Next up were country/rockabilly duo Swampmeat (vocalist Danny is also the drummer in The Big Bang fact fans). The mighty T Bird provides laid back but spot on brushwork on the drums while Danny sings like the bastard son of Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee on a set of tracks that already sound like Sun studio classics. Just brilliant, simple tunes played the way they should be...with heart, soul and a large glass of the hard stuff.
Talking of hard stuff...Beestung Lips. Now here's a band...no, scratch that, make it THE band. Sitting here just a few hours after their set they have to be one of the most exciting, fucked up, mental, sick (in the right sense of the word) bands in the world. Punk is too easy a term to describe the sound. It's more like the noise a group a category A prisoners would make if they were locked in a small room just as the world was about to explode in a massive hail of nuclear missiles...on acid...it's the sound you hear in your head when you're so pissed off you want to rip out your own heart and kick it into space, it's what hell sounds like when there's a really great party going on and Satan's police come round to ask you to turn the noise down...then end up joining in and cranking it all up a notch or two. Vocalist Hetro looks like he was frozen in time (around about 1940) before being defrosted at a Black Flag gig and fed speed. Put Gallows and Beestung Lips on stage together and you'd have enough energy to power the entire fucking planet until the end of time. I loved it so much I bought the t-shirt...and the EP...and the whole fucking thing (sorry, I'm swearing a lot today...bollocks).
Right...after a much needed calming Strongbow the mighty, mighty Copter shook the stage with a furious preacher's vision of the spirit of rock n'roll ladies and gentlemen. This is a band that needs to be seen live. An instant party that takes you from the streets of Birmingham right into the dirty heart of classic American garage. As a Coldrice semi-regular (RIP the classic Bar Academy Saturday night/Sunday mornings). I've seen them oodles of times and each one is special. That's the mark of a truly great band. And the mark of a truly great night. If 444 can ever come close to repeating a bill like this (and I'm sure it can) this promises to be the kind of night that Birmingham's needed for years. The best local bands, the best local venue, the best local crowd...hell, it was the best of nights.