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Friday, December 23, 2005

THIS SYSTEM KILLS: guitars with attitude

This System Kills, the name says it all really

As soon as Skindred had strummed their last note we rushed over to the Newport City Live Arena to ensure we had not missed anything. We needn’t have rushed, no bands had been on and it was clear that this was going to be a late one.

I don’t really remember who the first band were, I had never heard of them before and although they were ‘OK’, we were there to see the two main bands and did not pay much attention. Eventually, This System Kills hit the stage and we started to take notice of things other than the bar.

This System Kills (TSK) have not been around that long, but the band is made up of lads with a long rock ‘n roll history. Front man Pig was singer with Rectify, a shouty anarcho punk outfit from the valleys that seem to have been around forever; punks throughout South Wales would have been familiar with them, but they were know far wider than that and often toured the old Eastern Bloc, spreading the work of uncompromising punk to audiences hungry for hardcore.

Most of the rest of the band are former members of 100,000 Bodybags who, as the name implied, were as punk as f*ck. Based in Blackwood they relentlessly toured the toilets of the UK making a name for themselves but their uncompromising attitude meant they were never going to make it onto top of the pops. One moment of folklore was the time when Funeral In Berlin (who went on to become the Bodybags) played the Little Theatre in Blackwood. F.I.B. Fans booed heckled and bottled the support band in their eagerness to see F.I.B. At the time the support band were unknown, but most of you will know the name now… Blackwood’s very own Manic Street Preachers.

But TSK are far from being just a band with history. This little outfit show the sharpness of a band that has been around the block a few times but are still as uncompromising as ever and would no doubt scare the living daylights out of any unsuspecting Manic’s devotees that wandered in off the street by mistake. They are as angry and as ugly as a bulldog chewing a wasp, but somehow Pig manages to keep a smile on his face and keeps things light-hearted between the songs, which are played as if the guitars are on fire.

The last time I saw TSK was when they played an anti-G8 benefit gig that I helped organise in Cardiff when they stole the show. Tonight demonstrated, as it did at the G8 gig, that they are a tough act to follow.

But the Las Vegas Elvis were always gonna give it a go!......


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