New York hardcore punk band Sick of it All embarked on a tour across Southeast Asia once again, this covering ten cities from Singapore to Tokyo. The band returned to Bangkok after two years on October 12 at The Rock Pub.
It’s great to live half way across the world yet still be able to see one of my old-school favorites, all thanks to Blast, Alliance Trax. It also gives a chance for local bands to book bigger shows. Billed to open for Sick Of It All were License to Kill, who have been around since hardcore first found its audience in Bangkok, and The Greed, who can be seen breathing a new life to Oi! punk on a regular basis around the city.
Sick Of It All have been ripping out killer tunes since the late 80’s. Founding vocalist Lou Koller and his brother guitarist Pete, along with original drummer Armand Majidi and longtime bassist Craig Setari, have tended a catalog of consistent, hard-hitting albums for over three decades. From 1989’s debut album Blood Sweat and Tears to their eleventh and latest, The Last Act Of Defiance, their screaming vocals, intense beats and lyrical prowess remain intact.
The Rock Pub is a great place to see live shows as it has an intimate atmosphere that puts you as good as right next to the band on the stage. No barricades, no bouncers. It’s pretty much a free-for-all, with bodies flying through the air and a mosh pit that kept pounding on as the band kept the intensity going.
The band played sang-along hits like “Good Lookin’ Out” and “Clobbering Time/Pay The Price”, but made sure they treat us to the classics (and my personal favourites), 1989’s “Injustice System” and punk rock-inflected “Rat Pack”, for which a lucky was chosen to join them on stage.
In between songs Lou bantered with the audience, joking about getting old but still playing and singing their hearts out, “You guys keep it going and we’ll keep going!” And so they did. The fans reformed the trash pit that never left, gaining and dropping momentum through the night as if it had been their first and last punk show.
It’s awesome to come out and see this community of local Thai and expat punk lovers. But one thing we should keep in mind is to clean up after ourselves in and outside the venue. We pride ourselves in keeping the scene alive but there’s no reason not to keep it clean and free of complaints from the establishments willing to host punk shows.
The next hardcore show will come from New York 80’s icons Madball on Friday, December 8 at Hollywood Club Ratchada. The band will be supported by Thai rockers Ten Baht Per Hour and Indonesian hardcore trio Taring. Tickets are THB1,500. Find out more here.