Strip Search Tramp – The Rollocks – Grail Guard – Coventry – Live Review

Strip Search Tramp Album Launch – Strip Search Tramp – The Rollocks – Grail Guard – The Tin Music and Arts – Coventry – 2nd March 2024

An album launch night from the despicable Strip Search Tramp, supported by Rock’n’Roll delinquents The Rollocks and hard core noisenicks Grail Guard? In our home town so no one has to drive, and they want us to dj too? Sounds like a night to try and remember. Read what I pieced together from my drunken notes below.

Sharif, lunatic drummer and all round good egg messaged to ask if we would DJ the Strip Search Tramp album launch. I agreed, then thought I’d ask the photographer. So when I arrived he was setting up cables, plugs, controllers and a laptop. My hard drive full of music failed to work so it was down to the Photographer’s collection which was, as ever, impeccable. Anyway, Sharif pointed us in the direction of the changing room for a beer and so the evening started with Techno, Doom and Hip Hop from the decks.

First band on are Grail Guard, fast guitar, fast drums, fast bass and the singer is prowling back and forward across the stage. It’s hard core punk and it’s bloody loud. They stand and play, the guitarists arm is a blur as he makes the noise. It’s proper nasty and angry punk. They’ve got shouty choruses where they are needed and anytime they slow down to a crawl you know that it’ll explode into noise and frantic movement pretty soon after. 

The singer, wearing a Septic and the Tanks shirt, shouts ‘All Tories Are Bastards!’ and a slow grinding noise winds up to frenetic noise to come and when it does it’s like CRASS or any one of the old school anarcho-punk bands have come back and are fresher than ever. 

The place is full, lots of old Cov Punx are here, always loyal to the bands and their friends, lots of them getting well into this hardcore nastiness. 

They stray into Grindcore but the pace soon increases, the singer introduces the songs and explains them, Anxieties is next. Another Anti-Tory hardcore rant, linked to lockdown and the way the rich are getting richer at our expense. The chorus is ‘You Fucking Tory Scum’ which all of us are singing along to.

People are grinning at just how good and exhilarating the set is. Then he introduces the next one as for ‘anyone with immigrant parents, especially Sharif’ that starts with a low rumble and feedback, it doesn’t quite tip into hard core but sounds more like year zero British Punk. There’s a hell of a lot of frustration and power in the band. Kids are going bonkers at the front and further back people are singing along. Sometimes all you need is anger and noise, Grail Guard, hard-core and brilliant.

Between them and The Rollocks we manage to play, if I remember correctly as my handwriting describing the next two bands is pretty much unreadable, Mudhoney, Regis, My Bloody Valentine, Clipping., I could go on but I can’t remember. I played the Heartbreakers just before they come on as my review of their EP said that they all looked like Johnny Thunders.

Not all of them, Azreal looks like a cross between a Rock Goddess, a hippychick and someone having the best laugh she possibly could. She’s surrounded by long hairs, hats, moustaches and grooviness as she says sweetly ‘We’re called the Rollocks’…

Distorted guitar and bass lurches into action as a hard vocal cuts through the crawling rock’n’roll. The place is rammed with people now, this lot can pull in a crowd. 

A little aside here, I have reached the point where my handwriting in my notebook is indecipherable in the morning, so the review may become a little disjointed just as I was last night.

They are full of bluesy rock’n’roll power, Azreal speaks between songs in an almost shy voice, unless she’s leaning into the mic to shout ‘Up The Rollocks’ a cry carried across the audience and rest of the band. Yo Mama is led with distorted guitars and it’s slinky and nasty as it prowls its way around the room, the bass riff is enormous, almost drowning out the noise from the guitars. The vocal just tops it all off brilliantly. It’s just another sweaty, nasty Rock’n’Roll groove but sometimes that’s all there is, just the sound.

A massively solid stoner riff now, the drums keep up and the bass just throbs, it’s as loud as hell in here and this feels like a doped up Godzilla stumbling towards Tokyo. It’s nasty and grimy like good rock’n’roll should be, any squares have left way before this. It’s sod off out of my way music, blues and wah wah then stoned elegance, just a massive groove really. Azreal is astounding, singing that she needs someone but it’s coming from her soul. The long hairs around her just keep the charge going with their sweat dripping boogie but the power that Azreal has is wonderful. Chris is throwing shapes with his guitar, the others are grinning, the people are dancing, Up the Rollocks indeed! It’s just great big punky bluesy rock’n’roll.

God only knows what we played after that, possibly Mudhoney, Loop, My Bloody Valentine and lots of mind-numbingly good techno. But I was now drunk and not really paying attention, ask the photographer, he was in charge.

Strip Search Tramp have new tee shirts, a new bassist and a new album out today, I’ve heard it, it’s ace! This is their night and the crowd are here for them, well the ones that weren’t here for the Rollocks and Grail Guard anyway. I am pretty sure no one turned up just to watch us DJ. 

They start with a mad bass line and lurching drums. The guitars start and it’s a punky groovy delight. Almost immediately Tracey has her guitar over her head, they lurch into a psychedelic jungle power trip and Doc sings, the music jars and collides with itself and then the Cramps are talking through the feedback as Tracey steers them into her love song to Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, a psychobilly beat from Sharif as I realise he is wearing a CRASS/Wu Tang shirt. It’s great swinging rock’n’roll, Russ Meyer would be proud. 

There are screens on either side of the stage flickering with images and there’s a green spiral disappearing away behind the band. 

There’s a grinding lurching sound that touches on an industrial beat with Doc singing. Oh and as an aside, he made me write this, ‘Paul Quin is ace and bought me a drink!’, there, that’ll do.

Suzie and the rest of the Cov Punx are down the front, wonderful night. Tracey looks and is fabulous as they swing into a rockabilly swinging beat and discordant sound over the top of it. Just lunatic baiting music and something else I can’t decipher.. Ina nutshell my notes now read.. Guitars squiggle scribble, something Tracey something, her Guitar something, scribble scribble she, she’s just indecipherable , mad stomp, punk something, the vocal scribbles crossed out, faster groove, had to sit down I’m old, faster groove, Kennedys feel(possibly), Joe 90 or Stingray I’m unsure but it’s brilliant. Into a punk psychotic feel. Fades as Tracey brandishes the guitar over her head. Big drums, hard and wild, feedback over a huge riff, a great noise another solid punk song.

Hope that made sense, that’s what it felt like anyway. 

Then we played their song. We played more stuff too but it was mostly head spinning bass heavy techno that everyone seemed to like. So that was it, Apart from sharing a cab to the Kebab Shop. A brilliant night with excellent company and a room full of love. Remember kids, Noise is for Heroes.

Strip Search Tramp

The Rollocks

Grail Guard

Strip Search Tramp are on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp and Tweet as @StripTramp

The Rollocks’ website is, they are also on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Grail Guard are in Instagram, Bandcamp and Facebook.

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

Adrian Bloxham

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