The Walker Brigade
The Redwood, Los Angeles
The Walker Brigade have something and it shows. They have the funniest name first of all. and they had the audience at the Redwood on Sunday defying the hordes taking part in Eric Garcetti's first L.A. bike marathon to see the Art of Punk Rock crafted at its finest. No one is doing this better than the Walker Brigade in Los Angeles right now.
The Redwood, well, imagine a cross between the Doll Hut & the Cat & Fiddle in Hollywood - with Union Jacks replaced with real masts, fishing nets and pirate flags. A new, bright white awning has been installed that give a psychological suggestion of cleanliness, but the interior is dark, with heavy nautical debris and the restrooms are still painted black. It's like the interior of a Brian Jamestown Massacre song. I am partial a nautical themed bar on the edge of a desert and when veteran punk photographer Bob Cantu is booking his long running Sunday matinee shows (with no cover charge and $5 drinks) you know there's every chance you're going be in for a good time.
I remember when Sunday lunch meant a trip to Belisle's, these days, moms and dads are at the Redwood.
When I arrived and saw Walker Brigade's drummer was trading his drink tickets (actually plastic toy army men) for an armload of beer bottles, Stella Artois, I was prepared for the best and the worst. Their very rockin' set included The Only Ones' "Lovers of Today," Wire's "French Film Blurred" and what sounded like obscure Johnny Thunders b-side gems, or masterful rip offs. When the audience demanded an encore, the band obliged with the sloppiest "Hateful" from the Clash's London Calling - the guitarist even briefly donning a skull covered bandana, Steve Jones style, in honor of Mick Jones, he announced.
Shame he didn't have a Gorillaz-era Mick Jones sailor hat in his bag too. Whatever, dubious headgear aside, it was such a great afternoon - even the 25ish blonde pirate waitress was grinning behind the mixing desk with Mr.T's Bowl former soundman, Arlo.
Photo - without kind permission but with hope that it's okay by Kathleen Keegan Winfield from her mobile uploads to FaceBook.
Hamilton High was born on Doheny Ave in the gutter, is a poet, writer and observer of popular culture. Likes fashion and cares less for style. He's on the move, he's an alter ego and we hardly ever hear from him.