Punks 'n' Pirates Boat Trip 2017 | The Cleaners and The Bus Station Loonies| Photographing Punk Rock on the High Seas
ABOVE : Fans of Punk Band The Cleaners playing at 2017 The Punks 'n 'Pirates boat trip
What happens when you get 150+ Plymouth Punk Fans, ask them to dress up as Pirates and then put them on a boat with two of the regions greatest Punk bands for a trip around the Plymouth coast?
Fun, wonky sea legs and a huge smile on your face. Many a sailor has had to pay a pretty penny for a similar experience and this way you don't have to regret anything but half of your last pint wasted overboard in the sound.
ABOVE : Shipmates arrive for the annual Punks 'n' Pirates Boat trip hosted Plymouth Punk Band 'The Cleaners'.
Professional noisy B***ards The Cleaners have been running the annual event for 3 years now and each year the shipmates return and swell in number as word gets around of just how enjoyable this trip is. The band seem to enjoy it as much as the fans and this years addition of The Bus Station Loonies unfurled the mainsail of madness even further in bolstering the spirit of gleeful mutiny that comes with subverting a traditional booze cruise, and filling a boat with a load of buzzcock buzzing buccaneers.
ABOVE : Sean 'Mudman' raises the Jolly Roger in readiness for the boarding hordes
After Mudman had hoisted the Punks 'n' Pirates Jolly Roger the hatches were battened down and in place of usual freebooter DJ, Chris “Tie me to the Ships Wheel” Willshire. local Privateer and old salt, Gordon “Splice the mainbrace" Sparks took to the decks and provided the music before the first of the bands.
ABOVE : Gordon Sparks ready to man the decks ahead of the two bands
Even the most committed landlubber would have found it difficult not to enjoy the Loonies set of inspired shanties. They played a brilliantly jerky staccato version of 'Where's Captain Kirk?' reminiscent of a flick book animation with a few of the pages missing. A very apt 'Cool Britannia Uber Alles' as the crowd swelled with a surge of sea spray salted synergy that infused the tumultuous tunes with a free dose of sea sickness and moving mosh pit mayhem.
ABOVE : Wheelie from The Bus Station Loonies keeps the scurvy riddden seadogs happy
The barrel of hits rolled by 'Anarchists make the best lubbers', 'Fancied By People', 'Playing Silly Land Lovers', 'Sticks & Stones'', 'Kill That Nazi (in my head)', 'Love and a Molotov Cocktail' complete with a rum smile and one of wheelies very pink umbrellas, 'Puppet life', (which so should have been Muppet life with Chris as Jennifer Saunders Mrs Bluveridge, Adam as Tim Curry's Long John Silver, Tony Popkids as Billy Connelly's Billy Bones and Chris Mildren as Kevin Bishop's Jim Hawkins in the Punk Treasure island that never was) 'Everyday bullshit' and for a boat load fast approaching the term at a rate of knots 'Bloody drunkards' was rattled out.
ABOVE : Gary Brown with fitting Uk Subs T-shirt gets grabbed by an eager crewmate looking more for upright purchase then bootlegged bounty
The Cleaners arrived as welcome as a cave full of booty to a empty handed Sir Francis and crashed in like a breaker slamming a wet cod across your face.Opening with Buzzcocks 'Ever fallen in' ...(love), the lads had the deck bouncing in no time before launching into (Plymouth) 'Sound.... of the Suburbs'. Love song was followed by their merciless version of The Damned's 'New Rose' then the boat rode a couple of crests, as the wave of applause and distortion washed over us.
ABOVE : Bass Player and Vocalist with The Cleaners, Ian Maycock, keeps his eye on the horizon
The Cleaners are currently working on original material but this set's celebratory covers continued with The Ruts Babylon's Burning' whipping the shipmates up into a frenzy worthy of ship raiding before a great version of Generation X's King Rocker'. This was followed by a boat load of bangers, Back Biter' ,'White man in Hammersmith Palais' ,and then just before 'Dancing with the Rude Boys' (at this point you did not have to be three sheets to the wind to be unsteady on your feet), were it not for the quick actions of crew member Mudman and Powder Monkey (Your's Truly), the PA may well have saved someone the bother of dancing the hempen jig before becoming fish food.
ABOVE : The Punks 'n' Pirates on board celebrate The Cleaners blowing a cannon hole thru their list of covers and demolishing a PA stand in the process
The band amazingly delivered 'Something better change', 'Silly thing',,Homicide' etc with a confident swagger, which was very impressive considering many in the audience were struggling to stand upright with the rolling waves. Then guitarist Ian Cooke spilt grog all over his pedals, his guitar became unplugged, and the usual suspects commandeered the microphone. It was no mutiny though, 'tis all a part of the fun on a boat trip where Polly anarchy can be a stuffed toy on your shoulder or a full grown man in a tropically coloured jump suit. It was to be fair, pretty calm for much of the trip and the swells we did encounter just added a touch of ambient anarchy for those scurvy ridden scallywags singing along to the Sex Pistols "Anarchy in the UK", generously offering Ian back the microphone as we arrived back at harbour side.
ABOVE : Ian Cooke of The Cleaners drags the crown thru a stormy patch with considerable aplomb
ABOVE : This is how much fun you can have in a boat full of Punks 'n' Pirates
The Cleaners had once again provided their motley crew of passengers and shipmates a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the very essence of UK Punk in a seaside city geared up to give tourists all the fun. It is a salutory reminder that here in the Westcountry where Pirates real and Hollywood originated, Punks have long raided culture and music from near and far to enrich the sense of community and fun that defines what being a Punk in 2017 means.
ABOVE : The Cleaners Drummer Chis Moss beats out a retreat as the boat returns to shore
Anyone worried that Punk Rock might now only have the shelf life of Shark Food would have been made to walk the plank on Saturday night, where a ship full of salivating sea dogs lapped up the briny goodness with an unbridled, undulating, bow facing roar, fit to face the feistiest of seas.
ABOVE : Clash fan enjoying the sun above board before the shenanigans kicked off
ABOVE : James and Charlotte Punks 'n' Pirates regulars get on board every year
ABOVE : A dramatic hello from one of the Punks 'n' Pirates waiting to board
ABOVE : Rob, Mark and Chris reflect on the possibility that despite the swaying they may already be on dry land
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