The Ramones used to open their shows with the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which seems a fitting description of tonight’s line up at Behind the Wall in Falkirk. The Good being first band up The Patryns, young enough not to have sampled the sometimes debauched rock n roll life style of a touring band, but judging by the local following and the tunes they have this might change very soon. We then have a bad ass traditional local punk band Ex, who have all no doubt dipped more than a toe in the murky world of underground music over the years and still splashing about with guitars and drums today. Headlining we have the Ugly; The Ramoaners who blast out 3 chord classics from the New York legends, The Ramones were certainly no pinups and with wigs and sneakers, this band look the part although incorporating a Scottish slur. An eclectic mix of music and a crowd with a generation gap from here to CBGbs, the very young and dare I say very old mixing it up with a common love of music.
The Patryns take to the stage with a more Indie type feel to their songs, strong influences from Arctic Monkeys gets the local following moving at the front of the stage. With the release of an EP “Last Orders” under their belts, they have jangling guitars and some hooked choruses to get the crowd involved. The lead vocals change on certain songs between the two guitarists; they both have their own distinct styles with no let up in the quality that’s delivered. Tracks such as What’s Been Going on a slower catchy melody, or the higher tempo Runabouts contain lyrics and arrangements that are impressive considering the bands years.
There are hundreds of bands up and down the country performing in local pubs and clubs for the sheer hell of it, this is the real backbone of music and a world away from Saturday night TV watching wannabes be humiliated by an obnoxious millionaire. Ex have themselves 2 EPs already released to date; they contain power passion and melody in the mould of the Stooges and Thunders, catchy guitar riffs throughout are interwoven with the metronomic bass and drum back beat. This is portrayed in the songs Dying to Meet You and Hate Crime, which gets the now more experienced ear at the front of the stage moving. Songs from the new EP APB, Everything You Know is Wrong and especially Uniform seem to have even more substance to them, delivered in sometime harsh but melodic waves that defined the early punk tunes. Although loud pulsing and at times aggressive Ex still create a danceable tune with the music they create, and combine the two for an impressive set.
Imitation they say is a form of flattery, and these guys may look the part dressed up but they still have to sound the part which is more difficult than you may think. These songs are aural royalty known the world over and the detonator that created a punk band explosion, so some level of quality is a necessity for the paying public. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly introduce The Ramoaners to the small intimate hall of similar size to CBGBs, and before the wigs can be adjusted the cymbals crash into Durango 95 with great accuracy. We then head on into a haze of Cretin memorabilia, Rockaway Beach, Blitzkreig Bop and Glad to see You Go kick the door open only catching a 1234 breath between songs. It may be a touch of light hearted nostalgia for a band no longer with us, but listening to these songs live is a reminder that less can be considerably more when it comes to music. We carry on with Judy is a Punk, Beat on the Brat and the KKK, and feeling like we had 40 songs an hour. That distinctive back beat, thundering bass, power chord guitar coupled with the slightly Scottish New York accent contributed to a very enjoyable night and mix of music.
Although it may be more comfortable to be tucked up on the warm sofa on a weekend, searching a multitude of TV channels of other people enjoying life. Try taking John Lydon’s advice and “Get Off Your Arse” and experience life for yourself now and again, by supporting local music, you never know what you will find out there to give the heart a jolt.