It’s mid-March, the nights are getting longer, and it will soon be summer and time for outdoor festivals… but for now there are still plenty of bands to see gracing our local venues. So I’m off to the Sanctuary in Burnley tonight to see a local band The Charly Syndrome.
It’s quiet in the club and I’m told there are 4 other bands playing around town tonight, so I’m not expecting the place to be packed later. I go up and introduce myself to the band and realise I know Cooky the bass player from years ago. The band are stood around talking with family and friends who have come along for the show, and there are also quite a few colourful Mohicans around which may give us a clue as to what we’re about to hear.
So far it seems quite a laid back and chilled affair, it’s time for the first set and the lads stroll on to the stage and take their places. A friend or fan, not sure which, decides she must perform a strange ritual with one of the mics (I’ll leave it to your imagination). Brocky Broxton (singer) manages to retrieve his mic and has a bit of banter with the rest of the band and crowd, a quick nod and all semblance of laid back is blown out of the window.
Brocky leaps off the stage as they launch into their first song of the set “13”, a hard fast punk rock track, swiftly followed by “The Voice”, “Walk Through” and “ASBO”. There’s a theme to most of the songs, each one detailing some aspect of local day to day life and the people they meet. With Nathan Sudderick playing some mean riffs and solos alongside Simon Cook as he hammers on his bass, they range from classic punk to heavy rock – or as the band puts it “alternative old wave”. Whatever it’s called, they certainly entertain.
After a brief break they return for a second set and again Brock is leaping all over the dance floor grimacing, high kicking and looking like any true punk frontman, but interacting with the crowd and sharing funny anecdotes with his bandmates as they introduce each song. The Charly Syndrome delivered an explosive night of punk rock, engaging and laughing with the crowd and producing some great original tracks that would please any punk or heavy rock fan. They went on to perform three encore songs after managing to pry Chris Quinton’s drum kit (and mic) from the aforementioned fan.
The Charly Syndrome take some beating live. Be prepared for swearing, lots of laughter, energy and lots of raw, powerful music. They delivered 25 original tracks of what I have been assured is an extensive back catalogue as they have been writing for over 14 years. If you get the chance, go watch ’em.