the red penguin

Fonda 500, Bugeye, Hurtling, Colossus – Amersham Arms, New Cross

With my possible move away from Essex looming I won’t be able to make any last minute decisions to go and see gigs like this any more, unless they’re playing an hour or so from my new place (spoiler: they won’t), so it was indeed very much a last minute decision to drive down the A2 for my first gig in New Cross since 1996. It’s an easy drive from Basildon too – just 45 minutes going there, longer coming home. I can’t remember seeing quite so many diversionless road closures for “roadworks” in one evening but that’s another story …

I was really going on the strength of Hurtling and Bugeye, two bands I’ve seen before – weirdly, at the same venue in Bishop’s Stortford on different days, a venue I’d only been to on those two occasions. But I made sure to get there in time for the first act as I’d heard Colossus were good, and they were indeed – a very charismatic and slightly crazy frontman who had a “two microphone” thing going on which I didn’t understand, but it was a great set all the same.

Hurtling were up next, nowhere near as crazy but sounding massive thanks to Jen Macro’s awesome guitarwork.

Bugeye were the standout in a very good evening for me. I don’t understand why this band aren’t bigger – great stage presence and big infectious tunes. I spoke to a couple of the band afterwards and told them they need to play more gigs!

Headliners Fonda 500 are just about to call it a day, having been around since the 90s. This was their last London gig and I’m a bit disappointed I’ve only just discovered them – been enjoying playing their albums on Spotify since this show. Really hard to categorise too – a mix of The Fall, Stereolab, Saint Etienne, Art Brut and lots more.

I’ve put up a ton more photos here:

Thursday 26 October 2023, 24674 views

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