Strip Search Tramp – High Knucks – Futumche – Coventry – live review

Strip Search Tramp

High Knucks


The Tin Music and Arts, Coventry

21st December 2019

We’ve been waiting to see Strip Search Tramp for a while now and four days before Christmas seems the ideal time. Add to that High Knucks and Futumche and it’s a gig not to miss, especially as they’ve asked us to provide tunes between the bands. Read what happened below.

Tracey stands, looking wonderful in her Starfleet dress, singing Yakuza as the room is full of friends, old and new. Around her Strip Search Tramp take the music into harder and more intense territory. It’s been a while coming but not only are Fighting Boredom finally watching Strip Search Tramp tear the venue apart, we are also inflicting our music onto the crowd between and after the bands. Top that with tequila and free beer and we are having a blast.

We set up in the sound booth so we can hide from beautiful shouting drunken goths which, for the record, doesn’t work, they still find us. The snapper piles straight into Techno and doom and the night is on.

First band are Futumche, Fighting Boredom like Futumche, I’ve written about them before and have high expectations for tonight. A trio, bare chested long haired drummer, a dapper long haired guitarist and the coolest short haired bassist of the night, insane looking, crowd baiting and just plain cool. The drums kick off the set, there’s a burst of noise and we slam straight into a massive Sabbaff guitar vibe, powerful and glorious. The harmonies and noise just carry on relentless as between them the two at the front sing. Then it changes, the music flows up and down and turns liquid, slips back into the big noise that then speeds up to the point of spontaneous combustion. Wallops into hard core punk and then plucked bass and prog synth sounds. 

Futumche cram as many sounds into a song as most bands fit on an album, and it always works. They move the sound around, mould it, let it loose, caress it and make it their own. They run on adrenaline and channel the spirits of Nomeansno, the Minutemen, fIREHOSE but fail to sound like any of them. The sound switches, stops, lunges, lurches freaks out into jazz, rock’n’roll, doom, metal it’s all of it, all at the same time. It could be a mess but instead is a glorious glorious sound. When the bassist licks the neck of his guitar you realise that the only place this noise could come from is another galaxy. If you’ve not caught Futumche yet… just get on it.

High Knucks follow another interlude of our music. They launch into straight ahead hard punk. Heads down noise the drums drive it forward as the vocalist and bassist sing. They look like they’re ready to hurt people, angry and full on. The vocalist leans into the mic and sings, woolen cap on his head, tattoos down his arms, the bassist, slicked back hair and more tattoos moves backwards and forwards, never ever standing still. They get slower and more measured and then into the noise again. The stage is too small for them, there’s too much energy that is barely contained. They switch to a more post-hardcore vibe and the crowd are dancing. They go into rebel rousing street punk, noisy, joyful and perfect.

The two guitarists on the edges of either side of the stage play their instruments with no fuss, no added moves, just concentration and absorption into the music. In the centre the bassist and vocalist are going absolutely bonkers.

‘The next song’s our pop song’ it’s hard, low down and has the feel of classic hardcore. They have the looseness of punk, the fearlessness of post-punk and the fury of hardcore, they are spot on. There’s a moment when, as all hell lets loose next to him, the guitarist next to me reaches over and picks up his can of red stripe, slowly, lazily opens it, takes a swig and then gets right back to making that incredible noise. They play a new song and it’s nasty and sweet at the same time. High Knucks deserve a flock of beserker kids following them to every show. Top notch.

By now the effects of alcohol have rendered my handwriting all but unreadable so in the interests of a clear recollection of the night I am swigging back premium strength IPA with chasers of single malt whiskey, when I am able to read my notes I know I’m in a stable condition to keep writing..

Strip Search Tramp are hard as nails and supercool. Old school delinquents brought right up to date, Yakuza is slow, growing and so good, Tracey controlling the stage. Everyone else holding the song down as it tries to escape and blow us away. The place is full, it sold out hours ago, everyone is dancing and getting into it. At one point I turn round and my mate from years back is next to me, I thought he was in New Zealand! The vibe turns funky as they slide into Escalator, still very cool. The front line are poised and focused, at the back the drums hold it all down, and the mad biker looking chap adding his manic noises to the mix makes it even better. I’ve watched these guys in bands since I was a kid and they still kill it. Tracey is, of course, a star. This is not saying the rest of the band aren’t, but Trace is mesmerising. 

Steve’s beaming, Doc is steady and straight faced, I can’t tell what expression Dibs has and Sharif is just going on and on, this is what happens when mates get together and decide to make music,  they’ve all been in bands before and I think I’ve seen most of them down the years but it’s always special to see your friends making music from their souls. It’s emotional, the memories of what those around me have meant to me over the years, you think about who’s missing, who’s unexpectedly appeared and who’s expected. It’s a hard sound but not hardcore, punk but not derivative, recognisable but not old. 
They play Crazy Horses and the alcohol makes me dance like an idiot. More glorious noise and then they finish, grinning and sweaty. A great gig.
The night finishes as we play our music while being accosted by drunken fools, although the Peruvian fifties garage punk that a Scots guy with cool hair told me to check out was excellent! I’ve no idea how I got home.
Strip Search Tramp

High Knucks


Strip Search Tramp are on Facebook and have a Bandcamp page.

High Knucks have a Bandcamp page and are on Facebook.

Futumche also have a Bandcamp page and are on Facebook.


All pictures by Martin Ward, all words by Adrian Bloxham.

Adrian Bloxham

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