This past Friday I packed up my car early and headed down Highway 1 for a leisurely day in Santa Cruz before a rowdy night of street punk and Oi! at the Catalyst. Chapter Eleven Records was taking over the venue for the night, showcasing four bands on their roster – Bobby Hollywood & The Quitters, Rile 9 Collective, The Roadside Bombs, and Custom Fit. Living in San Francisco, it’s not that often that I take the trek down to Santa Cruz (a trip I frequented much more whilst living in San Jose), so when I got the invite, I was super excited for a day of beach, sun, booze, friends, punk, and dancing.
Bobby Hollywood & The Quitters opened the night with energy and grit right off the bat. Fast, driving guitar and snares paired with classic raspy vocals made this newcomer an instant fan. As the opener, the band didn’t get as many fans dancing as hoped, but the music definitely merits a little bouncing around. Have a listen to a couple of their songs here.
LA-based streetpunks Rile 9 Collective were next, with drummer/vocalist Frankie Loyal taking center stage. I had never seen the guys perform before, but have been a huge fan since their 2014 seven-inch “To Walk In Truth”, and was definitely excited for what was to come. Many bands don’t have a drummer as their lead singer, but Rile 9 is not just any other band – they hark back to a time when guitars rang out like sirens, snares like machine guns, and fog hung over daily struggle. For the first time in the band’s history, Frankie’s father came out to see a show, and of course what followed was the obligatory “My Father’s Son”. It’s a great song and it was nice to see old-timers checking out what the whippersnappers are doing making all that ruckus. For the last couple songs Frankie enlisted the help of Custom Fit drummer/his fiancee Ramona Montgomery to continue on percussion so he could come from behind the drums and join the audience with mic in hand. Really standout performance. You can listen to “To Walk In Truth” here.
I’ve seen The Roadside Bombs once or twice before, and it seems they get better every time. Or maybe I’m just drunker. The music is kinda rocky, but has this ’77 sound mixed with garage and a definite West Coast vibe. Vocalist Ben Coleman is all over the stage, wearing his heart on sleeve, and the ripping guitars drive the whole thing along. Throw in some gang vocals and you got yourself one hell of a show. The band last released their 2014 album “My Side of Town”, which you can listen to here.
It was like deja-vu as Custom Fit took to the stage to round out the night. It seems like just yesterday when I saw them back in February, jamming alongside Suede Razors and Workin’ Stiffs. I really enjoy seeing this band live, and while they may not dance around and get as crazy as other bands out there, the music does enough to lift fans and newcomers alike off their feet. They’re always on point and vocalist Sabi Kendrick represents that classic, somewhat rare, female Oi! sound. You can have a listen to one of my favorite songs, “Combat” here, which it seems they never end a show without playing. I am not complaining in the slightest. The band is getting ready to release a split with longtime friends Custom Fit, so be keep checking back for updates as they become available.
Big thanks to Ian, Ben, and all of Chapter Eleven for a great night with amazing people.
Have a look at all of the photos from the night’s sets below.
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