Anti-Nowhere League – Manchester Academy 3, 16th October 2014

@louelladeville_ @planetmosh review of @antinowhere and #DeadObjectives @MancAcademy

Anti-Nowhere League
Anti-Nowhere League

It was a miserable evening as I battled the traffic heading to Manchester Academy 3 to see the Anti-Nowhere League (ANL), but it didn’t deter a long queue of gig goers for the adjacent Academy 1. Whilst it wasn’t the first time I’ve seen ANL play in Manchester, as I’ve seen them supporting both Motorhead and Rancid, it was the first time I’ve been to one of their headline shows, in the city where I live. When I got into the venue there were only a handful of people, which was a bit worrying but as the evening wore on it steadily grew busier and was about half to two thirds full, in the end, so not too bad a turn out for a bleak, rainy autumn evening in Manchester. ANL played the Great Alternative Festival last weekend but this was the first ‘official’ date of the ‘Burn em All 2014’ UK Tour.

Support this evening came from local Punk four piece Dead Objectives. Tim in an Exploited t-shirt had a mighty fine mohican to rival that of Exploited front man Wattie. Tim thanked everyone who had come down early and asked if everyone was looking forward to Anti-Nowhere League, of course we were, and he kind of apologised that their own set was only going to run to nine songs totalling twenty minutes, so just over two minutes each. No need to apologise I like a short fast, furious Punk song so that was fine by me. Smoke had a bass start, a good fast number reminding me of the Dead Kennedys. Most of the songs were short and pure good old Punk similar to what it says on the t-shirt – The Exploited. A few other influences I picked up were a bit of Black Sabbath type heavy metal in Lab Rat and some Rancid type Ska Punk in the final song Chains, which Tim introduced as having a change of pace so see if you like it! Tim thanked the promoter for putting them on (the bill) and thanked the audience, then that was the twenty minutes over. I enjoyed their short set, shame they didn’t have a few more songs but the nine they played were good and got the crowd warmed up and by the end the venue was filling up a bit.

Set List:
Human Symptom
Lab Rat


Band Members:
Dan – Drums (and cowbell extraordinaire)
Sally – Guitar (six stringed bandit)
Rat – Bass (that’s fatter than a 9 ounce block of lard)
Tim – Vocals and guitar (lives in a sewer)




A siren announced the headliners Anti-Nowhere League and finally on strolled Animal, who filled the small stage with his feral presence! He asked ‘Manchester are you good? We are the League’ then with a sneer, a spit and a two fingered salute The League promptly launched into ‘We are the League’ a good start and let’s anyone who hasn’t seen them before know exactly who they are! Raw, energetic, no fuss, no frills but plenty of swear and sweat infused pure Punk Rock. Most of the audience looked to be die-hard Punks with a few Mohincans dotted around, although Punk seems to be appealing to more women these days, as there were a few women in the audience, although not an equal balance of the sexes maybe seventy/thirty. Lot’s of classic ANL followed Can’t Stand Rock ‘n’ Roll next then I Hate People which got the mosh pit going and with red stage lighting glowing behind the band Let’s Break the Law ensued which had many of the audience singing along. At this point Animal removed his Hell’s Angel style ANL waistcoat to reveal a customary black shirt and a silver buckled belt.

Skull and Bones then Snowman which saw Animal kneeling and miming jacking up. Animal’s a great performer and often does hand gestures, kneels whatever suits the mood of the song or the lyrics hence the jacking up for Snowman. Animal said ‘It’s time to take time out. To think why you’re really here. To think what the fuck you’re doing on this planet and who the fuck you own it up to My God’s Bigger Than Your God ‘ with the title said in a “Na, na, na, na, na” taunting voice then again with aggression before ANL launched into the song which he started and finished kneeling as if in prayer. After that he said they were going going to squeeze in as many (songs) as they could and if Dead Objective could manage nine songs in twenty minutes then, with their extensive back catalogue I reckoned we could expect double that! Animal started singing ‘We all fall down’ and many people joined in with the next words ‘Like chocolate soldiers’ and Animal told us ‘That’s why I love Punk Rockers. You are magnificent!’ and as well as the audience Animal and the rest of the band Dave, Tommy and Shady looked to be enjoying themselves throughout the show.

Last time I sat them it was on the much wider stage of the 100 Club in the heart of London so this was a much smaller stage and the audience seemed a little tamer, although it may have been because there was less room in the mosh pit to move around, or maybe Northern Punks aren’t as frenetic. I’ll reserve judgement on that until I have been to some more Punk gigs in the Capital. Animal, Shady and Dave went off stage with a ‘We’ll leave you with Tommy for a bit’  which left Tommy  in the spotlight for As Good as it Gets which was a more acoustic style number. Animal and co. came back on stage and Animal joined in the final ‘Na Na Nas’ of the song. This is War had Animal shaking his head and pointing at Tommy who was doing some fancy fret work, flipping his fingers back and forth over the fret. There was no let up as they went straight into the next one We Will Survive another fast, energetic song.

It was now time for a bit of respect as Animal introduced the next song with ‘Those who have watched us a few times, I have to mention this bit because we’ve been around for 35 years. We’ve met a lot of Punk Rockers we’ve loved, we’ve respected, who we’ve followed and especially when we lost Joe Strummer it was a blow to all the Punk Rockers who’ve ever got together who’ve ever got a guitar and started playing out of respect for all our dead heroes. This is our tribute to our dead Punk heroes’ and this one was sang a little mellower and received some respect as there was no argy bargy going on in the mosh pit. Although when the song finished there were a few shouts of ‘Woman’ and an ‘I love you woman’ from Animal before ANL launched into a much more disrespectful, albeit tongue in cheek, song Woman and more of Animal’s theatrics with him kneeling, shirt off shoulder looking very sexy for a man who must be at least fifty! Then standing up thrusting his pelvis and gyrating like a Punk Rock Tom Jones, although I think Tom may draw the line at sucking his fingers or a two fingerer salute to the audience. The song sped up for the works ‘Til death us do part’ and the mosh pit sped up too! Some loud cheers and whistles showed that this song had been a popular one with the audience.

‘Something about those neighbours who think they have the better lifestyle’ said Animal, to introduce We Will Not Remember You and again some appropriate gestures as the words ‘His head’s stuck up up his arse’ had him pointing to the relevant body parts. A cover of Ralph McTell’s Streets of London ended the main set then Animal grabbed his waistcoat and he and the rest of the band went off. After some shouts for more they came back for a handful of encore songs which started with For You which was introduced with ‘Have you ever seen a dirty old man’s arse? It ain’t pleasant! To every one of you. To all those who support Punk Rock and live music, the live venues are having a tough time! I salute every one of you ‘cos you keep music alive! For You!’ A great song followed by the Motorhead fast Pig Iron. Then Animal told us that it was Shady’s birthday today and although he was a young spritely lad, he wasn’t going to tell us how old, but as Shady thought Manchester people were awesome he was going to buy us all a drink in the bar afterwards. (Luckily for him the bar in the venue closed after the gig although you could go to the student bar on the ground floor) According to Animal ‘Shady here will drink alone, but We Will Never Drink Alone’ the next song which had a military drum beat start then got faster.

A great energetic one which saw lot’s of action in the mosh pit and I thought it was going to kick off but the aggression was all in good spirit and no fists flew! Nearing the end now no ANL gig would be complete without the anthemic song which Metallica covered ‘Know what happens when we drink? We start touching old men!’ Cliff Richards and Jimmy Saville were mentioned then ‘So Fucking What’ started So What and although the audience had  calmed down a bit there was still plenty of moshing going on. Nearing the end of the song Animal was crouching and punching the stage. Fucked Up and Wasted the last song on the setlist and Animal said thanks every one for coming out and keeping music alive before they finished the set as they started with ‘We are the League’ and a veritable melee in the mosh pit. Animal’s final words ‘Thank you brothers’

Thank you to the Anti-Nowhere League for yet another great show, they played for just over an hour and managed to pack just over twenty songs into their set. The Burn Em All 2014 tour continued with a couple of  shows in Scotland, then it’s Wakefield today and various venues up and down the country so if you like your music raw and energetic then Burn Em All with the Anti-Nowhere League at a venue near you.

Band Members:
Animal – Vox,
Shady – Bass,
Nato – Drums,
Tommy-H – Guitar


About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!