'A RIOT DOWN THE LANE DVD'
Belfast Punk 1999-2006
Running time 2 Hours 40 minutes
Released December 2006
Pity access to video cameras wasn't quite as easy 30 years ago, coz just think of all
the priceless footage we could've captured. But in this day 'n' age of 'You Tube'
etc. we now have the means to shoot to kill in almost all environments. And it gives
ingenious punk rockers like Billy Riot 'Straight Out Of Belfast' the tools to capture
a thriving punk scene, in its development from youth clubs, pubs and clubs. This
film aint got poseurs or ego trippers waffling on, although higher profile bands like
Goldblade with John Robb doing his favoured Iggy routine might be pushing the
boundaries. This is 98% homegrown and Oi! flag bearers Runnin Riot who are
currently the citys major export, naturally get the lions share. But the majority of
outfits featured are keen, young and hungry and reflecting varying degrees of
talent, including the Violent Fuckwits whom Billy is lead singer. This collection
features all the prominent punk outfits that are making a racket or a mess in
Belfast today, plus further afield like Balintoys Man Overbored. Filmed over the
last 6 years both on and off stage, outside gigs, in the street playing football or
playing pranks involving tin foil, its all here. Theres loads of lunatic behaviour and
humour which Bill wasn't sure would translate overseas? But I can put his
mind at ease about that one as this DVD certainly entertained me.
Filmed amidst the most concentrated mohican explosion I've witnessed since maybe Morecambe, this portrayal gives you a real
idea of what a local young punk scene is like. What you notice too is that theres no aggro. Everyone seems to be out for a good
time, both bands and audience alike which is good to see from a city which has seen its fair share of troubles over the years.
Belfast these days has a new generation of punks who seem to be throwing themselves head first into punk in a really big way! I'd
compare these clips as the 21st century equivalent of the highly sort after 'Shell Shock Rock' late 70's TV documentary that
covered the Belfast punk scene over 25 years ago.
So it was good to see Bryan Young from Rudi making it onto this film, all be it in his
greasy rock 'n' roll combo the Sabrejets. From the opening credits you had a
feeling it was gonna be good. With Billy junior ripping up the titles and a shot of a
pair of boots as Runnin Riot perform one of their better tracks the anthemic 'Were
Not Gonna Take it', which sums up the band completely. Despite 'A Riot Down The
Lane's' DIY vibe and some of Bills arty experiments in the early clips, this DVD will
be priceless in years to come as a lot of these bands have a very short life span, so
its already an historical time capsule for some, but also a brilliant shop window for
the ones who will grow and develop. Musically theres not one oustanding vocalist
most are happy to bawl out the angst but it fits the parameters of the spiky hordes.
'A Riot Down The Lane' could've only been improved with maybe more interview
footage with the bands coz some of these characters deserve to be interrogated on
camera just to see what makes 'em tick. But for now this 40 tracker concentrates
predominantly on the music, so you cant say theres not enough action which is
captured dilligently. It's good to see all the faces and bands drooled over in Billy's
Fanzine 'Riot On Your Own' bought to life on celluloid. Ranging from the rowdy to
the surreal, check out Roysta's 'Worshipping Satan Since 79' clip. The speed of the
action is fast moving as the camera weaves its way through the crowd and two
fingers get lobbed at the camera lens or the meek cower in terror. I alway wondered
what Giros looked like, and now I know where to get a pint if I ever hit the Front
page. Highlights has to be the hilarious banter Mr Nipples created on stage before
lurching into crowd fave 'Bollox To The RUC'. The Walking Abortions intense
version of the Exploiteds 'Army Life' was total chaos as the band and audience
bring a whole new meaning to audience participation. Doghouse playing in front of
their shop in the high street was interesting as the buses go past and ex-Defect
Buck regaled the passengers. Of course Runnin Riot in their Elvis garb on has to
be seen to be believed. Fave performance had to be 1000 Drunken Nights doing
'Beyond Zero' which was great to see just for the pure adrenalin or maybe Bill's attempt to break office windows when he booted
the ball into the Belfast stratosphere. Without the luxury of a massive lighting rig and alternate camera angles you will get the
innevitable long shots, but it all adds to the decadent ambience of this film. So if you like your punk grimy and gritty then this in
your face baby is for you. Films like this make you wanna check out Belfasts punk scene and witness the chaos for yourself. So if
your in a band get your arse over there. They love their punk and will react with a fitting responce im sure. Unless of course your
totally shite which this ain't! Comes with a neat 'Belfast Punx' Poster created by Darren outta 1000 Drunken Nights infamy too.
PETER DON'T CARE
£7.00 postpaid anywhere in the world.
5 Glen Road, Belfast.