For us Brits, type in 'The Spitfires Band' into google and it'll come up with the four piece Watford indie/ska/mod band who've had a bit of success in the last few years - (leave the 'band' bit off and you'll be assailed by pictures of the WWII plane - all very cool but probably more of interest to aviation fans) - all buttoned down Fred Perry shirts and Paul Weller haircuts. OK I suppose but not really what we're after here! Type in 'Vancouver' after 'The Spitfires Band' however and you'll come across a garage / punk 'n' roll band from the late 90s / early 00s who could have been up there with the best of them, given a different chain of events.
After four albums, tours supporting the likes of The Hellacopters and The New Bomb Turks and a notorious gig in Toronto (we'll leave it at that!), the group split and the guys went on to other projects, with little being heard from them until the tapes of this riotous show at Vancouver's infamous Piccadilly Pub in 2003 were found last year by singer Jason Solyom. Now released by Ontario's Yeah Right! Records digitally and on limited red vinyl, 'Live At The Pic' shows The Spitfires at the top of their game in front of a beer-fuelled raging audience. From the opening drum intro of 'High Test Sucka' through to the closing ferocious run-through of Alice Cooper's 'Muscle Of Love', this is a wild raucous, exciting live album with barely - (no scratch that) - without a moment's pause for breath. Marty Peters pounds out the non-stop barrage of drums ably assisted by CC Voltage's rock solid and steadfast bass allowing the twin-guitar assault of Jay Millette and Mr Dean-o to pin you to the wall with wave after wave of needle sharp riffing and blazing solos. Above the band's glorious noise is Jason Solyom's intense, gnarly vocals spitting out the lyrics of each song and backed in a number of cases by street-gang choruses such as on 'Loaded Gun' and 'All Night Long'. If one of the aims of a live album is to make you wish that you were there on the night, then this release succeeds admirably.
The Spitfires are back with us, with a show supporting the legendary hardcore band D.O.A. at The Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver on the 20th November. If you're in two minds about attending, play this show from yesteryear which should leave you in no doubt about going. For those of us too far away to go, this is a fine showcase for a band who should have been up there with the likes of The White Stripes and The Hives back in the day.
'Live At The Pic' is available on all the major digital sites and as a limited red vinyl edition from www.yeahright.bandcamp.com.