PUNISHMENT DUE - SWINDON, SWISS CHALET 26/08/17
The anticipation in the room was probably the highest I have felt at a gig before and it only grew as the band performed a quick sound check and revellers made their way from outside to get a decent view of the stage. Now I have to admit, until I read the poster for Swiss Chalet Rock Fest, I had never heard of Punishment Due or their established history, but their work was a near perfect collection of what a band should do right. They had only been allocated a 40 minute slot, but they were quickly able to mould the audience around their fusion blend of hard rock.
Opening for Last Call was never going to be an easy task in their hometown, but the fact that Punishment Due had decided to reform for this special night after a 22 year hiatus, speaks more than words ever could. This performance was a little short of perfect with lead singer Gary Griffin, never missing a note and despite not picking up a guitar in nearly 10 years, Kevin Archer played some of the most electrifying riffs I had heard in quite a while. There are a few little things that make Punishment Due as
respected as they clearly are and looking around the now packed stage area, it was hard to feel anything less than humbled by the impact that their history clearly had on a generation of fans. Those tiny details in their performance, their presentation and their overall sound had been appreciated then and even more so now. The crowd went crazy for songs such as Traitors Gate, In Our Time and History For The Future. A huge part of me wanted to hear Gary say ‘Everybody go f*****g crazy’ and then finish with Paranoid. It can
be said that every band covers that anthem, but these 5 men had worked hard to achieve their status, and along with the now legendary Black Sabbath, can quite rightly take their place centerstage. Instead, they closed with Iron Maiden’s The Trooper, delivering right to the heart of any Maiden fan in the venue, including me.
I was not there at the end, some 22 years ago, but I am proud to say I was there at the rebirth on 26th August 2017. Sadly all good things come to an end, but for Punishment Due it is only the beginning with more gigs to come this year and next, however this particular night will live on in the hearts and memories of many people, forever.