Concert Review: Sticky Filth

Photo courtesy of Sarah Kidd at Ambient Light

Photo courtesy of Sarah Kidd at Ambient Light

By Shane Hollands

Artist: Sticky Filth with special guests Slumbug

Date / Venue: Saturday October 13th, 2018 - Galatos, Auckland

Galatos is suitably dark with a giant Sticky Filth banner. The large doorman won't need to check too many I.Ds from the legion of diehard Sticky Filth fans ambling in with an expectant glee in their eyes.

Someone tells me that if I really want to enjoy the music I should get 'Shitfaced pissed and stand at the front.' 13 year old punk me would be horrified to see me at an iconic punk gig sipping water, but as one older fan says to me, 'I am just not so angry anymore'. 

Slumbug kick off the night with a bass driven explosion of bedlam, screaming guitar chords, and doom laden drums. It's heavy, intense and growling with intent. They play like they don't give very many fucks and that is just what you would expect from a young punk three piece, especially at a gig where most of the audience haven't come to see them at all and are keen for the headliners. Though of course they aren't exactly playing punk, there are strong elements of stoner doom grunge and wails, until I don't know what you'd call it, but whatever it is it's good.

They are followed by Creatures; classic west coast punk driving guitar to a 4/4 back-beat with unrelenting quick changeovers delivered with precision. A reminder of how good west coast punk was before it devolved into bland skater punk.

The heroes of the night, Sticky Filth were - damn it - Sticky Filth. Pure prime punk metal. They had the audience thirsty for them and they delivered with style. Craig Radford owned the stage, sometimes away from the mic, leading the crowd in chanting the old favourites that they had come for, with impeccable showmanship.

Swapping solos with Chris Snowdon, whose blistering lics were a master class in metal while Mark “Boot” Hill called thunder down from the punk rock gods.

For the innocent children out there, Sticky Filth is an iconic three piece proto punk band hailing from New Plymouth all the way back in 1987. They have fought and struggled their way into NZ punk history, releasing four great albums along the way Weep Woman Weep,Nektar Der Gotter, Stainless and Fourth Domain and two brilliant E.P's Def Thru Misadventure and Witches.

Despite triumphs and tragedies (band member Colin Long was assaulted and died on the streets in New Plymouth and both Chris and Craig have survived horrific accidental injuries) Sticky Filth have gone on to play with the likes of such legendary bands as Cosmic Psychos, The Hard Ons, Henry Rollins, Motorhead, Sisters Of Mercy, Stiff Little Fingers and Bad Brains and have toured extensively through New Zealand and Australia.

They may have gotten older but they definitely haven't lost any of their energy if their show at Galatos is any judge. They race and jump around the stage whilst performing searing renditions of their hits and even a new song or two with more energy and drive than most young bands can muster.

Sticky Filth may be kings of NZ Punk Rock but they can hold their own with any international act and come out smiling.