(By Neil Duncan – from Basingstoke Gazette)

THIS was a highly anticipated show, the headliners a legend, but still the expectation underestimated how amazing it was going to be.
First up was the latest incarnation of Newbury/Basingstoke hard-core band, Just Add Monsters. This show marked the debut for their new guitarist Kim and a complete new re-birth for the band. They seemed re-invigorated, playing harder, faster, tighter than ever before, thus getting the night off to a flying start.
They were followed by Basingstoke hard-core band Rocco Lampone and I had no doubts that they would maintain the quality. They might just be a three-piece but they can still rock out with the best of them. Another fast, heavy hard-core band, delivering a hefty musical punch and earning for themselves, much respect and a fair few more fans into the bargain.
Next up were the Luv Dump, an even harder, faster anarcho-punk band. They were finally able to tip the crowd over from enthusiastic, but static support into some lively moshing. Once that tipping point has been reached, the night gains a momentum of its own and everything looks and sounds better.

They might have travelled three hours to get to the show, but their performance was top class and they must surely have gone away delighted with the support they got.
Basingstoke’s folk-ska-punk, Burning Idols were up next, and although the crowd was not quite as large as the one they played to at Basingstoke Live, it was pretty much at capacity. They played well and their slightly lighter style contrasted nicely with the bands so far and gave everyone a chance to re-charge their batteries for the headline band.

The Filaments last played the Ex-Services Club in Basingstoke over seven years ago – a show that is still talked about in hushed tones today. Many of the fans at that last show were just 14, 15 or 16 and now they were back as full grown adults along with a new generation to witness one of the most amazing live ska-punk bands stun Basingstoke again.

It is no exaggeration to refer to this as “gig of the year”. It was so exciting, so well delivered and so well received that even hardened gig-goers like myself were left speechless.  The band themselves, all the way from Essex, were bowled over by their reception and could not recall a show as good as this. It was reminder, not that one was needed, of why I became obsessed with punk and live music in the first place.

Huge thanks to Jon (Rockbitch) for promoting such an awesome show and to the manager and staff of the Bang Bar for hosting the event.