Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Subhumans

UK vets span punk mortality in 16 minutes

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Subhumans
by Jana Birchum

Kevin Curtin was excited about the Subhumans. Apparently, it was cool that the British anarcho-punk vets were playing the entirety of their second LP, 1983’s From the Cradle to the Grave. According to the Chronicle’s Music news columnist, this was a sign of real musical development, right down to the 16-minute-long title track.

This conversation was the moment I realized I ought to take the task of reviewing Subhumans a lot more seriously than making a bunch of jokes regarding their having stolen the name from a superior, more rock & roll-driven outfit from Vancouver.

There is, after all, something interesting about the Subhumans, who've been around for 30-plus-years. Guitarist Bruce – no Subhuman has a surname, save for vocalist Dick Lucas – has an inventive way around a Stratocaster, involving much usage of delay effects and shrieking animal noises. Lucas complements this with an angry bawl that he uses to great effect, complete with British prole accent.

Honestly, though, Subhumans keep my attention best when they keep their electric shocks short and sharp. One- and two-minute outbursts get it done – get in, get out. “Forget” and “Reality Is Waiting for a Bus” were especially effective.

The 16-minute-long “From the Cradle to the Grave” was an ambitious undertaking live, mixing thrash, reggae, straight-up 1977 pogo punk, waltz-time reflection, and several other styles across its various movements. It might’ve been better as separate songs, but the Subhumans range demonstrated lots of life.

For more Fun Fun Fun Fest coverage, see For photo galleries from the fest, see
More Fun Fun Fun Fest
Fun Fun Fun Comedy: Your Lineup Is...
Fun Fun Fun Comedy: Your Lineup Is...
For the 10th fest, "FFF" can stand for "familiar funny folk"

Robert Faires, July 28, 2015

Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Wiz Khalifa
Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Wiz Khalifa
Trust your mofo MC

Nina Hernandez, Nov. 10, 2014

More by Tim Stegall
Texas Platters
Leroi Brothers
Check This Action (Record Review)

Oct. 27, 2017

Texas Platters
ST 37
Fuck You, You Rule: ST 37's Greatest "Hits" (Record Review)

Oct. 20, 2017


Fun Fun Fun Fest, Subhumans, Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013, Dick Lucas, From the Cradle to the Grave

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)