In 2008, local independent publisher Aurore Press (which releases chapbooks featuring local writing on everything from politics to the glory of thrift stores) presented a “reunion” concert at the Southgate House that featured bands (and many fans) that were a part of the scene at famed Punk Rock palace/dump The Jockey Club in Newport. The show coincided with a book of recollections by the people around during the club's ’80s heyday, when bands that might have otherwise skipped Cincinnati on their tours (everyone from Black Flag to The Ramones to The Cramps) found a home in Newport and the burgeoning local Punk scene found a clubhouse.
That first reunion show went so well another one was presented last year. This Saturday at the Southgate House, it returns for the third straight year. Long-dormant bands like The Reduced, The Thangs and Human Zoo have gotten back together to play the previous events, and this year brings a couple more unexpected reunions.
When Sluggo began playing around town around 1983, the Punk scene here had yet to see or hear a local group playing in the thrashier, speedier brand of Punk that was emerging nationally (dubbed Hardcore at the time, though the meaning of that genre has shifted since). The band became a local favorite, supporting national artists like The Necros and Negative Approach, and the 1984 self-released Contradiction EP (released on 7-inch vinyl) earned Sluggo attention from the national underground. The band’s reunion set is being filmed for a planned documentary.
Also on the bill are The Speed Hickeys, Cincinnati’s version of The Replacements that hasn’t officially played together in two decades. The band — fronted by veteran singer/guitarist Ric Hickey, currently of Sparrow Bellows — mixed Rock swagger and Punk’s recklessness with a sharp Pop edge.
Local experimental music pioneer Uncle Dave Lewis is scheduled to perform with members of The Wolverton Brothers, and the still-active SS-20 — perhaps the biggest band of the Jockey era — will also be on hand. Former Punk radio show host Handsome Clem Carpenter returns as MC.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)