At the last moment, as my mood swings go at this time of year, I was in two minds as to whether or not to attend this gig. Once more, suspecting a duff turn-out, I made the effort and threw off the tendrils of creeping depression the winter months are so apt at encouraging. The fungal season is over, the merry fraudulence that is Christmas approaches were people shag, gag and blag until their swollen guts and butts hang loose with cheap self satisfaction and also it is fuckin' dark, cold and dreary. Not a great combination is it!
Arriving early, the chill in the air for company, a few chats were had with expected faces. The turn-out was indeed going to be a poor do with people from farther afield saving the day rather than the gig relying on the Manchester crew (who didn't show at all). More of that later.
The Kirkz were on first and once more I was undecided whether or not to make the effort to watch em'. Not meant as an insult to the band this as they deserve respect for the 12.5 years in the punk pit and their gradual improvement on the sonic front. No, the indecisiveness was due to my struggling head and the fact that I had seen them many times before, of which plenty had been at the same venue as tonight. After speaking to top man Stu Taylor as regards the crowd upstairs though I found out that it was a case of 15 tops. Fuck that! I thought a few would have made the effort to support these local favourites but it seemed not and one thing I don't like is when bands play to lowly crowds. Up I went and it was purely my pleasure. This was a good set and really picked up my wavering spirits and general punk morale. The bass dude trembled out the four string vibe with attentive artistry, the guitarist stayed cool and concentrated and kept the riffs rolling forth, the drummer remained absorbed in his own stick work and seemed like a dog with two dicks as he obviously enjoyed the set and even homosexual frontman and moronic mortgage man Max played a stunner with perspired belief and passion. This is a good band who have played a little too much locally for my liking but hey that’s wayward enthusiasm for ya and I really shouldn't criticise that. If the room is empty or full The Kirkz give you a full tilt show and that is what they did tonight. Some songs have genuine bang on riffology, some tang and tweak the nipples of the more technical nut and some are short, ramming and, may I say, rampant. The few in attendance seemed to enjoy the performance and so they should but Manchester should hang its head in shame in letting down these 4 fiery dudes. My message to the band is simple - keep on, fuck em' all, never settle on your laurels and always strive to improve your lot.
A tin of Red Stripe, a chinwag and back up for The Adjusters. Having seen these 18 months earlier and having had the pleasure of reviewing the 5 track EP 'Can't See' I was more than a little expectant of tonight’s show. Looking very much the part, full of swagger and sleaze attitude and with a noise that really shone bright in this fine gaff I thought the lads did themselves a whole host of favours and wooed the crowd with convincing energy, a believable spirit and, most importantly, some darn good rock 'n' roll tunes. 'I Get Paranoid', 'Can't See', and 'Kickin' Down The Doors' were the stand out songs mainly due to familiarity but overall the whole set was very fuckin' enjoyable and once more I was wondering why more people weren’t in attendance. Point must be made of a few dudes who were and encouraging the band no end especially the glamour dude at the front who pranced and danced his way into joyous hysteria - worthy of the entrance fee itself. It is such a shame The Adjusters are around in times of saturation and lethargy as I do feel greater strides would have already been made and the band would be much more sought after in the murky music arena. Nevertheless, the band should take pride in doing what they do and once more keep at it and believe in the noise.
One more beer - yes only a couple tonight folks - and then time for the headliners Prima Donna. Too much pissing about beforehand had me on the back foot initially but as soon as the show got going I was in the groove. This was indeed equally about show as it was about substance but what shone through was a band who want to entertain as much as anything. The noise was fine although the front dude’s guitar could have stopped ‘fuckin' up’ a little and helped matters - bah! Sleazy once more with definite influences that were more than obvious and despite supporting Green day last time in Manc and having a massive crowd to strut in front of they still put their arses in gear for the 50 or so in attendance tonight. The cover of 'King Rocker' was very good yet the cover of 'White Wedding' was a trifle wank. The bands own shit though was well executed and full of sneer and although not a full on punk outfit there were essences to savour. The band have obvious connections and this no doubt will help them to stay afloat but their attitude to tonight’s 'smaller' gig and the fact that they apologised to the Kirkz for missing their set due to being stuck in traffic is a fuckin' choice touch. Music wise though my judgement is reserved at the mo as I'd like to see them again when the equipment plays ball and they are able to steam ahead. No real gripes though other than it isn't my chosen bag. On this evidence they won't go short of good feedback so I'm sure Fungal's gobbology won't be missed!
Not a bad night overall and The Star and Garter continues like a reliable wet nurse feeding the music hunters milk from their generous pap of sound. Good to see Mr Lillis (Ageless Chaps) still dabbling and here's to a whole lot more.
review by OMD (15 November 2010)