Cambridge Arts Picture House, Thurs September 25

by Anthony Gibbons

How many gigs have you been to where the venue sells Hollywood- themed crepes (including the Dennis Hopper-inspired ‘Eat Crepe Or Die’)? Not many but then The Broken Family Band have always loved playing in places away from the usual toilet circuit, including a school barbecue, a village festival, and friends birthday parties. This one, in the faded decadence of the Cambridge Arts Picture House, is the launch party for ace new single ‘At The Back of The Chapel’, and BFB are "Honoured" to be the first band (ever!) to play here.

Pre-gig, frontman Steve Adams veers from politeness personified to a cackling, punk calling his "alcoholic Buddhist" mate a cunt, then sneering at this correspondent for daring to go to a Starsailor gig. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a likeable bloke but he’s a bit, well, unhinged. Then there’s the music, sounding like country and western shredded through a punk rock filter, and skipping through sex, (‘Don’t Leave That Woman Unattended’) Catholic guilt (‘Walking Back To Jesus’), paranoia (‘Gone Dark’), and domestic abuse (‘Hitting Women’). Johnny Cash and Sid Vicious must be so proud of these boys.

Throw this all together into a drunken atmosphere and the result is crepe-fuelled carnage. Adams is heckling the audience for talking through his songs, someone keeps shouting ‘Badgers!’, people are falling over (a lot), an Irish reel has broken out, and the bouncer is looking increasingly nervous.

It all makes for a brilliant night out and leaves this correspondent wondering why on earth the BFB aren’t as big as they ought to be. Speaking to him post-gig, a knackered Adams reckons it’s their dislike of touring but if they can overcome this who knows? Mercury Music Prize nominations? Darkness-sized adulation? For now BFB seem content to be one of Britain’s best cult bands but with a little push who knows…

Anthony Gibbons

It was either this or a pic of a doggy

‘At The Back Of The Chapel’, the brilliant new single by The Broken Family Band, is out now on Snowstorm. Visit for live dates and more info about the band.