On a warm Saturday night, I headed to South Philly dive Connie’s Ric Rac in order to catch NJ ska hooligans Hub City Stompers. I got to the venue, and the show was running hours late due to a bartender quitting or something, and thus everyone was locked out. Cool. Since I was in South Philly anyway, I killed some time watching soccer, eating canolis, and trying my best to avoid the busloads of tourists wandering the area after eating some shit cheesesteaks at either Pat’s or Geno’s.
I figured a lot of people would head home instead of waiting hours, but when I got back to the venue, there were a decent amount of people filling in the small bar.
Video by DirtySanchez76
I never heard of The Hard Knocks before this show, but the LA punks put on a solid, enjoyable set. While it seemed like only a few in the crowd really knew them, the majority of people there seemed to be digging them. Playing oi with tinges of street punk with lyrics about skinhead culture, the hardships of life, and friendship, The Hardknocks aren’t exactly anything groundbreaking, but that isn’t what they’re going for. They play energetic, catchy oi, and they do it damn well. If you dig bands like Anti-Heros and Yellow Stitches, you’d definitely enjoy The Hardknocks.
Hub City Stompers:
Video by DirtySanchez76
I’ve seen Hub City Stompers countless of times over the years, and they’ve never disappointed live before. The self dubbed “ska for people who hate ska” mix traditional two-tone, punk, and occasionally elements of hardcore to make for some of the catchiest ska around.
With their tongue in cheek lyrics making fun of pretty much anything and everything including but not limited to: racists, 3rd wave ska, emo, outsiders who take over the Jersey shore, shit talkers on the internet, etc Hub City Stompers never fail to entertain. They wrote and performed a special song for the show, making fun of the Philadelphia, Delaware, and South Jersey* accents that got them plenty of middle fingers (and laughs).
The band played a solid mix of their songs from all of their albums, throwing in a few new ones as well (including a new one that featured saxophonist Jenny Whiskey on vocals). At one point someone knocked down the small disco ball that was hanging right above singer Travis, cutting him up to which he joked about this being a Bad Luck 13 show and joking asking Jenny Whiskey if she had a tampon so he could stop the bleeding. She obliged.
Setlist (from what I remember, not in order or complete)
Emeute Des Fideles
Little Julie Swastiska
Skins Don’t Cry
Where’s My Hooligans
The Take Back
Johnny Date Rape
I’ve Got A Boot
Hub City Stompers (Inspecter 7)
Night Of The Living