The Dictators – Factory 251, Manchester, August 4th 2016

Dictators NYC

Now this is what you call a punk rock show! Formed in New York in 1973, the old guard have finally returned to the UK. The Dictators, currently on a lengthy European tour, stopped off in Manchester to deliver a genre defining fifteen song, seventy five minute set. Two original members, lead guitarist Ross Friedman and lead vocalist ‘Handsome’ Dick Manitoba, both on the wrong side of sixty prove that roadwork is still in their blood. Joined by rhythm guitarist Daniel Rey, bass guitarist Dean Rispler and J.P. ‘Thunderbolt’ Patterson on the drums, they are still a force to be reckoned with unlike the overnight sensations who get all the magazine covers and six page spreads!

I’ve waited a long time to see them after hearing a live tape from 1979 and they did not disappoint as they strode onto the stage and blasted out ‘Master Race Rock’ one of three songs played tonight from their 1975 debut album Go Girl Crazy. A fiery ‘Haircut And Attitude’ preceded a lengthy rap by Dick and

Dictators NYC

I’ve always said he could be the punk rock version of Dave Lee Roth. The instantly recognisable main riff to ‘The Next Big Thing’ (another from Go Girl Crazy) got heads nodding in the sizeable crowd. Back to back songs ‘Pussy And Money’ and ‘Who Will Save Rock And Roll’ from newer album D.F.F.D (Dictators Forever, Forever Dictators) saw the crowd in fine voice and I managed a few lead vocals on the latter.

Dictators NYC

A glorious ‘Weekend’ was sandwiched in between ‘I Stand Tall’ and ‘Baby, Lets Twist’ both from the 1978 album Bloodbrothers. Other highlights as the set progressed was a chest beating delivery by Dick on ‘New York, New York’ as the set seemed to fly as they closed with the gang vocals of ‘Stay With Me’. A short break and they gave us two high energy cover versions of ‘Search And Destroy’ by The Stooges and a riff heavy ‘Kick Out The Jams’ by MC5. A landmark concert for me made even better when they all came out a few minutes after it ended.

Setlist :-

Master Race Rock.

Haircut And Attitude.

The Next Big Thing.

Pussy And Money.

Who Will Save Rock And Roll?

I Stand Tall.


Baby, Lets Twist.

Savage Beat.

Faster And Louder.

New York, New York.

Supply And Demand.

Stay With Me.

Search And Destroy.

Kick Out The Jams.


About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!