Friday, February 26, 2010


Back when I was buying Leatherface's Mush (after reading Jack Rabid's fulsome praise of the album in particular and Leatherface in general in The Big Takeover) I figured they were one of those bands I'd never get to see live - mostly because they'd broken up after the appropriately titled Last. I've long since learned that band breakups are often impermanent, and sure enough Leatherface came roaring back. In fact, albums like Horsebox, Dog Disco and their latest Stormy Petrel are up there with some of their best work. The release of Stormy Petrel also launched a tour which brought them to Babylon last night. Locals I Refuse and Year Zero, as well as Ste. Catherines offshoot Yesterday's Ring, were on hand to kick things off. The only downside was the mushy weather, which meant just about everyone was watching with soggy feet.

I Refuse are in the shouty and jumpy vein of hardcore. They were very happy to be opening for Leatherface and got on and off quickly to hurry their arrival on stage.

I Refuse at Babylon
I Refuse at Babylon, February 25, 2010

Brad from Year Zero also said "I'm not interested in playing, I just want to see Leatherface." It was another strong performance from these guys, who also had a few new songs to show off.

Year Zero at Babylon
Year Zero at Babylon, February 25, 2010

Yesterday's Ring set aside The Ste. Catherines more streetpunk-oriented sound for a roots-punk set. They even had a banjo and acoustic guitar. They really reminded me of Finnish Replacements fans Jalla Jalla.

Yesterday's Ring at Babylon
Yesterday's Ring at Babylon, February 25, 2010

As for Leatherface, they put on a great show. Their new stuff sounded great next to their old hits, so even though the non-Stormy Petrel stuff was what you might call a run through their greatest hits there wasn't any weak point. And of course you had Frankie Stubb's inimitable rasp and hopping dance.

Leatherface at Babylon
Leatherface at Babylon, February 25, 2010

They finished things off with an encore of Hops and Barley and a run through of You Are My Sunshine - and how many punk bands could get away with that?

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