After over 35 years from its beginning, the 70s pivotal punk rock era still lives on for The Vibrators, who performed at the Talking Heads in Southampton on Friday night. The band delivered the stereotypical set we would expect from a punk gig; lashings of character and songs bellowed with a vast amount of attitude loudly to the audience.
Pete Honkamaki, the lead singer and bassist of the band, dressed head to toe in black, and hidden in heaps of silver metal, looked incredibly stern throughout the set. His band mate, Darryll Bath, looked like he was playing the guitar in pure agony, never changing the screwed up look on his face. John ‘Eddie’ Edwards, the drummer and the last original ‘Vibrator’, came across very calm before his set. He was walking around the venue admiring the artwork on the walls and browsing through a vendors cheap vinyl table. On stage, however, he came alive, attacking the drums as if he was still in his 20’s, with rebellious thoughts on his mind. Eddie, so wrapped up in his music shouted “Get ya f**king arses down here” to demand the audience stage front. And yes, the authority worked. The punk band has a very different collective of personalities, but they come together whilst performing, and there’s certainly no denying that it worked.
Half way through the set a die-hard female fan wearing a Harrington and Doc Martins, pint in hand, jumped onto the stage and started prancing up and down in her drunken happy state. This nostalgia was flattering for the band, whilst ‘Baby, baby’ had the audience singing back at them, creating a volume exceeding the size of the crowd. Although the group is from another era, the crowd was of mixed ages and those from the younger generation felt the energy and got involved.
Punk may be assigned to the history books. The Vibrators, however, certainly aren’t.