FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
An afternoon gig is always welcome as my addled head needs its beauty sleep these days so off to The Station I tootled for what seemed to be a fair sextet of sound makers. I expected a few familiar faces to be in attendance as well as a few inebriates who like to take advantage of some choice, musically assisted supping time. After arriving and downing a few beers the first band hit the carpet - can ye guess? I shall be succinct throughout, I am overloaded and this is more of a case of getting this one on record than delving too deep. Hey at least I am having a go!
The Thirtinas came and went and knocked up the most enjoyable set I have seen em' play to date. Don’t know why but everything seemed quite sweet except for the tiny niggle that went 'Outta Control'. The band have a decent sound that is folky, slightly acidic, easy to grip and with some nice touches to elaborate the certain points. Drums are kept safe and regular and do all that is required, the guitar is steady as she goes with the odd frill tossed in amongst the routine riffage, the bass wires are wobbled to exactness and provide the main foundations of the noise and the lass up front trills sweetly with her acoustic weapon well wanked and adding the extra saturation to the soundscape. The whole composite works and one or two numbers really shine and help you get 'Crushed' beneath the shower of notes. Why the hell do they keep playing here and nowhere else is beyond me - it needs addressing! A good start nonetheless.
3CR next - point to make - I refuse to watch a band in the same place, playing the same songs over and over - it ain't good for the noggin! 3CR will get my attention once or twice a year and no more unless they play my front room or write a completely new set of songs - suck on it. I have promised though they will get a full review next time - as honest and up front as ever - fairs fair!
Addictive Philosophy have a touch of class, mix and match the punk and skank with delight, toss it around in a grimy goblet of noise and ask you to partake - you'd be a fool not to. I like the attitude, the commitment and the output - this was a close up and personal treat which I lapped up (along with my beer). The strings in all 3 areas were watched individually and no complaints could be had - good skankage from the lass, fine strums from the front chap, good manipulation of the bass from the bearded one - it works beautifully. The brass is choice and used appropriately and the harmonies help the songs soar higher and give a greater edge to the cut of the sonic cloth. 'All The Little Worms' is a fine track but again I would by fibbing if I could pick out a fruitless tree of toneage. As stated, the fact that today the room gave the opportunity to closely inspect the inner tweakings of the band was very rewarding and I walked away after the set even more convinced of this racket making machine than I was before.
The gaff now held a healthy crowd although many, many faces failed to show which seemed a bit of a kick in the teeth for Keith who puts his arse into these jaunts. No-one can go to all gigs, least of all my Fungal self, but it just seemed a few more regulars were absent than is the norm - was there a gig clash or were they supporting the capitalist kickers of a ball in the efforts to be punk as fuck? Never mind - maybe just one of those!
The Reverends rolled up next on the back of some big tidal talk that had come my way via knowledgeable noise merchants who have a lug for a good din. Fungal expected and that can be a dangerous thing - if needs aren't met I will say it how it is - in the nicest possible way though! Never fear - The Reverends ripped it, produce a fuckin' bold riot and left me wanting just a trifle more. This is a hotch potch coming together of 4 souls who look out of synch with one another. But...when the guys get ready to rock they don't half do it so well together. Hefty abrasions are plentiful, old school touches obvious, rasped vocals and weighted instruments the key - this is unapologetic rock hard retro punkage with just a little more. The tattooed frontman is an impish character doused in a kind of punkish Dickensian spirit and set aflame with an inner passion to keep it very honest. The whole cacophony was a pleasure to behold - you can't beat it when it is this real. The wait was worth it - now I want more.
The beer was now sliding down - why not indeed?
Scene of Irony next, all the way from St Louis, Missouri in the States - plying their trade in a little English gaff and getting pounded by paper balls and beer mats. They seemed to enjoy it ha, ha! Having been around since 2007 they have toured England 3 times and played with some of the bigger names in the scene - nifty. Today was a well constructed set of good hard hitting numbers that kept regard as to sound melody and generous impetus. I am very unfamiliar with this lot so took time to soak up their meaty sonica and assess each individual player. They all did their duty well, knitted together and made for a quite impressive spectacle. If one is looking for punk rock in its strictest sense then one would miss out here as the band in question offer a wider range of noise and bring more 'rock' elements that many would care to hear. For me it is all good and I really shall be catching up with these again when they hit the shores - very rewarding to witness.
Lastly Eastfield - the track is still run along, the engine still full of fuel, the many stations still visited, the chug still believable. This was a consummate performance from an evergreen band who do it with such zeal and fun. This was a fuckin' masterclass in rapid-fire, persuasive, enthusiastic merry making with song after song hitting all the right sonic hotspots and rounding off a day’s giggage in the right fashion. The whole blast was roaring along and everyone in the gaff seemed delighted with the show. Frontman Jessie is a solid artiste with an undying thirst for his art form and this comes across without fuss, without pretension and he his backed by a good crew at the mo (isn't he always) with Trina adding good bitchy blasts that vary the flavour. Eastfield are one of those bands you really can't go wrong with - even when they are shit I bet they are good (I wouldn't know as I have been impressed on every occasion) and that only comes with persistence, attention to detail, being comfortable with your vibe. Onwards I hope they go, never giving in and keeping the joy in the scene. Brilliant ending. One word of advice - Jessie - get yer solo suit on and get wandering my man!
So a fine day with fine bands and yet more fine company. Some good old noise, some solid drinking with many a piss pot, decent natters and all cheap and cheerful for the right reasons. I hear though if the gigs don't pick up with attendances they go missing off the radar - think on - get up, be there, support when ya can. Fuck watching footy - if ya haven't got owt else on put in the effort - you will be rewarded and have a jolly good do. Cheers to all who made this what it is - sincere thanks from a noise laden enthusiast - ye make me tick all the better!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (11 March 2013)