REVIEW: Bob Bob Bob and Bob, Bierhaus (Birkenhead)


Legendary Birkenhead band Bob Bob Bob and Bob returned for their customary once a year concert at the newly opened Bierhaus, in Birkenhead. Once again they drew a capacity crowd who were duly entertained by one of the very best bands to come out of Merseyside. Shaun McCoy reviews…

The Bob’s had their previously unreleased album ‘The Lie Machine’ available so people at the gig could access it. The album hasn’t been available till now because the band split shortly after making it. Then last year somebody discovered the quarter inch master for it. A full release date hasn’t been finalised yet.

A lot of the Bob’s material was written 20 years ago, but the songs still carry such resonance today. To some people the band’s name may seem a bit daft but there is certainly nothing daft about the music and the band’s approach. Singer Steve ‘Owey’ Owen even explained it was their bass player John Major who suggested the name. After some consternation and deliberation (after quite a few beers and curry) they decided on it because the other choices were much worse.

The exhilarating ‘Good Boy’ is a startling example of the band’s musical manifesto encompassing rock & roll with social comment. The song bemoans the exploitation of work experience programs which have been at the heart of much debate recently. There are more sparkling tracks like ‘Shake and Vac’ and ‘Suffer’ which highlight the outrageousness and sensationalism of certain corners of the media.

The four-piece don’t just look powerful as people, they play their music with a powerful passion which proves a hit with anybody they play in front of. They are a phenomenal outfit, with a powerhouse rhythmic engine in the shape of drummer Robbie Williams and bassist John Major. As well as the awesome guitar licks of Steve Powell and the excellent vocal presence of Steve Owen.

Bob Bob Bob and Bob’s songs don’t just carry social and political consternation they are also about raucous nights out in Birkenhead ‘Die Form the Excitement’ amusing holidays abroad ‘Full Dutch Breakfast’ and the show stopping ‘Reverend Jim’ a nod to the crazy world of US TV Evangelism.

There is one politically fuelled song that goes down well tonight – especially around these parts. ‘Dance In the Dirt’ marks the end of a much maligned female politician who recently passed away. In some places she was loved in some places she was not. This was an audience who were in the latter camp. The Bob’s are like a fine wines – they get better and better with every sip. They’ve opened for the likes Deacon Blue, the Buzzcocks and the Undertones at various times in their career.

So let’s break open the bubbly (or should that be the finest wheat beer) and toast another wunderbar performance by Bob Bob Bob and Bob at this Bavarian styled venue. German precision made in Birkenhead, courtesy of four lads who rock the house to its very foundations.

WORDS BY: Shaun McCoy
PHOTO BY: Adam Tremarco

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