Saturday, 28 February 2015


Thursday the 26th February 2015 saw the demise of one of the finest Hardcore rock bands around, yes, sadly,it was Arms and the Man’s final farewell gig.

A few years back five members from very different and diverse bands and musical backgrounds decided to get together and form a serious (That never really happened) hardcore band to play exceptionally well crafted and melodic powerful rock, and so, ‘Arms and the Man’ were ‘born’.
With their inaugural gig courtesy of SoundArc Studios live promotions, at, none other, the Red Lion in Stevenage it was somehow fitting that it should end where it began.

From their fist gig until their final gig, Arms and the Man have been showing the rest just how hardcore should be done and the farewell gig was no exception and it was so much more than just another gig, they were determined to go out in style, with a bang and more importantly having fun and what a party it turned out to be.

Kicking off the evening were another good melodic hardcore outfit, Beds/Herts based ‘Hierarchy’,  who despite far too few appearances hereabouts have come on in leaps and bounds and hopefully will soon have something down on CD for the punters to listen to at home, only a half hour set but a storming start to the evening.


Next up were local Punk Metal heroes ‘Skullf*cked’ drawing in the slightly younger and predominantly college crowd, more than just a punk metal band many of their songs were carefully crafted with some interesting spoken word parts and instrumental breaks, the guitarist has to be seen and heard to be believed, phenomenal for one so young, taking doomy Toni Iomi type riffs reminiscent of early Sabbath and speeding them up to pace that even the best thrash metal guitarists would find hard to match, quite an eye opener and surprisingly refreshing, all power to the band for stepping in at the very last minute as well.


So, 'Arms and the Man', as usual exceptionally brilliant, in a class of their own and partying like there was no tomorrow (Which unfortunately there was and didn’t I know it on Friday morning!).
Front man Ben Davies, always the showman, seemed to use the whole of the pub as his stage, well, certainly as far as the mic lead could stretch!
Early on Matt broke a string on his guitar leading to what could have been one of those embarrassing pregnant pauses which the band managed to fill adequately with quips and humour and a bit of audience banter, they were soon off again and gave it their all, entertaining us and on the other hand making us feel somewhat sad that they were calling it a day, however, the pain was somewhat lessened by the freebie CD give away at the end of the set and the odd battered souvenir drum-stick & set list (I can be such a fan boy at times thus, I hope, proving that the appreciation of music has sweet FA to do with age).

Arms and the Man having fun right to the end

Not unexpectedly but as for the 1st of the farewell gigs a couple of weeks ago at Club-85 the audience in a somewhat packed Red Lion included a large contingent from many of the areas established and accomplished bands, the local music industry, parents, wife’s and girlfriends, friends and family and goodly smattering of regular punters, local metal heads etc. and all in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie that doesn’t always happen a such a gig which, in itself, was splendid and also led to a fairly significant after gig party atmosphere that lasted to and beyond ‘chucking out time!’.

A Farewell to Arms

A farewell to arms is something we may wish for
But a farewell to Arms and the Man?
Classic title, classic band
And there was really only one way
To say, goodbye
To end on a high
To finish what they started
Where they had begun
At the Red Lion pub in old Stevenage
With a gig, with a party, having fun
And so one of the finest purveyors of Hardcore
Suddenly, sadly, are no more
But they raised the standard
To which others may aspire
That in itself in no mean legacy to leave
If you believe
It’s only rock and roll
Live fast, live fast
And die fucking old!
And in this game
Never say never

Grant Meaby


OK guys, just where are the audience?

You guys certainly entertained us and so thanks for the ride, it was a blast, until the next time, cheers all.
GM 28/02/15

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