FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
Order - there is no order - it’s all in disarray - until it comes together that is! And so another Wingnut adventure begins with these joyously wonderful wayward peddlers of all things noisy creating another all-day punk shindig to indulge in. I, alas, could not stay the full length but here is my appreciation and assessment of what initially transpired in the dark reality of The Star and Garter in Manchester!
Wild rumours bounced around my battle-scarred radar relating a yarn that the start time for this gig would be 3pm. Foolishly (but knowing only too well) I headed for the gaff at the said time and took pleasure in killing the hour before the gig actually got underway (I love it) by chatting with a few decent heads. The insouciant Mr Jason Douglas bade welcome, flitted here and there and in his own way contributed to getting the show on the road whilst Ev Brew tinkered around and did his due bit too - this cool patchwork way is how the gigs are run and I for one applaud it - why get stressed about the ticking of a clock? A beer and upstairs to partake of the first band with No Decorum doing some business and doing mightily well I thought. A four piece from local lands that are gradually finding their feet and drifting towards a street-based sound with many crowd embracing chants and ditties. Of course, as confidence in creating their cacophony grows so does the sanguinity in their on stage presence and this, combined with several agreeable tunes, is what made a darn good opening and got the fair crowd (for early doors) entertained. The front dude hollered away and looked more relaxed than ever, Adam did his solid bit on guitar with Katie on bass filling in the gaps and doing it quite well and the stick man holding a steady beat the others could build upon. A few slipshod moments were had but who cares - a fair set and a crew whom I hope go on to better things (supporting the Business next week will help in all areas).
Order - should I get bogged down with order - no way - who next - I'll decide!
Manifest are a new ticking band on the block who didn't play second tonight but I feel like reviewing them now so I will! From fractured bands Rebel Conspiracy and Crux (both fair units in their own right) this three piece bring to the table a heavy duty sound filled with explosive vocals and strong string and stick work. An initial assessment of any band is always tricky and in truth is best shied away from but in for a penny in for a pound (ing). What I saw tonight gave much promise with some solid arrangements that rattled on and only interrupted by some crowd indulgent segments. The switch over vocals always maintains a higher interest level and of course, offers greater options which, at this stage at least, the band seem to be partaking of. This was only their 3rd or 4th gig so I'll bail out early and leave it at a 'good enough for now' with plenty to come I expect!
And fluidly but out of synch the gig moved on as does my review...
Now next were The Buddhist Anarchists a crew who suggested many noisy things with comparisons made to indie angst, Sugarised Husker Du, confrontational arrogance and marvellous power-mongering slams. Another three-piece and one laden with strong desire to ram the music made down the throats of the onlookers. Far from traditional cartoon punk this biting mess was well received and the chaos out of order back into order was churned out with eye-catching accuracy. I like what the band do, have em' booked for a show in Bradford and look forward to catching up with their spicy sonica again. The beard face at the fore certainly let rip and I reckon this crew to cut a nice notch for themselves on the bedposts of many sonic genres - provided they keep their heads and don't get bogged down on one circuit - should be no problem!
Who next - eeny, meeny, miney, mo - The Crash Mats. I first saw these supporting the mighty UK Subs a wee while back now and came away with middling views (Did I say that last time - excuse me). The next few screenings were given and favour grew but tonight - wow - I gotta say they are doing the business and going the right way with all rhythms. More fist has been packed into the acoustic arse, more ruddy jiggling to the pendulous paps of melody given and so - one comes away shagged out by some delightful ravenous dinnage. The lads look hungry to improve and that is always a vital element and add to this their decent unassuming approach and an eye for sounds inside and outside of the range, with a willingness to take a chance, and you get one of the most solid local bands on the beaten block. I am intrigued by this lot and how they will progress over 2013 - I hope I can help and encourage them along the way. Good turn around - thank you for pissing on any doubts I had but watch out - one slip and I'll be there like a ferret down a rabbit hole - in the nicest possible way though!
And so the last of the bands that I saw today and Eyelicker. These dudes played for me last week at Bradford and did fine although the crowd there were a little reluctant to indulge in the hardcore way. Tonight the crowd were up for it and the band responded, the crowd bounced back, echo, echo - ad infinatum - result - classic rib breaking mush from a band who do it so well and again without sub-text. It is a case of all balls and bones bared and what you see is what you get with a veritable whipped up riot of raging war rhythm interspersed with some delightful air freshening ska. The lighter moments may be fewer and further between but are the essential spice to make this dish what it is - highly enjoyable. Drums rattle, guitars work in top unison, the front man can't keep still and tears all asunder with his unrelenting screams. Again another reliable band to not overlook and take for granted - too much of that shit going down these days so think on.
So off I tootled, picked up by my good lady and home I went. I partook of a bowl of ice cream, crisps and ham butties before pissing off to bed to watch a documentary on a classic film known as 'Freaks'. How pertinent. We are all freaks, we are outsiders, we wallow in a world overshadowed by patronising glances and pathetic shakes of the head. Stand up one and all we should be proud, proud of the fact that gigs of this nature and easy as you go way are ours and bands who would sink in a pit of commercial shit are given room to breathe and be appreciated. Yes - we are FREAKS - accept it, spread the word and fuck any doubters. Here is to the next one or...perhaps a continuation of this review if anyone is up for it!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (19th November 2012)