Easter is traditionally the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Easter 2017 saw the resurrection of Manchester band Slaughter UK for their launch gig at Sound Control, Manchester. Slaughter UK contains two original members of Slaughter and the Dogs and Edweena Banger (formerly Ed Garrity) who replaced frontman Wayne Barrett in 1979 and the band shortened the name to Slaughter. Now lengthened to Slaughter UK as there have subsequently been other bands called Slaughter.
Opening tonight came another resurrected Manchester punk band V2. Formed by Mark Standley and the late David Wilkes in 1977 with bass player Stan The Man joining a couple of weeks later. V2 performed regularly in the UK and were often played on the John Peel Show (find out more about the band’s history here). Bassist Stan The Man has now formed V2.2. After an intro, which could have been from Thunderbirds or it could have been from a Film, I’m not sure which, but with sirens and the mention of offensive weapons it fitted with the V2 theme, V2.2 took to the stage and after tuning their guitars launched into That’s It, with its superfast guitars then straight into Nothing To Do like a The Dead Kennedys and Splodgenessabounds cross. Psycho Killer by Talking Heads was cleverly worked into a song. Mike on vocals then said he hadn’t been here (Sound Control) for a long time and that one of the guys in the band used to give them a big discount, like 100%, but he wasn’t referring to free drinks! The builidng, which now houses Sound Control, used to be a music shop, find out more about the building’s history here. A cover of Joy Division’s Shadowplay had people in the audience doing the Ian Curtis dance. An introduction to the band was followed by the Marilyn Manson style Speedfreak. Mike then said that we may recognise the next one Man In a Box, and whilst some of the audience obviously did I didn’t, as I knew zero about the band before the gig but the song did remind me of Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden. We came to the last song the popular I Feel Alright and Mike said ‘We are V2.2 thank you very much. You have been brilliant’ and the band left the stage to the sound of sirens with Stan the Man holding his bass up in salute. I enjoyed their set and went from not knowing anything about them to wanting to find out a lot more. I’d definitely love to see them again.
The crowd were nicely warmed up and from a band I didn’t know anything at all about we come to the headline band Slaughter UK, a band I haven’t seen together before although I felt that I knew them having seen all of the parts before, Howard and Brian at, what is one of, if not the, best gigs I’ve ever been to in over 35 years of gig going, the Slaughter and the Dogs 40th Anniversary original line up gig then much more recently Brian and Edweena in Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds, the common constituent being Brian. I was expecting good things from Slaughter UK this Good Friday, things don’t always live up to expectations so were my hopes about to be slaughtered? Well Now I Know which just happened to be the opening song from Slaughter’s 1980 album Bite Back. Edweena wasn’t as blue as last time I saw her, the ‘Wayne Barrett’ blue wig had been replaced by a more sombre Brunette one, although she still made an impressive figure in skin tight steel grey pants, a black and silver jacket, pink furry guitar strap, shades and Ozzy Osbourne style black and silver crosses adorning her neck. After the opener and a few arm spins Edweena announced It’s All Over Now. Short gig? One hit wonders then? I was relieved to realise that it was actually the title of the next song, another one from Bite Back, as I was just getting into the swing of things!
Edweena asked ‘Make some noise Manchester’ and thanked everyone for coming down, from London etc and Wythenshawe, of course! Old Slaughter and the Dogs favourite You’ve a Bore was followed by New World from Slaughter UK’s new album due for release later this year. During the Iggy Pop style Hell In New York a fight looked to be breaking out down at the front but, with some intervention from fellow gig goers, a riot was averted. Edweena asked ‘How’s it sounding out there? Is it OK? How’s it sounding at the back? At the front?’ the general consenus seemed to be that it was indeed OK. ‘You may not recognise that, another new one. The Album’s going to be a stonker isn’t it!’ The next song Won’t Let Go started with a heavy bass line and strong drum beat but Howard stopped the song, for artistic reasons and Ed said ‘Well it has been forty years and they started again, then stopped again, and this time Ed said ‘One more time for jazz. Need more practice’ and it seemed it was third time lucky.
The popular Boston Babies led then straight into Victims of the Vampire. Howard paused to sign something for someone at the front. From the East Side of Town had Edweena doing a few Status Quo style poses. New song No Holding Back had a great Rock ‘n’ Roll beat and we stayed that the rock n roll theme as Edweena asked ‘Alright are you ready to rock out? This is I’m The One, the single from Slaughter Days’ which, with it’s ‘Na Na Na Na Na’ chorus was a great singalong song followed by a cover of the New York Dolls’ Mystery Girls done Slaughter and the Dogs style. Then came Where Have All the Boot Boys Gone and, if they hadn’t gone, it was time for them to go as that was the last song of the main set ending with a ‘Thank you. Good night’
Shouts for more brought them back for several encore songs starting with White light/White Heat a Velvet Underground cover. Two more classic Slaughter and the Dogs songs Cranked up Really High and my favourite The Bitch were very popular with the audience and Edweena thanked us again before, what really was the last song, God Save Us a fitting end for Good Friday.
With songs old, new borrowed and blue (even if the hair wasn’t) there was something to please fans old and new making for a very good Friday! The new album is due to be released later this year and from what I heard tonight I look forward to hearing it. Both Slaughter UK and V2.2 will be appearing at Nice and Sleazy Punk Festival at the end of May.