Live Review: CKY - SUB89, Reading 12/05/2017

2009 was the last year that CKY hit the UK with a headline tour of their own.

2011 saw them at Download Festival. Since then there have been line-up changes and in 2016 time in the studio working on new material for the now three-piece band. 2017 saw the announcement of a new album announcement (The Phoenix, out 16th June) and a mammoth 12 date UK tour. CKY are back and with more heart than ever.

With most of the dates selling out, CKY were joined by Graveyard Johnnys for the first six dates of the tour. We headed to SUB89 in Reading for day five of the tour.

With only two bands hitting the stage at Reading’s Sub89 doors swing open at an unusual 6:30 and the already huge gathering start to filter in. Watching Graveyard Johnnys walk on stage you’d be lucky to guess what sort of start to the night you are in for, that is until Joe slaps out the first few chords. These guys are rockabilly through and through which is lapped up by the crowd. Whether guitarist Callum jumping, spinning and generally expelling every bit of energy he has or Tom bashing out rib shattering breakbeats on the drums the Cardiff boys are a fantastic choice of openers.

Graveyard Johnnys - Sub89 - Reading - 12/05/17

The bands enthusiasm and energy are mimicked throughout the entire venue and has clearly made a lasting impression. Playing a great set with “The Poison” and a cover of Golden Erring’s “Radar Love” being real crowd pleasers the welsh boys leave the stage with a job well done and a venue well and truly pumped for the rest of the night.

CKYCKY!” fills Sub89 from eagerly awaiting fans. Having not toured the UK since 2009 and never having played a Reading date the crowd are more than happy to see the guys take to the stage. Starting off with “The Human Drive (In Hi-FI)” gets the whole place moving, CKY are back!

Making the decision to carry on as a three piece has clearly worked as Chad is full of confidence on stage and the band as a whole looking and performing more together and polished as ever. Armed with a huge set list the only track currently released of the upcoming album “Days of Self Destruction” in an absolute banger and goes down just as good as the ever popular “Flesh into Gear” and “96 Quiet Bitter Beings” which also make their way into the solid list.

The encore is largely made up from Chad and Matt taking requests from the fans crammed against the barrier and an awesome cover of GG Allin cover “Bite It, You Scum.” Sadly, however the night is over all too soon for the fans that fill the iconic Reading venue and CKY close out the show with “Knee Deep.”

CKY - Sub89 - Reading - 12/05/17

The new album title “The Phoenix” is definitely fitting as the CKY boys have clearly come up from their ashes and look, sound and feel stronger than ever. Although 2017 is going to be a busy year for the guys (heading out on a Canadian tour then on to 41 dates with the Vans Warped Tour) let’s hope that it’s not another 6 years before they hit the UK again.

Words and Photography by Anthony Hunt