His Lordship. Trades Club, Hebden Bridge. 05.04.2023.

His Lordship’s gig at Newcastle’s Cluny last year was a real highlight of 2022. One of my favourites of the year so a couple of dates on this tour were a must see.

My mantra of “Never miss the support act” proves correct once again as Bruno & The Outrageous Methods Of Presentation take to the stage.

Loud, in your face, garage rock n roll all wrapped in a blazing punk attitude that from the first few seconds you think might completely self-destruct at any moment.  Bruno Bof-Wilkinson is 17, cut a single when he was just 13 with none other than Glen Matlock playing bass, and dominates the stage as if he’s done this for years. He’s all over the place slicing out an incredible sound from his guitar. The rest of the band look on with faces that say it all – “What the hell is he going to do next” despite them being seasoned musicians themselves – bassist Delia Sparrow plays drums with The Dagger Debs and drummer Jason Cook was a member of 90’s left wing, anti-fascist punks Blaggers ITA. The band delivers a non-stop barrage of superb gutsy  noise that mixes up elements of punk, rockabilly, blues and even some foot tapping boogie. Lost in his own seemingly possessed world Bruno ends up in the crowd not caring who he bumps into, whose drinks get spilt until eventually he’s on the floor screeching out the final vocals to their closing number. “Pretentious bullshit” states one member of the crowd. Superb, energetic, raw, don’t give a shit rock n roll entertainment says me.

His Lordship are James Walbourne, Kristoffer Sonne and touring bassist Dave Page. All three also being the current Pretenders line-up with Chrissie Hynde. But this is certainly not The Pretenders sound. What His Lordship do is deliver a non-stop, full on set of grinding rock n roll that brings the insane stage energy of bands such as The Cramps with the swagger and coolness of originals such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Eddie Cochran.

From the opening notes of I Live In The City through All Cranked Up, I’m So Bored Of Being Bored and Jackie Works For The NHS this is a barrage of frantic, hot, sweaty, manic guitars, drums and bass from a band that just give everything they have. Walbourne is dripping, gripped as he is in the throes of constant guitar riffs, rock n roll poses and spitting out vocals with a real venom. This isn’t a band turning up and just going through the motions. His Lordship live in the moment and there’s not even a second of respite throughout the first five numbers. Only when they cover Jack Scott’s 1959 single The Way I Walk is there a slowing of pace but not energy or attitude. Walbourne is stage front, guitar stock within inches of the crowd as that swaggering solo guitar noise engulfs the room.

It’s a short-lived respite as recent single, but long-time live favourite, the explosive Buzzkill follows. The Repenter and instrumental Sleepwalk do provide dreamy interludes that allow the audience to catch their breath. Both though are still full on, sonically charged and packed full of explosive energy. Joy Boy, the sheer onslaught of surf punk instrumental Catcall and the furious energy of I Am In Amsterdam close a main set that has been nothing short of incendiary. Add in instrument swaps with Page taking over drumming duties whilst Sonne shares vocal delivery, Sonne wildly perching on the edge of the bass drum whilst manically swinging his mic around in an arc, microphones in mouths and sweat, lots and lots of sweat.

His Lordship return to the stage almost immediately for a blistering cover of Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson’s 1955 song Red Hot. And it really is a roof raiser to end on. Then it’s all over. An hour of off the scale rock n roll noise and another gig that’s surely going to be in my top five of 2023. It’s been almost 8 months since I last saw His Lordship. Thankfully I now only have to wait 24 hours before doing it all again in Stockton.


Steve White

Back to top