I have sat on this review for longer than a day due to attempting to plough through the eternal backlog. My mental filing cabinets are spilling cerebral based notes this way and that but rather than shun the opportunity to record and pay homage to the noise and what was a decent night I thought I'd best get a brief overview done and up on the site - here it is.
I arrived at the gaff and left the car with the radio on whilst one set of overpaid twats were being beat and another set were winning - City/United and all that! Apparently there was a major turn around during the last few minutes and the Blue supporters were heard bellowing through the streets whilst the Reds retreated and kept rather quiet. A good game tarnished by cash - a shame but good luck to those that enjoy! Chits and chats with several regular heads and into the gaff now complete with seating arrangements that I very much took advantage of. Idle twat or tired twat - you decide but it had been a busy weekend again with a few miles on the clock already! A beer, a wait and then...
Wrecks opened and were a new band to me which always attracts the utmost attention. I recognised a few of the faces in the band the most obvious of which was that keen and theatrical lass Ms Carol Hodge. A debut performance for the band tonight (no wonder I hadn't seen them before) and one that was, despite being a first gig, quite impressive. Guitars chugged, exploded and riffed it up big in well balanced measure and drums slapped around with cohesive and well placed attention. All this cacophonic creation left the lead lady to work her way through a myriad of expressive tones that at last really pushed her obvious vocal range and helped showcase herself and the band as a new interest on the block. The rise and fall of temperament, the schizoid change in the musical output, the edges that were rusted, polished and unpredictable all kept my attention and as soon as these dudes and dudette get recording the better. An intriguing mix that will undoubtedly rise in stature and have capabilities of mingling into several sub-genres and provoking further praise.
3CR - I chose not to watch - due to the fact they hardly change their set, I have seen them too many times for my mental health and I just wasn't in the mood for this rectal nonsense that just needs shaking up and starting again. I remember the day I used to enjoy these as a 5 piece, then a 4 piece and at first a trio but they surely must be the most idle bastards on earth and seem to be stuck in a perpetual loop. I have told them about this and they know where I stand - advice - scrap everything and write a completely new set of stuff - it will work and its long overdue. Saying this - many tittered away and seemed to enjoy what transpired - I really do despair.
Louise Distras came next and made comment on one or two angles that the previous band came in at (fair's fair I'd say) and pumped out an acoustic set that displayed a good energy level, a fine collection of sturdy songs, bold feminine standpoints and a most noticeable raw, unchallenged vocal range that stunk of DIY naturalness and untamed zest. There seems to be a lot of talk about this performer at the mo and some rather exaggerated waffle which does get me wondering if certain 'names' are getting quite carried away - ever the cynic ya see. For me the sound is something I have seen before and one needs to recognise that making any headway will not be easy. The set though has many a good moments and the fire in the belly will help see a few battles through but let’s wait and see what transpires - many come, many go, little is left - be careful lass and don't get too distracted by the tide of good vibes. Overall though I like this lung bursting feistiness and am just trying to keep the lady on her tapping toes. If she continues with such belief and with the feet on the ground the job will be a good un' but if she becomes airborne on the wafted winds of insincere suggestion then the arse may just well drop out and a routine wrap-around on the toilet circuit may be the rank rewards (but that in itself is success and where my heart doth lay - up the Underdogs). A grand inclusion nonetheless and here’s to some genuine success on yer own steam young madam. Hopefully can catch some of this again soon and see if these initial thoughts are justified or bollocks - it does happen and I am always the first to admit it!
Epic Problem are still a relatively new bunch of banditos but the opening burst of tonight's set was one mighty upswing that showed the crew are just settling in and really getting together in many ways. The power levels are now reaching their potential and for me the bastard on the bass is driving the band forward with utter conviction and focus and creating a vibe for all to feed on. The guitars and vocals are unified and interact with aggressive yet agreeable know how thus building a wall of sound that really is achieving what it initially set out to do. I overlooked the stickwork tonight and offer apologies for that (those poor drummers - it’s a hard life) but I can't remember picking up on any dud beats. Getting well and truly in to the musical mush and 'twang' - there goes the bass speaker. A bit of fannying about and Total Bloody Chaos came to the rescue and the set duly continued. The crew did well to get back on track but that initial impetus was somehow lost and the attention of the crowd didn't seem to be as keen. The closure was fine enough and the band are growing which is all we can ask of any unit - next time though (providing things are niggle free) it's gonna be a stormer.
Total Bloody Chaos are a fine band and are crusted over with a raw pedigree filth that serves them well within the right sonic circles. The fact of the matter is though that TBC can step further afield and come away with a good degree of success due to their utter conviction, she/he swap vocal style and may it be said (of course, of course) fine array of melodic and hard hitting material. Not ones to shy away from saying what they think and with a forceful drive to their delivery this crew are well-versed in the art form that is punk (now what is that) and go for it full throttle. 'Scumbag' is an instinctive song, straight from the gut and encapsulates all the great properties of this band and what they are about. Doddy and Jodie at the fore lash out, the musicians maintain an intensity - it glows bright as does the whole puke out - best set of the night thus far - you know it!
And lastly the UK Subs. How many times have I seen this band is nobody’s business and throughout the years since 79 I have had the pleasure of being treated to one long blast. I am at the stage where I feel the band can do no more but maintain the great standard and yet every viewing I get they just hit the spot time and time again. Tonight again they were exceptional which I suppose isn't an exception - if you get the paradoxical twist. Song after song is instantaneously recognisable with even the new inclusions almost bordering on 'classic' status already and which are definitely my personal faves of late. I won't name any ditty though as you should all know them by now, but each song finds favour, wins applause and gets the crowd moving - that's how to do it I reckon. Charlie at fore remains a casual punk icon who has earned his respect umpteen times over, the bass is controlled with aplomb via Mr Gibbs, Jet on guitar is a confident and effective stringman and a far cry from that unsure dude who first joined the Subs machine. Jamie on drums does a magnificent job and is fast developing into one of the most pure drummers on the circuit. All components combined, we were given a treat, the dance I enjoyed with the ever colourful Babs was a delight and the show met all my punk rock needs. Sheer class and how much longer will it go on? The scene needs the Subs - get a piece of the action now!
And that was it - out into the dark I went and home to bed. Another long weekend done with a punk rock finish thoroughly enjoyed. As swift as the review is I have recorded some of the goings on - think on and next time do your bit!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (15 May 2012)