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Download 2014: Baby Godzilla, Bad Religion

In spit and sawdust clubs, Baby Godzilla are a riot. One might imagine that something would be lost in translation in the move to festival stages. One would think wrong.

Despite the best efforts of security, the quartet’s set on the Red Bull stage is carnage. Ahead of Powerboat Disaster, the men in yellow shirts are dragging Jonny Hall from an attempted climb up the side stage speaker stack: approximately two minutes later the guitarist is outside the tent, borne aloft by a dedicated phalanx of fans. This, ladies and gents, is how you do punk rock. (9)

Bad Religion’s place in punk rock history is secure. But, for the first half of their set, the LA veterans make rather heavy weather of living up to their iconic reputation, with a succession of lesser known album cuts. It doesn’t help that neither Greg Hetson or Brian Baker, two of the architects of the punk scene, are here today. But then they pull out Los Angeles Is Burning, I Want To Conquer The World and 21st Century Digital Boy and equilibrium is restored. And when a smirking Greg Graffin dedicates Atomic Garden to Margaret Thatcher to a sea of boos, it’s a nice reminder of just why this band is so revered. (7)

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.