Review | Oh! Gunquit at The Barn, Milton: "If they're in town - be there"

​You know that saying about policemen getting younger?
Oh! Gunquit live at The BarnOh! Gunquit live at The Barn
Oh! Gunquit live at The Barn

I am definitely starting to feel the same about some of the bands I see live now.

I swear I have older stains on T-shirts than the guys in tonight’s support act, The Lean. Whatever they lack in years, though, they make up for in attitude and musical chops. Their original songs have got the punk spirit in spades and rattle along at a decent clip – there’s shades of Sham 69 at times with the gang vocals, with all three members on the mics.

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They finish with a cover of the MC5’s Kick Out The Jams, dedicated to the recently departed guitarist Brother Wayne Kramer. However, they’re not done, as they earn a genuine encore – a cover of The Damned’s New Rose.

Worth keeping tabs on.

If headliners Oh! Gunquit are coming to town, I’ll make no bones about it, if I’m able, I’ll be there.

Their sax-assisted scuzzy garage-rock bops from the sleazy side of town are most at home in a dive bar on the wrong side of the tracks rather than a bigger venue.

And while The Barn has been tidied up under its current landlords since last time the band played there pre-pandemic, it still feels like home for the five-piece.

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Frontwoman Tina Swasey is a high-kicking, trumpet-toting bad ass, ably assisted by her right-hand man, guitarist, Simon Wild.

There are some technical problems early on, but with those dispatched it’s on with the adrenaline-fuelled show for the sold out crowd.

Bassist VV brings implacable Brazilian cool, while I doubt there’s anyone happier in his work than their drummer.

For Whiplash, Swasey brings out her own whip for willing audience members to be whipper and whippee…

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And of course there’s the highpoint of any Gunquit set – Swasey playing trumpet while hula-hooping to the furious instrumental cover of Johnny and The Hurricanes’ Crossfire.

As they finish with Voodoo Meat Shake, the audience are invited on stage to shake their thangs, which is only fair given Swasey has spent much of the set moving among the throng.

The band have been working on album four, so with any luck they’ll be back soon. And when they are, I advise you to be there too.