Anti-Nowhere League – Warehouse 23, Wakefield: 27th February 2016

Anti-Nowhere League

I first came across Anti-Nowhere League (ANL) five years ago when I was in Glasgow for a few days. I had a look to see if there were any gigs on, saw that they were playing, watched the video to So What and thought well so what, they’ll be a laugh if nothing else. Actually turned out to be one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Fast forward five years and I’ve now seen them around eight times in venues varying in size from The Hop in Wakefield to Manchester Apollo. They’re the only band I’ve managed to see in England, Scotland and Wales too! Last time I saw them in Wakefield was at a sold out gig at The (100 capacity) Hop, this time they were playing Warehouse 23, which has a capacity of around 1000. I wasn’t expecting it to sell out but I was pleased to see that it was busy, probably not quite sold out but a decent turn out! Punk’s not dead!

Ben Savage – Hospital Food

Opening band were local lads Hospital Food, who I saw supporting Slaughter and the Dogs (SATD) at the same venue. A three piece 77 style Punk Rock and Roll band from West Yorkshire. As if to affirm that ‘Punk’s Not Dead‘ they opened with that song with it’s pummelling beat it got the show off to a good start. A bit of A GBH vibe to get the night started and although Ben Savage, on bass, seems to take on slightly more of the vocals and nearly all the speaking between songs, both he and, six string guitar player, Nathan Seaton have a crack at lead vocals throughout the set. Ben had an interesting double mohawk, one in the centre and one sticking out at right angles on the right side of his head. Ben said they were going to do a song about being a young punk rocker, and he’s been told that if you weren’t around in 1977 then you’re too young to be a Punk, which he thinks is bull and he said ‘Punk has no age limits’ the song Too Young For Punk was like a cross between Born to Destruct’s Punk As Fuck and Dead Kennedys’ Too Drunk To Fuck. Ben said how great it was to be supporting ANL, Anti Pasti and their friends The Kingcrows, whom he dedicated the next song, about a daytime TV show to, Another Case For Jeremy Kyle with a Splodgenessabounds vibe. DIY Punk Band, about travelling around in a shitty van and not getting paid very much came next then  Man U Haters which doesn’t really need any explanation. Then we came to the end of their set with the title track off their second album, about people who like to go on the internet and spout off. The Internet Warrior with some great riffs from Nathan, who took the lead vocals on this one. Ben had the last word, or two, though ‘Thank you very much. We’ve been Hospital Food . Enjoy the rest of your evening’ and whilst the thought of Hospital Food doesn’t usually appeal I’d definately partake of these Yorkshire Puddings again!

Hospital Food

Band Members:

Ben Savage – Bass n Vocals!
Nathan Seaton – Guitar and Vocals!
Dom Smith – Drums


Phile E Stine – The Kingcrows

Second band of the night were The Kingcrows a sleaze Punk Rock n Roll band from Leeds. I’ve seen these a few times now, the first sime I saw their singer Phil E Stine was also supporting SATD although at the time he was frontman for The Dead Beats.  another singer sporting  an interesting Punk do and Phil’s hair tonight was peroxide blonde, with a bit of purple and green thrown into the mix! Getting their set off to a blasting start with Psycho Radio, Phil in a red straight jacket style jacket with buckles and belts, John Lennon style glasses with red lenses to match the jacket, was brandishing a stylish black and white jester stick with bells on. He’s an entertaining frontman covering the stage and executing a few jumps a younger man would be proud of. Rocco and Lee in black and white, with prsitine white shirts and black braces looking stylish and Ratbag although half hidden by his drumkit had a stylish satin topper and John Lennon style shades. Phil took his jacket off to reveal a jester t-shirt and invited everyone to come to the front ‘We’re having a party’ before launching into a song with a Buzzcocks vibe. He then announced one from their album released at Rebellion last year and said it took six years to record and claimed ‘ We’re not allowed to play Rebellion again (whether that’s true or not I don’t know) before launching into Rock n Roll Rebel Songs. Phil dedicated the next song to their dear friends Hospital Food, a song about bands who travel up and down the country and get paid very little, On The Road Again with a punishing bass beat and lots of Hey Ho’s. Then Phil said ‘This is where I get my little organ out’ to which one of the band (not sure which one) replied ‘No one wants to see your organ Phil’ who quick as a flash quipped ‘I think a few women have already seen it!’ Well it was nothing to brag about, it was a little organ and I would have needed a pair of binoculars to see it! She’s My Rock n Roll was a good song though, with a gothic horror/punk flavour.  Their last song was, Phil said, about his two favourite things beer and whisky and saw Phil in the pit, getting up close and personal to the audience encouraging people to sing along with him. His last words ‘Cheers! Let’s keep the party going!’ The Kingcrows are very entertaining and the album title Funland is appropriate as they really are great fun to watch!

The Kingcrows

Band Members:
Phil E. Stine: Vocals
Lee J: Guitar/ Backing Vocals
Rocco: Bass/Backing Vocals
Ratbag: Drums/Backing Vocals




Next came the only band I hadn’t seen before Anti-Pasti, a Punk band from Derby. I didn’t know much about them, other than that none of them were original members, as my friend took great delight in telling me. I took great delight in pointing out that, as I knew nothing about them, it wouldn’t make any difference to me whatsoever! I didn’t get chance to ask it they chose the name as a two fingered salute to Greggs either but as they were all fairly trim it didn’t look like they were great fans of the pasty! After a long intro which seemed to consist of an air raid siren, bombs and chanting Anti-Pasti finally hit the stage with a bass start and GeZ came on and did a bit of mic swinging. With a nod back to the olden days of Punk he had several large safety pins in his ears, which could have been kilt or nappy pins: GeZ said they would be doing new songs, old songs a bit of a mix. I wouldn’t know which were which anyway but luckily GeZ told us along the way. The set included Time to Hate, a hard fast one very GBH meets The Exploited, say Sick Boy/Dead Cities. Six Guns  had a Buzzcocks vibe. Lies Lies Lies a bit Motorhead meets GBH and I noticed a Motorhead tattoo on GeZ’s arm, which was possibly a tribute to the late Lemmy Kilmister (RIP). Hurricane a bit Dirt Box Disco and it was very fast, like a Hurricane! GeZ got down in the pit singing to audience, and there seemed to be a tender moment with a fan.  A bit of a mosh pit was going on, if you can call two people a mosh pit, other than that the audience weren’t particularly rowdy. GeZ mentioned that they would be playing a charity fundraiser in Hebden Bridge on 19th March (see here).  Another Dead Soldier reminded me of bit Teenage Kicks by The Undertones. GeZ invited us to sing along to the last song which I didn’t catch the name of but it was a bit Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones and saw GeZ down in the pit then stood on barrier, using someone’s head for support. until security encouraged him to move! GeZ’s last word ‘Cheers we’ve got some merchandise over there. See you over there in a minute!’

Gez – Anti-Pasti

Band Members:
GeZ Addictive – Vocals
Kevin Nixon – Drums
Ollie Hoon – Guitars
Ben Hanson – Bass


Sammy Carnage – Anti-Nowhere League

A bit of excitement tonight as it was the first time I would be seeing ANL with new drummer Sammy Carnage, I was secretly hoping that he would be a dead ringer for Hessu Maxx although I kind of suspected he was more likely to be in his fifties and overweight so I was pleasantly surprised to find that with his wild dark mohawk and little goatee, he was about the nearest to Hessu you’re going to get in a punk drummer! After an intro which sounded a bit like Metallica’s For The Whom Bell Tolls rung the band in, the musicians from ANL appeared and once the others were in place. Animal hit the stage all snarls and sneers! After a ‘How are you doing. Are you good?’ Animal announced We Are The League and the show began! All looked happy to be up there, Nowhere Man followed with Animal expressive throughout and Sammy’s hair flying everywhere and then we got an introduction to the ‘New man on sticks. Here’s Sammy’ before I Hate People which had Animal crouching and punching the stage looking wild and feral! Animal said that there’s a lot going on for punk this year. ‘Rebellion is going to be fantastic. Get along we’re playing there’ then Skull N Bones and I noticed Sammy had tied his hair back by this stage. All the songs were raw and energetic taking you back to the bare bones of Punk!  The next one, Animal said was ‘About our mate Jimmy Saville, he taught me everything I know’ and the song was Chocolate Soldiers and by now a bit of a mosh pit had formed which contained a few mighty fine mohawks and a bit of pushing and shoving but all in good humour (I think!) Tommy and Shady were constantly moving around the stage and were up on the drum riser at times. The song ended with Animal kneeling miming praying actions.

Tommy – Anti-Nowhere League

After cheers and claps he advised that they have just finished  a new album, which should be out next month and he said ‘It’s good!’ (I wouldn’t expect anything less!) Get Ready was next a good fighting song with some great riffs and Animal miming shooting for the ‘bang bangs’ and at one point crouching and punching the stage before a ‘bang bang you’re dead’ after which I think he needed a break as he said ‘Ok! Gonna leave you with brother Tommy.’ Tommy said ‘Oi Oi! Alright you ‘orrible lot! Who’s got The Road to Rampton album?’ then it was just one man and his guitar for As Good As It Gets with a powerful but acoustic sound.  Towards the end of the song the rest of band came back on and joined in with the ‘Na na na na na na’ ending. After a round of applause for Tommy, Animal asked ‘What do I say to people who don’t understand?’ before anyone could answer he yelled ‘So Fucking What’ and ANL launched into what must their most popluar, and possibly their most offensive, song ‘So What’ which, if you haven’t heard and are easily offended then don’t listen as it’s rude and offensive but the lyrics are well crafted and the mighty Metallica covered it even inviting Animal on stage to perform it with them. (See here).

Animal – Anti-Nowhere League

The next one was another off the ‘We Are The League‘ album We Will Not Remember You  then an ‘I can feel you. I can smell you!’ led into This Is War, their latest release before We Will  Survive, which turned out to be a good one for an ANL sing along as the majority of the of audience were singing along to the ‘Whoa oh oh oh oh oh’s’ quite tunefully too! Then a sneering announcement of Woman had Animal crouching, sucking his midddle finger, grabbing his crotch and nose picking! This was a popular one before Can’t Stand Rock n Roll with this song’s gestures including pointing the mic up his arse!  Then we got the song which was their first single, released in 1981, Streets of London originally written by Ralph McTell, which saw Animal  punching the stage and shaking his head and Shady holding his bass upright. Then Animal said ‘That was last song of main set’ and all left the stage. Which soon lead to shouts for more.

Shady – Anti-Nowhere League

ANL didn’t disappoint as they strolled back on stage and Aminal gave a bit of a speech about people being distressed over the likes of Tony Blackburn, ‘Didn’t Punk warn you about all thse people? We warned you!’ He went on to say how it was a special year for Punk Rock this year and asked us to ‘Keep it Real?’ He said ‘Live music’s where it’s at. Give youngsters a chance to get up, not that I want youngsters up here with me!’ (To be fair Tommy and Sammy are a fair bit younger! Even Shady’s younger – but not that young!)The first of a six song encore being For You which saw Animal with his arms crossed, then pointing to his ear for the words ‘No one’s listening’ before the Motorhead fast Pig Iron which had people going mental in the moshpit. Then it was time to get Fucked Up And Wasted.   Animal then asked what do you think of the new boy, and everyone cheered. He said pehaps you’ll join in with us for a a cover song, which he said when I was a skinhead he used to play to piss his mother off. He requested ‘I want you to sing with me Oi Oi Oi Oi’ and the song started with a bit of a reggae beat. With the lyrics ‘I want some girl to lick it for me. If she’s ugly I don’t mind’ it sounded very much like something Animal would write so I wouldn’ have known it was a cover if he hadn’t said. I was a bit stumped trying to find who wrote the original as I was looking for ‘Lick It For Me‘ I looked on google and couldn’t find the song, lyric finder didn’t bring anything up, although one thing I did know was that my mother wouldn’t like it either! Not to be thwarted I resorted to asking an aging punk friend if he knew it and found out the song is actually called  ‘Reck A Nowhere and it’s on the We Are The League album and once I knew that I was able to find that it’s a rework of Prince Buster’s – Wreck a Pum Pum/The Soul Sisters’ – Wreck a Buddy. Then the self titled song Animal which included the word ‘I’m an Animal. I’m a sexual pervert!’ Is it autobographical? Well I dont’ know that, so I’ll let you make your own mind up! Like all good things the show had to end. Then Animal said ‘As per usual we thank you, without you guys we wouldn’t exist, we do know that, we appreciate it! Keep going to live shows. Keep it real brothers We Are The League

The league they are and they have a core following which has kept them going well into their fourth decade. A great evening’s entertainment proving that Punk is alive and kicking! Punk’s not dead!

Animal – Anti-Nowhere League

Set List:
We Are The League
Nowhere Man
I Hate People
Let’s Break The Law
Skull ‘n’ Bones
Chocolate Soldiers
Get Ready
As Good As It Gets
So What
We Will Not Remember You
This Is War
We Will Survive
Can’t Stand Rock ‘n’ Roll
Streets Of London

Anti-Nowhere League

For You
Pig Iron
Fucked Up And Wasted
‘Reck A Nowhere
We Are The League

Band Members:
Animal – Vocals
Shady – Bass
Sammy Carnage – 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!