Artist Spotlight::Five Eight

I recently found myself pulling out these old Five Eight records. 1991’s I learned shut up was a straight up scorcher. I haven’t listened to that record in 7 or 8 years, but I just played it and the opening chords to “God damn it Paul” still bring a smile to my face. I used to see them a lot back in the early to mid nineties. I love the lyrics to “She’s dropping the bomb”, about a foray into a strip club that leads to anticipation only turning into despair. I first discovered them at a chance show at the 40 Watt club. They had a lot of energy, lots of rock songs with melody, moved nonstop, and had good songs and a few great ones. They were really good live. I mean they were crazy, and sometimes there was nudity whether you wanted it or not. I remember they had a board in the back of their van that had a list of all the places they had played.

Anyway, I bought 1997’s Gasolina and liked it, but kind of stopped following them for no reason. A month or so ago I got the Finest Worksongs tribute and heard Five Eight covering R.E.M., and I decided to pull out I learned shut up and Weirdo. I think i’ll go and get their records that I have missed.

There is a recording I made of a show they did at the King’s Head Inn (a Norfolk rock-n-roll landmark that has been destroyed and which can never be replaced), where Five Eight begin their performance with Mike repeatedly asking the staff to turn off the tvs above the bar. Nothing happened, so Mike jumps up on this crowded bar and walks the lenghth of it through a maze of ashtrays and drinks and turns the tv off himself. I have to say that i’ve seen many many shows, and that was a moment that sticks out in my mind.
Five Eight documentary

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