Moho Live? Mmmm - a new hotspot it seems for ye Manchester music people who wish to not travel far and have something easier to attend. Many venues spring up in murky Manc land and have a good run with Moho seeming to be the one on a surge at the mo. The layout is decent enough, the atmosphere adequate (when enough heads are in) and the general positioning of the gaff more than favourable (although I am happy to wander wherever for the desired racket). Tonight was a tale of the familiar for me with all bands seen before and enjoyed. I expected a good turn-out and such was the case with many retro rocker re-emerging from the undergrowth and a few 'circuit sloggers' in the mix. It was good to catch up with many a face and some good exchanges were had between the din.
First up were local louts The Dangerous Aces. A veritable collection of rogues who wander the screeching scene with open lugs and approachable attitudes. The noise the band create is torn and frayed and yet so fuckin' likeable. It is unflustered, natural, without effect or affect and is given as it should be taken - without additives. No bad recipe and tonight would be my first viewing of the band since reviewing their long, long, long, long (ad infinatum) awaited debut album 'Deny All Responsibility'. The album came across as a genuine piece of DA deviancy and captured all the favoured aspects of the band. Untidy in parts, banging in others and always on the precipice of disaster or triumph. Tonight the band were given the duffest sound of the four acts to perform (the hazards of the opening slot I'm afraid) but they doggedly hung in and I thought gave a good solid account of themselves. The bassist is a Steady Eddie and has brought a stability to the unit that was very much needed. This was indeed noticeable once more with the other players kept in certain line. Matt on drums got on with a concentrated job and seemed to avoid the face contorting insanity with ease (one up for the medication then). Medicine Stu had a tipple but still contributed his usual disjointed 'get messy' guitar artistry and so kept up the overall air of unpredictability and frontman Moz growled his way with beefy intent through all songs with pace changes taken in the stride. A few folk knock this band, a few remain indifferent and a few adore. Put me in the latter category please and on tonight’s evidence I can't see any reason to change. The graphical chart of improvement slowly displays a climb up the X and Y axis and I hope this continues. Best song tonight - 'Seems To Me' - a fair cover!
Second up Bad Taste Barbies - are you ready for this? With an overload of humpy, pumpy, rumpy day-glo dollism and transvestite bitchitis this schlock will wither yer cock and leave your jaw on the floor for sure. Many old punkers didn't know what to make of this tonight with an abundance of disbelieving looks seen within the ever-increasing crowd escorted by many a shaking head and unsure smile. A bastard wannabe Indiana Jones wobbled the wires of bassism with mighty effect with some riffs almost hypnotic with their repetitivity cum catchiness. A semi-glammed cowboy applied plectrum passion to his personal sextet of cabling and brought about some nifty noise and unhinging melodies which obviously nudged the output to greater heights of success. Add to this an androgynous Frankensteinian freak with glittered crotch, ambiguous intent and eye-catching idiosyncrasies and a plastic drastic blonde bint attired in acid freak attire with a voice to shatter the sonic glass and you have a musical mush to contemplate. The whole set enthralled and dangled a savoury carrot for many a deviant donkey to optically partake of. Will any genitalia be on show, will the sexual teasing erupt into an all out orgy, will we learn the true mentality of these for perverse paraders. If things didn't seem 'queer' enough then throw in a comedic loon in a leotard to rape a Jane Fonda workout, to wobble to widgie with great gusto and to become primate and develop a taste for all things 'fanny'. Yes - it is all true and I am nowhere near the breakdown stage. As the show progressed the sonic strength grew and at some points some solid music was had and overlooked by many who were preoccupied with the debauchery. 'TV Trash' is my pick for tonight and if the BTB buggery brigade bop your way then - BE THERE!
Middle Finger Salute are a band who have a tidy reputation and go about their business quietly and with great effect. This lot played the first ever SAS gig in Blackburn and looking back on my review are a band I rated and said were pretty darn good. Here is a quote from that review - 'This was brilliant to say the least and really rattled along with incredible ease. A definite must for next year’s tour, these young rebels should be a real force to be reckoned with by then and will surely be making waves throughout punk'. Since then MFS have done the business and toured here, there and everywhere with feedback coming my way of a decent band. But, and an important but at that - why did I find tonight’s performance a tad tedious? The songs were efficiently played, the effort adequate and the set neatly packaged. So what is Fungal's problem? Well my take on things is as follows. The sound didn't compliment the band tonight and although was of a good standard it just didn't get the best out of this band with the vocals a trifle low throughout. Add to this a definite US feel and a somewhat flat-lined composition that just remained as 'OK' rather than being explosive in parts and the set left me quite indifferent. A smaller room perhaps with the band up against the wall may have given a different feel to proceedings but this didn't do it for me. Talented and with a good array of sounds I sense I should have got more from this one but I didn't - it gets like that sometimes.
Finally the UK Subs. 'Down On The Farm', 'Disease', 'I Live In A Car', 'Riot', 'Creation', 'Stranglehold', 'Warhead', 'Endangered Species', 'CID', 'Bitter And Twisted', 'Keep On Runnin', 'Tomorrows Girls', 'Hell Is Other People', 'This Chaos', 'Squat 96' and 'Saints and Sinners/Sinners Day' is the tale of tuneage (forgive me if I have missed one out) and what a fuckin' story it was. I have seen the Subs many times and have followed the racket since late 78 but this was an utter delight that holds up with much that has gone before. I have pogoed in the pit and been pissed as a fart at a few Subs do's but tonight a 'stand back and observe' approach was taken. Jamie on drums was bang on the button as expected and the driving force he supplies must surely impel others to up their game and keep it tight. Alvin Gibbs applied his talent to the 4-string machine and poured forth many an intricate rumble and finger twisting riff. Jet on guitar just gets better for me and despite his dodgy start with the Subs he his now a confident member and playing as solid as ever. Mr Harper at the front is 'the man' and just keeps pouring out performance after performance of such utter quality and belief. This is the finest band to grace the punk rock toilet circuit and for me there is no unit better. I love the underdog punk and decry some of the bigger band mentality out there but the Subs remain honest, hard working and very much for the dude in the street. Was there a critical eye in the house - I think not and why should there be? The crowd loved it, I loved it and long may the UK Subs journey continue. There are a few jumping on the Subs bandwagon of late now claiming they have always said they were the best but back in the early 90's where the fuck where they? Hey ho - it doesn't matter - the fact is credit is now being given and that is all that matters. Fully deserved and when these dudes wrap up boy will we miss em'. Finally - a new album is due out - get yer brass ready - it's gonna be a classic!
So highly delighted off I went into the night and thanks to a the Subs for a fine finale. No new bands for Fungal tonight but when the racket is this enjoyable I really can't moan. Except that...
review by OMD (19 November 2010)