Tufnell Park Dome, London
2 September 2001
A history lesson… Everything you think you know is wrong. The last ten years never happened. Mrs. Thatcher’s still in power, The Dome‘s still standing (Tufnell Park that is… not the Big Tent), and Conflict are still gigging. We are ruled by a bunch of corporate whores who’d sell out their own party for some cash from Ronald McDonald.
Hang on a minute…
Okay, fuck the history. Apart from the Thatcher bit (although I always prefer to refer to her as Baroness Thatcher – it has more of the melodramatic villain about it. “Mrs” Thatcher always sounds like the sort of person you’d buy delicious home-baked sponge cake from at a village fete, rather than some Nazi bitch from Hell) we’re bang up to date. (OK, technically the last ten years DID happen, but… oh, fuck off).
And that’s why Conflict are here. OK, I have to admit some initial cynicism here – I kind of went expecting to see some clapped-out old Punks pissing on a once-glorious career in front of a couple of crusties and a dog. And boy, was I wrong. Last time I saw Conflict (The Venue in South London about 10 years ago) they seemed in danger of sliding into power-punk style metal, but not this time. No, this was tight, raw, white-hot Conflict, same as they were when you were a kid but – and this is the weird bit – somehow even more relevant. I mean, there may be some kind of Punk revival going on right now, but honestly, Green Day? Limp fucking Bizkit? (I omit Rancid from this anti-American “Punk” tirade for two reasons – one, they’re bloody good, and two, they’re a Proper Punk Band, not a metal band with funny hair and piercings.) Colin‘s Carlo Giuliani T-shirt says it all – we need shit like this. We really fucking do. This isn’t just (as I read recently on one particularly execrable website) the English “missing the point of Punk” which is, aparently, all about putting on spikes, getting pissed and having a fight. (Duh…) This is the kind of punk Alec Empire had in mind when he formed Atari Teenage Riot: this is fight-the-good-fight music, this is every May Day protest you’ve been on, every petition you’ve ever signed against animal cruelty, every “Abortion Kills” sticker you’ve ever ripped off a wall while you’re waiting for the bus; this is good shit, for a good reason, to a good tune, and played at a fucking good volume.
Yeah, they’ve still got it. And none of your post-modern ironic bullshit – this kind of thing may seem a little naïve, a little idealistic maybe, but what the fuck’s wrong with that? And the crowd were kind of a surprise too – nowhere near as old as I expected, most of ‘em my age (late 20s, early 30s) and – get this – they STILL PICKED YOU UP IF YOU FELL OVER IN THE PIT! Not like the kids these days… no fucking respect… don’t know they’re born, half of ‘em… (sorry, must apologise – I was recently mugged by a gang of fucking CHILDREN and it kind of pissed me off – just bear with me on this one). And as an afterthought, it was kind of nice to get handed more fliers for the Hunt Saboteurs Association and the like than for some dodgy Punk night at an old man’s pub which has a couple of Clash singles on the jukebox.
-Prof. Deuteronemu 90210 Bo (LL) Ox.-