REVIEW: The Living End at Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Chris Cheney of The Living End onstage at Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea. PICTURE: Paul Windsor
Chris Cheney of The Living End onstage at Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea. PICTURE: Paul Windsor

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Fresh from their prestigious support slot with Green Day at Hyde Park, Australian band The Living End rolled into Portsmouth for the hottest, sweatiest punk rock gig this year. Boy, it was a veritable sauna in there, just like it should be.

Any band whose guitarist wields a great big Gretsch semi-acoustic guitar, a la Kirk Brandon and Brian Setzer, you know is going to be good, and Chris Cheney does not disappoint.

The band themselves are a revelation – with a double bass you’d expect a smattering of rockabilly, but it’s only on Tear It Up, a song made famous by The Cramps, that yields to the genre.

Instead the band come from a long line of great Australian rock ‘n’ roll bands, from Jet back to AC/DC – I’m sure I heard Cheney sneak an Angus Young riff into one song.

The band are big on punk rock melodies and huge sing-a-long choruses – much like the aforementioned Green day which, to be honest, is no bad thing – which the large crowd lap up.

It’s the last night of The Living End’s UK tour, and both the band and crowd are in a celebratory mood. By the encore, the crowd are singing the words to Uncle Harry before the band take to the stage for a rousing finale.

A hot night, with a hot crowd, for a hot band.