Skint and full of a cold it was only out of a sense of loyalty to One Man Stand that I decided to attend this gig.  You see One Man Stand are a good group with an insatiable appetite for gigging.  Always willing to play anywhere you've got to give them respect for their attitude and commitment.  With the fact that it was also a free gig and I was promised a lift home I thought I'd give it a go.

I arrived at the venue about 7.30ish with only a few punters present.  Had a good chinwag with Noz (One Man Stand and RBH bassist) about this, that and the other and downed a couple of beers.  It seems The Thatched House may become Stockport's main punk venue with some good gigs already booked with Airbomb, X-Rippers, The Dead Pets and an all dayer most noteworthy. 

Eventually the place started filling with a few mates arriving in good time.  For no reason whatsoever it seemed an age before the first band were up who were surprisingly enough One Man Stand.  I say surprisingly enough because on their own patch and with a good crowd of fans I thought they would surely headline this one, but to go on first is a bit of a disgrace.  The set they played highlighted this feeling because they were very good indeed.  'Therapy', 'Black Hole', 'Done My Time' and 'Gangster Rap' were all great and a couple of new ones sounded equally impressive.  The crowd enjoyed this with the usual verbals thrown in Noz' direction.  Pretty tight except for the new stuff which needs a few tweaks here and there this was once again another steady performance.

Next up were RBH.  Now I'd only seen this outfit once before and boy were they bilge or what?  With some new recruits who, as Noz pointed out, need some more practice, this had all the promise of a bag of shit.  They hit the stage and dished up the usual ditty's.  'We're shit', 'Jugfest', 'Interbred' and that little number about 'Wanking in the Window' were all spewed forth and to be honest didn't sound all that bad.  The group enjoyed it, the crowd looked happy with what they were getting and as crazy and unbelievable as it may sound this wasn't that bad.   It needs remembering that this bunch are just in it for a laugh and are no way on earth a punk rock outfit.  Given that and their ludicrously moronic lyrically output RBH are indeed enjoyable.  With one diabolical gig and this acceptable one I will reserve judgment on this occasion but I do look forward to another viewing.  Mad ain't it.

A chat outside and a few beers then it was Riot Squad.  They sounded good and all the usual punk cliches were there but that was about it.  I have no complaints whatsoever with the band but it was just run of the mill stuff.  One Man Stand should have headlined this one but they didn't and that's that but Riot Squad didn't exactly set the place on fire.  I drifted in and out during the set but it was just an everyday punk set with no highs and no lows.  Maybe a new approach is what they need with some gimmick or other but this did nothing for me.  The Sham 69 cover was well dished out and sounded fabulous and the majority of the crowd did appear to enjoy this.  I would give them another viewing and certainly buy some stuff but I wouldn't expect anything special.

Basically an OK evening with a quite impressive crowd and One Man Stand delivering the goods as usual and RBH being a gob smacking surprise.  Not bad for free.

Review by OMD (11 January 2004)