New Continental, Preston
They Eat Culture is becoming one of Preston’s premier promoters in bringing quality music acts to our city, and this time it was anarcho/ska punk band Culture Shock’s turn to grace their stage.
Despite technical difficulties putting the gig an hour behind the advertised starting time, this was a minor inconvenience to see a band that had been away from the scene for 20 years.
When the time came for Dick Lucas and his band to take the stage you could sense a feeling that this could be special.
They opened the set with the track Pressure, followed by the classic Colour TV, their mix of reggae-driven bass, ska-punk guitar and upbeat drums setting a fuse which ignited the crowd.
Out of all the gigs I have been to at the Continental, I have never witnessed one which had the whole audience moving.
The sheer energy on stage projected onto the crowd. With Dick barely standing still, he powered his way through a back-catalogue of songs covering the whole surface of the stage, delivering his lyrical message.
It felt more like a community than a gig, with Culture Shock attracting a diverse following which proves it doesn’t matter what genre you are akin to - whether you’re a traveller, punk or into your reggae. When music is played this well, it doesn’t matter.
The songs flowed one after the other. The band ran through tracks like Don’t Worry About It, Six Foot Rooms, Catching Flies and Civilization Street, all delivered with acute accuracy.
The atmosphere was more like a festival tent then a gig in a pub, so you could be forgiven for losing track of what this social and political band are about. But is the band still relevant in today’s society?
Flashback to the 80s, with Thatcher in power, high unemployment and rioting in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool and London.
Fast forward to the present day, Thatcher gone, but the Tories back in Government, recession plummeting us into high unemployment, and just two years after riots across England.
Culture Shock might have been off the circuit for two decades, but they proved they have not lost any of the passion or energy for the scene they have greatly influenced.
And the lyrical content is unfortunately still as relevant today, as it was then.