Charged G.B.H. – On Stage: City Baby Attacked by Rats DVD
Music Video Distributors
G.B.H. (who somehow have put the “Charged” back in their name) has been around longer than a lot of modern punks have been alive! Through good times and some bad ones (*cough*metal*cough*), they’ve been at it well over two decades and show no sign of quitting. As far as I know, they never called it quits. They went metal when everyone else did, but then when that fad passed they “came back” and started doing what they did best and that was playing punk rock, though they’ve always had a bit of a metal tinge to their sound even early on.
This DVD was recorded at The Coronet in London, England in summer of 2004. I saw the band play around here a year prior to this one. When I saw them I thought they were alright and hadn’t really lost anything in their old age, however the sound was so loud and poorly mixed that it really put a damper on any kind of enjoyment I could get from their set since it was a muddy mess. Luckily this DVD does not suffer that affliction and thus by watching this, I pretty much get to see and hear what I missed due to the faults of when I saw them. They pretty much play all the “hits”, at least every song I really liked was played at this show anyway. Between songs there is some banter with the audience and with each other and the set wasn’t without its share of mistakes (one song ended in the middle because it appeared some forgot what song they were playing!). Overall it was a pretty good set played with a fairly high amount of energy. The songs I liked growing up sounded really good in most cases (“Give Me Fire” sadly being the exception to that statement) considering these guys are more than 20 years older than when I first heard them playing them (and saw them in live videos I had).
The DVD was digitally filmed on multiple cameras. The picture is quite sharp, though a bit dark at times. The editing was pretty clean and does a good job of showing all the action on stage, with very little shots of the crowd outside some wide shots taken from the back of the club. The show was 55 minutes long with a total of 19 songs. There is two audio options, stereo and 5.1 surround. The 5.1 sounded thin to me and not very loud. The stereo mix on the other hand sounded great and had a lot of “oomph” to it, especially in the low end which is likely the reason it is the default audio setting when you put in the disc. There is a couple of bonus features; one features the band on the road (in the van, hotel, etc) as shot by themselves and crew with a portable camera, and the other is an interview. The bonus features total about an hour in length, bringing the entire viewing experience a bit shy of two hours.
A long time hardcore G.B.H. fan will likely want to have this in their collection. It’s a good representation of their modern day live show with excellent audio/video quality and a decent performance. New fans might want to check out their early works on Clay Records as a means of hearing what they sound like for the first time before taking the plunge, but likely would if they become fans.