Of course, when the Zero Boys actually started, they kicked ass. Their first two songs weren't ones I knew, but as soon as they started up on material from Vicious Circle, the pit went pretty nuts, actually. It was a really happy mood, and Paul Z. - apparently only a couple of years older than I am - was definitely fully awake by the time he was leaping around belting out the lyrics to "New Generation." There may not be that many people in Vancouver who remember them, and certainly very few who would have had a chance to have seen them at their last Vancouver show - when Paul said into the mike "how many of you were even born in 1982?" he had a point - but the people who packed into the pit Friday made up for in the quality of their enthusiasm what they lacked in quantity (because even at capacity, Funkys holds, what, 200 people? 250? But they were the right people, the good people, the people I like; and they had a fucking great time).
I tried snapping photos but I was a bit dizzied on Fireball shooters (sweet and hot cinnamon whiskey! How have I missed this previously?) and my prime directive was to protect the vinyl I'd bought, which eventually ended up getting doused in beer when someone's pint glass went flying across the monitor-protectors and up-ended onto me. (I don't mind, actually: the damage to the first album's cover is visible, but the Sharpie ink didn't run, the beerstink isn't that bad, the vinyl itself is fine, and the scars to the cover were acquired in the best of all possible circumstances, in a way adding to the specialness of the artefact. War wounds!). Plus, like, people were climbing over me, quite literally, to get up onto the stage to stage dive. Most of my photos turned out like this:
interviewed Michael Gira a few years ago, and he said he'd been on a Jack London kick, so I thought I'd give a Jack London novel a try." She proceeded to observe that you don't see many people reading at punk gigs, and I considered responding with, "that's because people keep interrupting," but I just gave up and put away my book. (It got a bit of beer on it too, when that pint glass poured out onto me, but I figure Jack London would appreciate that, maybe. His autobiography, after all, is entitled John Barleycorn: Alcoholic Memoirs).
Anyhow, I got a few good pics of The Excessives, the first band of the night that I got to see, playing what was their first gig in Vancouver in six years, I believe the singer said. All their songs seemed to be about sex or drugs or alcohol; they roared and raged and obviously have lots of fans (especially that guy in the Dayglo Abortions' "I Fucked Jesus" t-shirt, who was a bit of a caution in the pit)... but I don't know their material, couldn't really make out the lyrics, and live, loud, and drunk is not the best way to experience anything for the first time, so I can't really react to it. (The song about "good head" sure seemed fun, if that's what was being sung - kinda reminded me of the Nervous Eaters' classic "Just Head").
The Excessives also had by far the best bass drum art (viva Lee Marvin!):