By Rob Jones
Formed in December, 1976, London legends 999 are still entertaining! The latter stages of that distant decade had the group score some key singles and these songs still remain as proud documents.
This extensive touring act works so hard and 47 years in there is nothing but admiration for their dedication and dexterity. Wales has been a regular feature of the 999 gig itinerary and on this occasion it was Caerphilly Workmans Hall.
A view of the crowd was worth attendance alone and these punk peacocks are not weekend warriors for this kaleidoscope of colourful characters are in it for life.
999 put on a feast of rebel rock and a further example of the enhanced industry of tonight’s turn was lead singer, Nick Cash, manning the merchandise stall before and after he took to the stage! The frontman and his friends offered an hour plus of music while cherry-picking highlights from a career that has crossed six decades. Hair might have disappeared and waistlines are expanding but the songs are still a blast. There can be nothing but respect for the magnitude of the likes of Emergency, Homicide, I’m Alive, Nasty Nasty, Feelin’ alright with the Crew, Hit Me and an associated army of aural attack.
The current quartet is a tight unit and they have seemingly miracle enhancing qualities as those veteran fans slumped in their chairs spring to life and then go on to throw some wild shapes on the floor. It is pogo-a go go as 999 create a different type of Friday Night Fever.
The commitment of the punters was exemplified by stories of a renowned fan by the nickname of ‘Ken 999’ who travelled solo and booked a hotel room in order to get a glimpse of his heroes and sink a few pints in the mean time. Several others talked off one way taxis with no idea of their homeward return and the venue was a magnet to rebel rockers from far and wide. Take away advancing years and as a spectacle this could have been the late 70s. The street survivors of a variety of shapes and sizes turned the clocks back way more than 60 minutes and in this period premises one was vaulted back to the original halcyon days.
Grand tunes, great vibe and familiar faces from across nearly half a century of high energy power pop made for an evening of electricity!
Well done Karina and the team at the venue for another success and there is plenty more diversity on the schedule for the future. Dial the Hall on 029 2088 2268 but on this night there was only one number to ring and that was 999!