The Cumbrian punk scene is looking up right now. There's always been local bands doing the rounds more often than not organising their own gigs but over the last couple of years some good people have started to promote gigs all over the county. Carlisle has been something of a desert for those of us who have punk as our music of choice with gigs few and far between until now. Thanks to Stompin Ground Promotions the capital city is starting to wake up to punk.

The Globe is a typical working class local pub within walking distance of the city centre near to the castle. It is an L-shape layout with a pool table in a room of its own. I got in at about 7-30pm and I was about the first punter to arrive. Laura from Stompin Ground was playing pool with The Smackrats and The Scabs were setting up. Any fear of a poor turnout was unfounded as a steady stream of punters started to arrive all ready for a night of punk. Steve the landlord happily manning the door and relieving punks skins and anyone else of £3 was good to see. The bands were set up in the corner of the L so they could be seen from anywhere in the boozer and then The Smackrats took to the floor. A new band to me whom I had checked out on their myspace page so i knew a couple of their songs. What I didn't know though was how manic the front man was going to be. If you want a quiet night relaxing and listening to some background music don't come to a Smackrats gig but if you want to be accosted, humped like a dog on heat, poked and tied up with a mic lead this is the band to see. The crowd is as much part of the show as the band while his bandmates encouraged the crowd to chin him he just carried on getting in the faces of everyone within reach.The music was spot on as well which included a Rancid cover and a 100mph version of Cock Sparrers 'We're Coming Back' amongst their own stuff. A quality set and then they gave away a load of CD's - a class act indeed. Check them out on myspace.

Next up was Barclay - a punk poet who wasn't on the bill but got up just before The Scabs and did  a poem in an Oi album style. He was persuaded to do another and said it was one he'd written himself so I guess the first one was a cover. It was very good and it would be good to see him do a full set sometime.

The Scabs hit the floor next and this was their first Carlisle gig of the year and it was a belter. These lads sing about everything that's wrong with Great Britain from knives to perverts, chavs to gangs including a certain gang who wear blue uniforms. Geeza snarls his way through the set barely hiding his contempt for the state of our society. The band are as tight as I've seen them and seem to revel in playing at a venue like this. At the end of the set they stayed on and did about another half dozen songs mostly shouted out from the crowd. A great night enjoyed by everyone I spoke to including the bands and which will hopefully be the first of many. Check out  for some pics of this gig and upcoming gigs..

review by Dave Bell (23 June 2008)