City Rats GBH in LA: If I had a time machine, once I’d killed Hitler and all that, I’d like to go back to late ’70s Birmingham, England, and tell fledgling street punks GBH (then called Charged GBH) that there would come a day when folk in Los Angeles, California, would be lining up around a theater to purchase their $30 shirts.
They likely wouldn’t believe it, but their continued international popularity is deserved. For starters, the lineup has remained fairly solid. Frontman Colin Abrahall and guitarist Colin “Jock” Blyth have been in from the 1978 beginning, and bassist Ross Lomas joined just two years later. The most recent addition is drummer Scott Preece, and even he’s been in since ’94. In comparison to other punk bands of their era, GBH have stuck it out together.
At the Fonda, they played a set that understandably leaned heavily on the 1982 City Baby Attacked by Rats debut, though the four songs from 2017’s Momentum sat comfortably alongside the classics.
“We are GBH from Birmingham, the same place as Black Sabbath,” Abrahall said from the stage. “They’ve got their ‘War Pigs,’ and we’ve got our ‘Wardogs’.”
We were also treated to scuzzy punk anthems such as “Maniac,” “I Am the Hunted,” the gloriously silly “Bellend Bop,” and of course “City Baby Attacked by Rats.” A suitably manic cover of Motorhead’s “Bomber” brought the whole thing to a bruising climax. Literally bruising, judging by the state of the circle pit.
Earlier, L.A.’s own NIIS and Brits the Chisel warmed up the crowd nicely — both are worthy of further attention. But by god, this was GBH’s night.
City Rats GBH in LA: Go to gbh-us.myshopify.com for more info.
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