With the poster and social media pages screaming SOLD OUT! and a good percentage of the punters already partaking in a drink or two, you just know that tonight’s show at The Cab in Newport is going to be one for the ages. New York Hardcore stalwarts Murphy’s Law are in town and they are bringing the party.
First up though there’s the openers CRUEL PRANK to look forward to. Vocalist Grim enters the fray in a pair of short shorts (on inside out as it later emerges) and a luchador maskand proceeds to intimidate the crowd, in the nicest way possble ,with any number of antics which include, but not limited to, gymnastics, beer swillling/throwing, random jumps into the crowd, or even a wander outside. As they batter through a set inspired by Black Flag’ss more experimental moments, they prove to be the perfect start to night such as this.
South Wales old school hardcore crew POSITIVE REACTION are up next and the first pit action of the night opens up with the crowd lapping up their Negative Approach meets Agnostic Front style with singer Mike getting wiped out, on several occasions, by some over enthusiastic moshing. The 4 piece go down well once again in The Cab, but it’s Split Dogs who cause the first real buzz of the night.
Anybody that witnessed Split Dogs supporting Grade 2 at this very venue earlier in the year, would agree that we all saw something special that night. They play old school punk rock with a nod to hard edged rock n’ roll and in singer Harry, they have a proper powerhouse. It all starts out nice enough, but when the shirt come off and the wrestling gear is out, it’s game on. Harry will get right up in your face, spitting venomous lyrics at you whilst contorting herself into all manner of back breaking poses. Split Dogs are as pure a punk band as you could wish to find and their incendiary live shows will catapult them straight to the top of the pile on no time at all.
Another star thats been shining bright on our scene are Cardiff crossover merchants OVERPOWER. Smashing through a set culled mainly from last years Overpower E.P, the mosh pit suddenly feels a little bit more violent and rightly so. Pogoing to these guys just wont suffice and the band are just as enthusiastic as the punters as they throw themselves around the stage whilst hammering out a set of Vio-lence meets Power Trip thrash-tinged hardcore. Overpower are one of the UK’s best at what they do and tonight has done nothing to damage that reputation.
And so to the main event. Last time Murphy’s Law hit Newport, the local scene wasnt in a particuarly good place and the turn out was poor, so it’s credit to those in attendance, that we can now host the NYHC legends in a packed out room. Wasting no time at all, vocalist Jimmy G, bites into a can of beer and away we go. They punch out classic after classic with ‘Crucial BBQ’ ‘California Pipeline’ and ‘Quest For Herb’ whilst Jimmy quaffs numerous rounds of Jagermeister. They seem very happy to be here, happy that the room isnt completely full of 40-50 year olds and that there is a contingent of interested youth. Jimmy is in good spirits tonight, literally with impromptu sing-alongs and yet more Jagermeister being the number of the day with his new found Newport friends and by the time they finish up with ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In’ 95% of the room are inebriated and require a lie down. The perfect hardcore gig in the perfect setting.
Words – Chris Andrews