Written by Davy Wales. He’s been in a few local bands, the most legendary of which being Resin.
Type ‘Southend Hardcore’ into google these days & you’re more likely to get a thousand ad’s for roof slate interspersed with a couple of choice triple X’ers but this wasn’t always the case. Such was our seaside towns burgeoning punk & metal scene in the late 90’s boasting the likes of Understand, Above All, Stampin’ Ground, Cynical Smile, Pepperman, Outbreak (list goes on…) that one national music rag coined the country’s hardcore epicentre as"UKH(Southend-on-)C.” The sense of excitement in a community while watching the likes of Light Of The Morning, Unite, Special Move, Raiden, Spine & co declare nuclear war against eardrums at overly cramped Saks Underground gigs is now an unfortunately hazy memory, that was up until right now. Ladies & gentlemen, Hospitals; a twisted amalgamation of punk brats We Fight Tigers, indie-pop upstarts A Broken Robot & melody metallers Rinoa. Duck & cover my friends, duck & fuckin’ cover.
Leaning away from the breakneck paced, straight up Minor Threat-isms that made We Fight Tigers such a frightening prospect, Hospitals peddle a more confident & refined nod towards progressive hardcore acts like the much missed Modern Life Is War & as much as disbelief strikes me when I contemplate this next fact, get this, they’re even more vital than …Tigers for it. The chemistry added by the extra guitar provides another dynamic layer that lets the music breathe then swell before diving headfirst into the familiar savagery, it’s at this point vocalist Jon Moore propels himself into the waiting throng & as you look around the Sunrooms, bodies flailing from stage to wall, you realise that this could be the beginning of something wicked again. From here onwards, Hospitals basically own their hometown crowd, track after track flies by at an alarming rate while Moore occasionally pops up for air, usually by scaling the notoriously high bar area or collapsing across stage monitors before disappearing once more howling into the crowd. Then it’s done, left feeling like you’ve just been punched in the solar plexus, a concentrated mix of winded yet alarmingly alive, the only thing to do is go spread the word.
Now I’m not gonna go comparing this gig to any legendary setting as say the incendiary Sex Pistols at the 100 Club show, we’re not having THE punk rock revolution yet but I’d start lying to your mates now about how you were there ‘cos chances are that’ll make it more believable than years from now when everyone’s doing it. Every scene needs it’s pioneers & although there’s definitely room for growth, Hospitals could very easily be the oiks that lead the charge.“