FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
All I had heard prior to this gig was that 'this bands pulled out', 'that bands playing', 'such a body aren't playing now' and 'thingamajig are headlining'. Basically the whole fiasco stunk of a farce and it was with high reservations that I was in attendance. An early morning chat with Noz did nothing to reassure me as his final statement on the days proceedings was that he'd be 'playing it by ear'. Very comforting I must say.
You see Noz (event organiser, hence the stunningly well thought out title) had only had this gig planned 3-4 years prior to today and decided that 6 months ago was the time for action. So obviously the best thing to do was to wait until the day to see how things were going to be sorted. A master plan!
My uncertainty was reinforced whereupon arriving at the Thatched House I and a few others chatted with Noz about the day ahead. With a forced grin and a recently acquired twitching eye he assured us all was well. Oh yes indeedy all was well until some Dutch bloke turned up and asked what time they were on. 'Who are you' a bemused Noz asked. 'Dirt Don't Hurt' came the reply. A realisation, a draining of colour, another spontaneous eye spasm and the truth was attained. A band apparently asked to play but completely forgotten had turned up. Now that's organisation. A quick disappearing act then as if by magic, like Mr. Benn's Moroccan magician, Noz appeared. All was running to plan. Mmmmmm!
Anyway the punters arrived in a haphazard trickle and the first band were up. Phlegm Fatales (where do they get these names from) tottered in action and swiftly broke into a decent canter before abruptly stopping. A 20 minute set with 2 average covers (California Uber Alles and something else from the DK's) and a couple of other ditty's leaves it hard to tell what this was about. Only their second gig (and it showed) this lot need a bit more practice but an initial verdict would be a good first effort.
Next were a bunch called the Slash Monkeys. A decent sound was hammered out but the pretty female additional vocal was as said. On this occasion just a pretty female. With mike turned down to an inaudible level and a very nervous performance this young lass did nothing (and wasn't allowed to) to aid the bands set. Overall the sound did lack something and maybe with a bit more vocals she could have made a contributing effort but today it wasn't to be. I'd like to see this lot again and see if a fully achievable improvement can be made. Not bad though.
So far so good with 2 new acts flexing their young wings and not doing too badly. Noz had grown an extra 2 inches on his chest (and gut) and things were looking bright.
The Kirks were on next and it only seems like yesterday when I slated these guys as being 'totally shite'. That was going on 2 years ago and in the interim I've seen them on a couple of occasions and the improvement shown by these Macclesfield members (no phallic pun intended) has been brilliant to behold. This set was their best yet and the confident frontman has literally come on in leaps and bounds. Energetic, self assured with an overall tightness The Kirks could make some good friends if they carry on like this. One of the best young outfits I've seen for a long time this are a highly recommendable band. Good stuff and go and see.
After The Kirks it was the turn of Dirt Don't Hurt. Well it seems dirt does hurt. Especially the eardrums! What a crock of crap. This is not the sort of music I take too very kindly because its just pure unadulterated shite. And that's all I will say on the matter. The way the pub cleared I think speaks for itself.
One Man Stand were next at it and just nonchalantly bashed out yet another satisfying set. The usual stuff was there with 'Black Hole' being the pick (coz it was played for my little un' who was in attendance (1st punk gig at 6 - not bad eh)). With a constant good delivery this lot now need to experiment a bit and try their arm at something new. Either that or just stay nice and solid. Well done lads on another good showing...again!
A few beers and a bit of mingling in pursuit of selling UK Subs tickets for the 18th of September. Sold a couple but the usual tight fisted gits were on their guard so it was a struggle. Must make a note to hold a moth trapping session around some of these wallets - bet there's some cracking species to be had?
The Spittin' Dummies eventually got underway and got the first dancers of the day into action. Simply the best band on show today and proved this with a fine repertoire of songs. I won't blow the Dummies trumpet (because I'm sure too many dodgy birds have been there first) but this band are a cut above. The only problem is the 'can't get off me arse' attitude that runs through the band. Cracking geezers with enough talent to do something memorable this bunch of loose cannons basically do well to get to any gig on time (and that includes one's on their local patch). A pity really but they will always get my vote as a quality act. Thanks for another good un and cheers for 'Glaxo Baby'...again and playing 'Love Song' for my young un.
RBH came and as expected gave birth to that Metal/Punk whoring transvestite with a screaming display of nonsense, filth and piss taking. Best crowd of the day for this so you can't really knock em'. I still don't know where I stand with this lot and look forward to some new stuff on CD to see how it sounds. The problem is the fact that they're a decent bunch of self effacing noodles you can't help but like so anyone reading this should give them a go - I will no doubt again and again and again...ad infinitum.. My little un' did enjoy 'Old McDonald' so it can't all be bad.
The foul inane antics of 3CR strike me as quite bewildering. How any band can base its lyrical existence on backdoor banging (or anal sex to the more educated among you) is beyond me. But these moronic members do just that and in fact do it very well indeed. Just absolutely stupid is the best way to describe this crackpot trio but it is genuine honest fun with no pretence of being anything other than triple x-rated postcard shenanigans. The usual senseless sing-a-long ditty's were dished up much to the crowds delight. 'Gary Glitter', 'One Way', 'Bang, Bang, Bang', 'Columbo', and 'What a Carry On' were as good as ever and 3CR justified their high up billing. Once again I find myself more than happy at another lunatic performance. Pass me the reality tablets - this can't be true.
Last for the night was the X-Rippers. There really isn't a lot I can say about this bunch only that they are a great set of geezers with a wonderful array of songs. 'Richard Hillman' is a crowd pleaser that everyone can chant to and the cover versions (especially CID) are always delivered with pure excellence. 'Pop Idol', You Don't Like Us' and 'Troglodyte' are brilliant and frontman Brent (Freddie Red) was again on top form. An excellent end to a good days viewing with my little un' well chuffed with her very first punk gig. A free T-Shirt and 3 songs played for her she did more than well but time ticked on and bedtime beckoned so off we tootled missing the last band..
If you are reading this then apologies to Lowlife UK who were the headline act of the day but if its any consolation I heard you were pretty good.
So after much twitching, tweaking and twanging the boy came good. Noz got his fest and produced a good solid local gig. Maybe next time he could save a few hairs on his head (perhaps not) by being better prepared but knowing this fellar I think not. Well done Noz on a successful and enjoyable day and cheers for some quality entertainment all for free (what a guy).
review by OMD (11 July 2004)