LIVE REVIEW: Dropping Like Flies @ Bourton’s Live Music Bar, Bargoed (14/01/23)

Dropping Like Flies play an intimate show at new valleys venue.

For my entire life I have never lived more than two miles from Bargoed, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have been there for a night out. Well, maybe two hands. But I think that is about to change, with the opening of Bourton’s Live Music Café bar.

Situated on Bargoed High Street, the intimate, twenty-five-person capacity venue, has been open since May 2022 and is partnered by Bourton’s Music School just the other side of the road.

Tastefully decorated, as the name suggests, it is also a café, and all twenty-five of the customers lucky enough to get in, will find themselves sat at a table and chairs. Food is served from 6pm, but by the time we arrive at 8:30pm, everyone has eaten and are waiting for the evening’s entertainment to start.

We had initially planned to just rock up on the door, but a last-minute check of social media revealed that although entry is free, booking is advised,. We managed to bagsy the last two seats. Also on social media we note that they have quiz nights, jam nights, chess clubs and even choir practice for the mighty Bargoed Male Voice Choir.

With the venue being so small, acoustic artists are the norm on the menu. Tonight, the band of the day is a little more spicy than usual. The punk rock onslaught of Dropping Like Flies – who defy the laws of science and manage to squeeze all their kit onto the tiny stage.

The venue appears to have some loyal regulars with many on first name terms with the owner, Chris. Tonight, this is supplemented by a handful of mates of the band.

Dropping Like Flies have only been around in this form for eighteen months but have over a hundred years of combined gigging experience between them. 100,000 Body Bags, This System Kills and Drunk Marksmen are just some of the bands these guys have played in.

When they fire up the engine of punk, those that have come just to see them are well pleased. The reaction from some of the regulars is a little more mixed, but everyone is here to see live music and appreciates that the guys have taken the time to drop into their little venue.

Despite only being around for less than two years, they already have one album out and are working on a second, so there is plenty of original material to rely on. Although they do throw in a cover version of the Dead Kennedys’ ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ and at one point I’m sure I heard some Garry Glitter.

The banter between songs is their usual in your face, politically incorrect dark humour. The introduction to the one about Simon Weston, ‘The Vet with the Melted Face’ has the crowd wincing, the explanation of ‘Trigger3391133’ causes confusion and they dig into their Body Bags history for ‘BMW Drivers are Arseholes’. At one point drummer Simon decides that the song they were playing was not going well so just stops halfway through. Rather than restart, they just decide the song is rubbish and move on.

Even the regulars that are used to something a little more laid back have a smile on their face. It is difficult to not enjoy a DLF gig.

This is a brave and interesting venture. Promoting original live music in a twenty-five-capacity seated venue, in the valleys. It is laid back enough to not be of interest to beer monsters but engaging enough to be a thoroughly enjoyable night out. We will definitely be keeping an eye on who is coming up if we are at home for the weekend.