The Class Of 76
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The Class of 76 The Boss Essex Arms, Brentwood. 19/11/16


A bit of a Punk Rock weekend which all started Friday night going to see a Blues Band at the Black Horse. The Blues Band were not on so we walked the 40 yards down the road to the Star and Garter where we heard the refrain of a band playing “Were only making plans for Nigel.” These were the Statins who turned out to be a hugely entertaining covers band who played music from the Cure, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Pistols, Ramones and many others from the same vintage, they did a great version of “Go Buddy Go” which I think I have ever heard played live before by the Starnglers. As usual 2 sets of very enjoyable songs which are not often covered. It made a nice change not to hear “Sex on Fire” and “Mr Brightside.”

This set us up nicely for the Saturday night’s event which was a Bluebeat Rooms production. First on were the Boss. I seem to be seeing this band quite a lot lately. A very good mod band from back in the 80’s. They play high energy guitar driven music much in the style of the Jam, one of the songs they always play is “Non Stop Dancing” from the Jam’s first album. Well worth going to see if you get the chance but I heard them say that 2 more gigs and that would be the end of it. A shame but I feel lucky that I managed to see them 4 or 5 times.

They paved the way for the top act, The Class of 76. A punk rock super group or so they say. The members of the band have played with Eddie and the Hotrods, the Inmates, the Members, the Vibrators, Wilko Johnson, Johnny Thunders and Tonight. Fronted by the ever youthful Barrie Masters you would think that you would get a Rods set. Far from the truth, what you get is a covers band which is not a covers band, they play a great set which they have all played at some time or other in their careers. They couldn’t quite get the sound right as Barrie’s microphone was getting feedback with the speakers so he actually done most of the set in the audience where he could be heard. We were treated to “Life on the line” “Quit this town” “Chinese Rocks” “Sound of the suburbs” “Baby baby” even Tonights “Drummer man” sounded good plus lots of others. My favourites were the Ruts “ Babylons burning” the New York Dolls “Jetboy” and a song that is rarely heard let alone covered, Larry Wallis’s “Police car” love that song. All in all a fantastic night. What is great about a Barrie Masters gig is that he will always have a chat afterwards, probably so he doesn’t have to help pack the gear away but a thoroughly nice man.

Summing up a fantastic night out, the Venue is very easy to get to, walk out of Brentwood station and you are there. Another excellent night put on by Ian Parkins, it will be a sad day when he packs up doing the Bluebeat Rooms next year as I have never been to a duff gig put on by him. The next one is the Signatures Christmas gig on the 10th of December at Billericay Football Club, another band who are well worth seeing if you like your music more soulful. It will be a bit different next weekend as we are off to a Soul weekend at Hunstanton in a caravan and it will be bloody cold.

Duncan November 2016

Photo's, Paul Eagle & Maurice Hyde

Special thanks to Ian Parkins for promoting this gig.