One of the original ‘76 (aside The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Buzzcocks) to cradle the punk phenomena in its early malformed roots, but lacking the PR mechanisms of some bands, The Vibrators found themselves being christened one-hit wonder bandwagon jumpers. In contrast, they were the initial renegades, and far from mere historical facts, it’s typically sewn into their energies and raw crusty rhythms. Sex Pistols go pop. Long-reigning British punk monarch, Knox Carnochan, and the rest of the band, (drummer Eddie the only other original member) have flexed the elasticity of time and continued to do around 100 gigs a year, home and away. Add to that a bunch of new albums and The Vibrators have achieved more than most ongoing seminal bands of this century. Did they ever split up? Hardly. Playing hour-glass classics such as ‘Automatic Lover‘, ‘Whips & Furs’, ‘Baby Baby’, ‘Judy Says (Knock You In The Head)’, ’Bad Time’ and ‘London Girls’, and rehashing their tough-fibrous husk with newer material like ‘Disco In Moscow‘ (We Vibrate), ‘Sound Of The Suburba’ (Garage Punk), ’Under The Radar’ (Under The Radar) and ‘The Kid’s A Mess’ (Hunting For You). Unlike bands which change their mantra like a pitiless politician in order to keep with the times, their new material is just as virile and 1977 as their earliest albums. On stage they are demons in their own right. Knox can’t be detached from his guitar even when he‘s not got one, playing air to all of Nigel’s parts, who’s improvised solos are reeled out in true heroic rock n roll heritage, contrasted on the other side by Pete’s jagged bass and Eddie’s power drum beats. A band caught up in the controversial punk cauldron it was spewed from but still able to settle a feud, tonight being no exception to the early days back at the 100 club. The best of the rest were ‘Pure Mania’ with that exculpable descending riff, ‘Into The Future’, ‘24 Hour People’ and ‘Troops Of Tomorrow’ (covered by The Exploited). The Vibrators share much of the musical influences of their contemporaries The Clash: not only is ‘Brand New Cadillac’ given a new lick of paint via metallic thrust, but in general the rhythm and blues similarities are palpable truths. The Vibrators manage to cross-hatch primordial savagery with punk idealism; a tackle on the opacity of the future, trapping danceable, brain-sticky material and stapling it on to core original punk style instrumentation. With a bit more stage time ’Stiff Little Fingers’ wouldn’t have gone amiss, but nevertheless, a lesson in how to pin the flesh back onto the punk-fuggled donkey. What say you on this? Sound off in our Fourum! Photo by Luke Ball.