Osborne-like stagecraft, his band charged at the audience loud and fast.

If my ears stop ringing I will start collecting their 30-plus albums. Fantastically uplifting.

By Andy Merrell



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