As soon as “The Beav” strutted on stage, raised his trucker-cap covered head into the microphone to unleash heaven, hell and all things primal at the start of The Flying Guillotines set, I knew that my night was going to get a little wilder. Sometimes when you get the blues, only a hit of punk will do. A trip to The Handlebar and a rowdy trio of trios were just the cure for a day that could have previously taken a suicide swim in a fiery toilet.

On this night, The legendary Vibrators, led by lone, original member John “Eddie” Edwards came to town supported by two area bands, The Handsome Scoundrels (Mobile, Alabama) and The Flying Guillotines (Pensacola, Florida).

The last time I saw The Handsome Scoundrels, the trio (Robert Giles (vocals/guitar), Michael McAuliffe (bass/vocals) and Andy Scott (drums/vocals) were opening for The Independents as the horror-punk masters landed on their home turf at the Alabama Music Box in Mobile. Driven by old school and surf punk, the gentlemen warmed up the night for the craziness to begin.

Somewhere between The Handsome Scoundrels and “here,” life kicked into crazy/wild. As the frontman of Slowpoke Rodriguez and founder of Bangover Booking, “The Beav” made his way to the center of the stage next The Flying Guillotines frontman Jim Clark and the place blew up. This was the first time I’d seen the Pensacola trio of by Clark (vocals/guitar), Rob Mcrory (bass) and Micah Horn (drums) and their wild array of well-crafted blend of catchy, ass-moving punk, humor and…snakes…yes…Snakes. Any problems that I had from a horrible day were quickly erased thanks to The Flying Guillotines. With an upcoming show at The Handlebar’s Punk Rock Halloween Extravaganza, the group are a definite “do-not-miss” adventure.

Even with snakes taking over the stage, The Vibrators closed out the night. The latest incarnation of John “Eddie” Edwards original, British-invasion punk group led the Pensacola crowd through a non-stop journey of nearly 40-year-old catalog of punk history. Barely taking a second to breath, each song’s finish was met with the next song’s start and another wave of bodies crashing throughout the night.

– Michael L. Smith