In 2003, RX Bandits released “The Resignation.” I remember it well. My band at the time, Misled Youth, were on the “Buckfest” tour with our satanic skacore brethren, My Own Religion. This involved us playing about 6 gigs throughout Scotland and our challenge was to see how many bottles of Buckfast we could drink in these 6 days. I think the final tally was about 25 between 7 of us, so it was a pretty good time. Anyway, the soundtrack to this jaunt rotated between AC/DC “Back in Black,” The Darkness’ first album and RX Bandits “The Resignation.”
This is the album that was a new starting point for RX Bandits. Their previous album “Progress” showed what direction the band were heading, which was steering away from their poppy ska punk days, and transcending into something more experimental, but at the same time not forgetting how to write a damn good, catchy and memorable song. “The Resignation” was RX Bandits truly finding their feet. Listening to the album now, it’s still as fresh and exciting as when I first listened to it in that rusty old white Transit van. So in true “let’s celebrate the anniversary of an awesome album” style, the band re-grouped after a short hiatus and announced that they would be touring again and playing “The Resignation” in full. YUSSSSSS!!!!! Yes it’s now 2014, so it’s nearly 11 years since it was released, but who cares. I get to watch one of my all time favourite bands play one of my all time favourite albums in full. Fun times!
We arrive in plenty time before doors, get to say hello to other like minded people who are rather excited about seeing the RX Bandits again, then head up the stairs in King Tuts to watch the really amazing, Astpai. One more thing, I LOVE Astpai. When they were announced as the support for this tour, I was more than a little chuffed. Astpai are from Austria and play badass punk rock with killer raspy vocals, quite similar to None More Black. The room is starting to fill up when they start playing their set which is mainly pulled from their most recent albums “Efforts & Means” and “Heart To Grow” along with the brilliant “2000 Pills” from their new 7inch. They plough through the songs and make the most of their 30 minutes, and though the crowd are perhaps a little hesitant at first, they get a good response and have no doubt made a few new fans. I’ve known the Astpai guy’s for about 6 years now, so it’s really amazing that they’re finally getting the opportunities and recognition they deserve. Make sure you check them out now! Oh, but it was a little bit weird watching them in front of a barrier. I’m used to sweaty floor shows at the Banshee in Edinburgh. (4/5)
After a short break and a quick trip to the bar, it was now time for the return of the mighty RX Bandits. King Tuts was not sold out, but there must’ve been over 200 people in the room, so the atmosphere was just about right. They arrived on stage to a massive applause, acknowledged the crowd and launched straight into “Sell You Beautiful.” The band sounded awesome and the crowd sang along to every word of every track from the album. To RX Bandits credit, “The Resignation” does not have one bad song on it, so there was no time during the set to have a break, just in case you missed the next beast of a song. Highlight of course was the mass sing-along to “Overcome (The Recapitulation)” where the audience were louder than the band, and the beginning to “Decrescendo” when with great delight to the band and the crowd, one member of the audience decided to hijack the song and sing the guitar part a capella style. Everyone was a having a whole load of fun!!
“The Resignation” was done, and the crowd were chanting for “one more album, one more album” but it was now approaching 11pm and I had an 11.30pm train to catch home, so when band re-appeared for their encore, I knew I’d only catch one song, “In Her Drawer” from their follow up to “The Resignation” (and just as awesome) “…..And The Battle Begun.” I left a very happy man, even though I didn’t get to see them close the show and get to show my appreciating by cheering really really loudly! I got to see the band play “The Resignation” in full, so that was going to pretty hard to beat, no matter what they played in the encore.
RX Bandits may have only actually “split up” for 2 years, but everyone in attendance welcomed them back like it’s been 20 years since they’ve been away. It’s also a pleasure to see that the band are having as much fun as the fans and this comeback is not a self centred one. Welcome back RX Bandits (5/5)