Good Vibrations: Skate Central, Sheffield

“From destruction comes creation”, said Zorg in 1998’s The Fifth Element. He’s right. Sometimes the harshest of situations can inspire a greater thing and the Good Vibrations charity gig at Skate Central was up there in the “memorable nights” category.

A massive event raising funds for Macmillan and Myeloma UK, the Good Vibrations crew boondoggled themselves a mighty combination. With some healthy beats by the well-armed DJs Thirsty Ear and Boneshaker, the night started with a fight.

It was a planned fight, not a “holy shit someone glassed someone else at Wetherspoons!” fistycuffs. Before you can say “wheels at dawn, madam!”, two teams of roller skating girls, Death Leopards and Steel Panthers, started to duke it out.

A roller derby might be seem like it belongs to the times when Melanie gave us that ear worm called ‘Brand New Key’ but it’s quite a fun sport to watch. Just remember to stay outside of the “suicide seats” or you may experience how much of a contact sport this game is. A definite but close victory was squeezed by Death Leopards.

Roaming Son are classic rock and roll without the rust and cobwebs that others on the genre seem to sport. Indeed, not a minute has passed and you’re already having a malted milk in Rockville, as their bravado approach to rock belongs to the speedway. ‘Belly of the beast’ roars and ‘Devil’s deal’ is one cool trip down the interstate. You could say there’s a lot of emphasis on long, ear friendly solos in these ditties and you’d be half-right, as every single piece in this 4 cylinder engine is working in perfect unison.

Carmen Ghia & The Hot Rods take you even farther back in time. Let’s not fuck around this: this is a revival of the Big Bands era, with a scaled down orchestra. Which you wouldn’t miss anyways, as the band manages to make a heckuva swell racket, mixing that rock and roll that the honorable Brian Setzer has been creating while giving it an extra jazzy layer. Think The Andrews Sisters’ ‘Rumboogie’ updated with a bit more of distortion and an extra powerful voice.
Did I mention the dancing? Both Roaming Son and Carmen Ghia got the audience swaying and stomping, with various degrees of skill but equal amounts of effort. Simply put: if you weren’t dancing, you probably weren’t on the front lines or you were wearing heavy boots (although a Doctor Marten-wearing punk was putting a lot of us to shame)

A great night for a good cause. Now, try and catch these bands live (a natural environment for their high energy music) and do try to catch a Roller Derby. It’s much more fun than expected.