In my opinion the New Cross Inn pub in South London is fast becoming the home of punk rock in London. I made my first visit back in 2015 to see one of Random Hand's last shows. I really liked the venue but didn't make it back again until this year for a pop punk all-dayer headlined by greek band The Overjoyed and then made the journey back the following weekend for the newly created ska punk weekender named Level Up Festival. I then returned in October for another all-dayer with Fat Wreck Chords band The Bombpops headlining. During these events I well and truly fell head over heels in love with the New Cross Inn.
First off because in terms of room size, it's my kind of size. The older I get it seems that I enjoy finding smaller and smaller venues. I've long hated going to the big academies and now even somewhere the size of The Underworld is a little too big for my tastes. The New Cross Inn is just the right size. It's not so big that you feel lost in a sea of people but also not so small that it feels completely cramped on a busy night. The atmosphere is always super friendly and welcoming. It feels like entering Cheers, the pub - that place you go where everybody knows your name. (You'll probably only get that reference if you're old and cool.) I think part of the reason that the atmosphere is so good is because the New Cross Inn is somewhere for the most dedicated music fans to visit. Not being in central London, the pub is a little more out of the way for most people to visit. More casual fans might have a bit of a ‘can't be bothered’ attitude towards the extra bit of travelling. That's their loss however, because they will be missing out on some killer nights.
Now let's talk about the musical portion of a gig, you know the actual reason I assume people go to gigs. The stage is a nice size that'll fit even the biggest of ska punk acts on comfortably and it's quite low giving you that fantastic feeling of being on the same level as the band playing. That's a part of the important message that punk for portrays, we're all at the same level. The sound is always superb, it's always possible to hear each instrument perfectly and I've never had issues hearing the vocals of any band. At times I've had difficulty making out the lyrics from some bands but that's more because of the singers' vocal style rather than the sound. The team who do sound at the venue always do a fantastic job setting things up between sets, ensuring that things are running smoothly. This is even more important for a venue which is a little out of the way like New Cross, for people like myself who don't live in London so have to keep an eye on the time for the trains home. You don't want to have to leave halfway through the headliner because there have big delays throughout the gig.
Ticket prices are always rediculously cheap for their gigs. I've have spoken to Paul who books gigs at the New Cross Inn with Be Sharp Promotions and he's said that he always tries to keep things cheap for people so they can afford to come to the shows. Again this is very beneficial for people coming from out of London who are already paying for transport. For the bigger academy shows, a night out can cost almost £50 when you add up ticket prices and train fares. And if you include getting a drink or two, perhaps some food if you've come straight from work and, of course, some merch then you're looking at a very expensive night out! This isn't the case at New Cross Inn and I love this attitude. Music should be for everyone and not just those who can afford it.
2018 is already shaping up to be a huge year for punk rock at New Cross Inn. The list of shows already announced is crazy! Here's a list of what's already been announced. Click on each for all the event details. No doubt you'll see me at a few of them.
Dead Neck / Eat The Evidence / Triple Sundae / The Burnt Tapes / The Sour Taste - Saturday 6th January
Great Collapse - Monday 5th February
Discharge / Butcher Baby / Etc / BKS - Saturday 10th February
New Town Kings / The Pisdicables / Codename Colin - Friday 16th February
F.O.D / For I Am - Saturday 17th February
Ray Rocket / Sam Russo / Alex Wonk / Dan Goatham (Spoilers) / Triple Sundae (Acoustic) / Stew Gush / Wayfairer / Lucias Malcolm (Call Me Malcolm) / Dan Peters (RxR) / SKIV (Acoustic) / Mark Noble / C-Rage - Sunday 18th February
Resistance 77 / The Straps / Boots'N'All / Freedom Faction / The Tokyo Rankers / The Mistakes / The Crash Landings - March 3rd
Dug Stock 2 with Counterpunch / The Murderburgers / Fair Dos / Almeida / PMX / Captain Trips / The Burnt Tapes / Mug / On A Hiding To Nothing / Billy Liar / Tragical History Tour / The SLM - Easter weekend
The Peacocks - Saturday 14th April
Get Dead - Monday 23rd April
The Bennies - Wednesday 25th April
Bar Stool Preachers - Wednesday May 2nd
Polite Riot Festival with A Wilhelm Scream / Teenage Bottlerocket - June 22nd-24th
Level Up Festival with Random Hand / Lightyear - July 20th-22nd
This Is A Standoff - Thursday August 2nd