FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
The venue, as many folks already know, is a large hall inside a huge Methodist church. Bizarre, but in many ways it has been the home of Punk4The Homeless for the past 2.5 years. Loads of bands have played there some quizzically and possibly apprehensive but everyone welcome and many have returned. So straight to business in this almost gothic setting.
The Poor Geezers kick off the evening and being in this duo I won’t blab too much about em' but, they played a solid 'patchwork punk' set of mostly new songs, the odd favorites were thrown in, 'The Reaper', 'Poor Boy', 'Be Transformed' and 'Patio', newer numbers included, 'Sell Your Soul For A Pop Ido'l and 'Wanna Be Pacifist'. 2 geezers (singing/shouting), 1 musician (on single tub thumper and guitar). Warmly received so they insulted the audience by finishing with a Pulp song.
Next-Bruce Tality (and cheers for standing in on the door mate-DIY punk rock style). The second time I’ve seen Bruce and in a nutshell, I rate him. Young dude following in the well trodden footprints of troubadours who want a better world, Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Joe Strummer, Phil Ochs-you get the idea, possibly. A mix of covers and original material. The covers give more than a nod to his heroes and inspiration and they are done in his own style, adding something of himself to the songs and reinterpreting them. The Specials 'Ghost Town' is done as a slow meditative number. Junior Marvins 'Police and Thieves' is again given the Bruce, one man and his guitar, treatment, whilst he does an amazing rendition, in fact the best ever cover of the worst ever Clash song,, yep he even turns 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go', into a quality song. I am anally retentive when it comes to The Clash, always have been, collect everything , rare bootlegs, ash trays, playing cards etc. etc. but 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' is a shit song, except when Bruce does it-bizarre. Bruce’s own songs were of a suitably high quality, drawing influences from Billy Bragg, musically in his song about betrayal in an old band, (being in a band does often feel like being part of a family and breakups can feel like divorces-my interjection), 'Disband of Brothers'. 'This Machine Kills Fascists' obviously influenced by Woody Guthrie, it’s great that solid influences of song writers who gave a damn and still having an impact generations later. In my opinion punk existed many, many decades before the 70’s and the cartoon which was The Sex Pistols (although 'Bollox' does still stand up next to any album before or since-solid bit of rock n roll) and the punk attitude I reckon can be found throughout history. With this in mind it’s great that a youngster, whose set is split in two halves, firstly playing punky, folky blues influenced songs played on a guitar, and the second half on a GOB IRON. Begins his set with a song about being proud cuz you are a punk 'You’re A Punk' and finishes with an excellent Mississippi blues, harmonica in B Flat number about a harpist who sells himself to the devil in exchange for being brilliant. Don’t do it Bruce, your music needs your soul. Spot on.
It’s certainly a mixed bag of stuff tonight, we move from the man described above, to a noisy three piece grunge punk, metal edged band. Big sound, big hair AC/DC content to heckling (come prepared for banter if you come to play in Boston-BEWARE). Wearing their influences on their sleeves, Pantera, Nirvana, etc, they even do a Mudhoney cover, every good boy deserves a bit of Mudhoney. They tackle the cover with young expertise and the song is done justice. The drummer has an unusual style one only dare use on a borrowed kit, beat the unliving shit out of the kit and make its owner squirm (tonight it was Tommy DQH ripping his hair and screaming, 'mind my kit') as if its Nick Griffin attending an Anti Fascist Action meeting. I first saw Jugganaut when they played Punk 4 The Homeless, Cheap As Chips Festival, last year. In all honesty I didn’t think they were much cop then. However they have obviously practiced and developed a lot and tonight I really enjoyed em’. They have developed into a good band. Unfortunately those of us who enjoyed the band seemed to be in the minority, this was to do with musical (sub)-genre not quality. Keep doing what you enjoy doing. I personally like a variety. So a powerful set of songs with titles such as 'Beast', 'Unhappy', 'Delusion' and 'Scarlet Skies' (possibly not a Shellyian romantic interpretation of our beautiful fenland sky capes) and influences from Motorhead to Smashing Pumpkins. I LIKED IT; IT WILL DO FOR ME (and Bruce).
Ok Carl Newton LOL. The bloke used to be in W.O.R.M. Tonight its one man and an acoustic guitar. A political awareness and a keen sense of humor. The set consisted of Carl Newton songs, old W.O.R.M. songs and cover songs. And the whole set was a sparring match between Carl and old Indian Queen friends, it was the first time he had been back for seven years and HE GOT SLAUGHTERED, in more ways than one. When he introduced a song as a football song he was asked what it was about, when he did a working class song and asked if the audience liked chips he was asked to be more specific and would he be referring to oven chips and when he stated that Dole Queue Heroes were on after him, they said that DQH were the punch line. The banter was good, the laughter was loud and the songs were great. The W.O.R.M. songs had everyone singing and included, 'Prozac Queen' and 'Serial Head Fuck', awesome, well crafted, exceedingly amusing songs. His solo written songs included 'Watch Out There’s A Nazi About' (which included the subtle chorus which went-kick out the Nazis they are cunts), 'Idols' (about not wanting to be a pop idol but wanting to be idle and laze about singing songs), 'Leap Year Song' (a solid political song about the evils inherent in our political systems.and covers included 'Road To Nowhere' and 'Tide Is High'. The atmosphere was great, loads of laughter and good natured banter but within it all Carl came across as a very talented singer and guitarist who could hold his own or at least do exceedingly well for a pissed bloke.
Now to 'the punch line'. Several years ago when Lou Reed was asked his opinion of Adult Orientated Rock, he had the wrong idea of what it actually was, so he said he thought it was a good idea, a more raunchy concept than the lame arse crap it actually was. The same kind of mistake could be made if I say that Dole Queue Heroes are an anarcho punk band. They really are anarchic but not in any ideological sense. They are about chaos, having a good time and a blow out. They do songs which occasionally have noises instead of lyrics, raspberries, belches and spittle noises akin to Brian Blessed speaking, as can be evinced in their song 'Blessed Art Thou', a song which their vocalist, Marley (who for some unknown reason is wearing male attire this evening) refuses to sing tonight (because “its crap”) so its sung by Sid the bassist instead. Unbeknown to themselves they are actually a good band and despite cock ups which result in the guitarist laughing, chucking his guitar down and walking off half way through their penultimate song (don't worry they get him back for the last song) they go down very well, to the small group of punters still watching. During their song, 'Gary Glitter is your baby sitter', I think to myself that probably better Gary than a member of DQH. They make plenty of noise , somewhat akin to 82ish hard punk, meets Dr and the Crippens meet something a little more metal. The noise rumbles and the vocals are a screamy edge sharp shout. Info toxins, wanting to be in someone’s gang and being a maniac ('I’m a maniac') all crawl from these fenland mutants. Then they all abandon their instruments and sod off to the pub.
review by Gary Eagling (14 May 2012)