Back in the early days of accessing music via the internet, various punk rock cover versions of classic songs would surface on Napster, AudioGalaxy, etc.. listed as being by reputable names from the punk rock genre. I think 4 out of 5 were incorrectly credited. The vast majority were actually by a punk rock supergroup called Me First and The Gimme Gimmes.
I’m not sure their early records ever got an official UK release, yet one day I stumbled upon a few copies in a second hand record shop in Bournemouth (now long gone). I never gave much thought to how or why these hard-to-come-by albums would end up being resold. I wonder how many of the CDs in my collection, purchased from similar stores during this time, were actually part of one person’s collection, traded in for other vices or more responsible purchases.
The opportunity to see them came at the end of a busy week of shows in 2006 (which also included The Ataris, Bullets to Broadway and Goldfinger) and involved a Saturday trip up to London and our beloved Astoria. The photos I took suggest I watched the show from the balcony. Other photos of mine from the same venue look to be taken at a similar angle, so we must have found a go-to spot that we liked (this is the case for almost all venues I go to).
Being a supergroup, it’s not a given that you’ll get the core line up of the band every time. We were lucky and saw four out of five original members, Spike Slawson (Swingin’ Utters), Fat Mike (NoFX), Joey Cape and Dave Raun (Lagwagon). Unfortunately Foo Fighters’ Chris Schiflett couldn’t be there. You wouldn’t have known this had the band not pointed it out it was his near identical brother, Scott Schiflett (Face to Face) was filling in for him.
The running joke throughout the show, which to be fair to them, didn’t get old, was introducing each track with “this next song is a cover…”.
A bonus of the date we saw on this tour was the addition of Capdown as a main support. The opener was The Sainte Catherines, I don’t think we saw them because year later when I started a label I wanted to call it Saint Catherine Records, then realised/remembered this band existed and compromised with Saint November.
Here’s the appropriately retro t-shirt I bought at the show. It was about five sizes too big and didn’t get a lot of wear before I eventually retired it.