Dead broke records
“Please raise a glass and speak well of me when I’m gone ” sings Greg robson on the opening track to bear trades third album. Well I’m not going to wait and I will continue to speak well of Greg and his band as long as those lungs keep belting out these belters. There’s a nostalgic feel to all that bear trade do, bar the music which is very current. The artwork harks back to simpler days and the lyrics tell tales of friends but always with a feeling that somehow things could be better.
This is not a political album about the establishment. Bear Trade are not that sort of band. They do wear their hearts on their sleeves and you just know if they were your friends they’d have your back. Silent unspeakable is not only 12 great singalong guitar songs but Greg singing about the reality of a world that has humans and a home life that isn’t perfect. Cuts are opened and examined and beneath it all the songs are about the beauty of friendship and how important people are to each other.
I know none of bear Trade but the beauty of music makes me feel like they are in my community and we all look out for each other. Along the way they are providing part of the soundtrack and it’s such a good one it would be a real shame if you missed out.
“Punk rock saved my life”, Derrick Johnston proclaimed one Monday night in the hut to an audience one could quite comfortably count with two hands and we knew exactly what he meant. My saving wasn’t on the form of punk but it certainly shaped my life. So many decisions I make on a daily basis has some basis in punk, or more specifically the free thoughts around d.i.y. and collectivism. These decisions involve purchases, food, sport, parenting and work. It is steeped in a belief that if you’ve something to complain about then you’ve something to change, and a belief in the strength of an individual being emboldened within the collective. And Derrick Johnston and Chris Snelgrove know exactly what that means.
It matters little how many people are at the gig it is the existence of the event that counts. That two people can travel from Montreal and Dundee respectively to our island and sing some songs to people that want to hear them is the vital ingredient. That they make no money in the process is secondary. We are all friends here, hoping for a better world and a fairer future.
Derrick runs make that a take records , books his aen shows and runs his ane festival. He sings his songs with passion and integrity and sings right from the heart. At times it’s uncomfortable as depression is just not a jovial topic. It’s ok though, he’s amongst friends and we care.
Chris has been playing in bands for 25+ years. Punk rock took him away from a path of succumbing to addiction and he is grateful for that.
This gig was sandwiched between ones in Belfast (smith street band) and the dublin gigs of Martha with Joyce manor and a few days later lemuria. All bands come from similar places. A love for tunes and punk rock but also an appreciation for people and a knowledge that life doesn’t revolved around the music industry.
Smith street band sang their anthems to a Belfast crowd ready to sing along with them but something felt like it was missing.
Martha seemed like they were one of the audience but when Joyce manor hit the workmans stage something seemed to be missing.
Lemuria were celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their excellent Get Better lp all great songs but still something not quite right. It was not quite the Joshua Tree extravaganza of U2 but a similar feeling around it. However Lemuria share that belief that the world can be a better place and music can help us along the way. And this is a world I feel I belong in