FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
A usual busy week with some good catching up of the tail had, shitty weather put pay to two bands playing this one, much scrambling around and in stepped two new crews and so we were left with a 'Three for Free' affair. The ride over was wank with misted windows, a creeping cold, several wrong turnings and some frosted temperaments but we eventually got there - cheers to the level headed approach of my daughter - she's a good un'. Entering the gaff close to 7.30pm all bands were in attendance and due greetings were given after a much needed emptying of the bladder. Crowd wise - shite - what do people want - oooh a festival - along with the 800 that go on in the country these days! Yes - do the same as the mass market and make punk as diluted as possible - not for me people. A beer, a chat with some wonderful band members whose attitudes were absolutely heart-warming and giving me a little hope for the noise I adore. A few faces appeared (John Bowman needs to take a bow here - never misses a Fungal jaunt and is so full of the effervescent enthusiasm for seeing new bands he his a man after my own heart - live and love it John) and time came for the first crew to kick off - 8.00pm prompt - half hour later than advertise so why did the gaff fill up at 9.00pm onwards - strange!
First up a wonderful 3-piece known as The Franceens, a band laden with many facets of multi-faceted garage grime and who play out a swift episode of controlled corrugated discord that travels to your primal senses and arouses many basic tub thumping instincts. This is potent rawness spilt forth in visceral fashion with something utterly DIY copulating with something utterly professional. Uniformed in look, uniformed in delivery, yet so suggestive of waywardness and potential collapse the elements that the band primarily bring to the table are all complimentary. The front gob on guitar looks like a mental institute escapee and is filled with believable spirit and gumption. His delivery of both gob and guitar is sharp, shattering and of that sub-genres essences. The lass on bass is a joy and moves to the rhythm so perfectly and adds some wonderful undulations and well-timed la, la, la's and what not. Her voice is perfect for the arena in which she is placed and is a subtle coruscation not to be underestimated. Sticks at the back are ideal for this sonic shizzle and are kept regular when need be and damn well explode and roll when called upon - a very worthwhile watch. The songs were highly salted with precision and come at you with one impressive jolt after another and I fuckin' lapped this up and pondered if I would see many better bands this year? A tough question! I fuckin' adored this and congratulated all three players afterwards and just hope my belief and passion transfers across and they dig in and see this thing through to its maximum potential.
A chat with the punters and my good lasses and all agreed - a resounding solid start, so who next?
Nervous Twitch came and posted through our mental mailboxes a similar sort of noise to that which the aforementioned band had sent our way but the NT unit were more clockwork in style, more thoughtful and thus a little less rushed. Led by a lovely lass who appears to be a runaway from an Hannah Barbara cartoon set (tartan tights, pink hair, green dress) and built on yet more garage components this is yet another delightful crew who do things so precisely and yet so unaffectedly. The tones range from high flown moments to deeper grooves borne of a ghetto and if one doesn't concentrate hard enough one could get a trifle confused. Watch carefully though and the innocence, the strict sense of their chosen style and the comfortable application all shine through and highlight a very credible band with much to tickle the jaded senses. Yet more corrupt toneage is hinted at, an abundance of clarity pokes through and the rough and ready rear compliments the lucid fore and what we end up with is a wonderful band impressing with some stunning songs. Wow fuckin' wee - isn't it such a joy to still enjoy new and hungry bands? You gotta go see these people - your loss if ya don't. Avoid being Despondent - go get yerself a Nervous Twitch of yer very own - flutter flutter, tweak, twang!
The crowd gathered, time was still early but with the weather and what not we weren't prepared to hang around tonight!
The Jackhammers next - oh yes - now this was surely gonna be a good un'. Again, if one looks closely enough, the same thread is picked up on but this fiery 3-piece pull it tight, wrap it around the onlookers throats and take great delighted in strangling out honest appreciation, admiration and ...yes more belief. They fuckin' charge along like a bull with its balls on fire and smash and grab in many directions but always return back to base ready for the next horned up assault. Drums are savagely beaten, guitar manipulated and fucked around with remarkable precision, bass grungily mastered and forced to puke out major grumbles. Gobbage is dirty, scorched, alive with reality and songs hit hard between the eyes with alarming accuracy and unapologetic guts. This band want to make you take note and take fuckin' note we all do. The fair crowd lapped this up and seemed totally entranced and despite the solid cacophony I still wondered why gigs of this ilk can't ram places and provoke serious interest! You watch performances like this and the soul becomes alive, inflamed, bursting with passion and yet so many appear indifferent. They talk the talk but time always proves they are full of shit - what a shame. Anyway - on a positive note - the Jackhammers blew my sonic knackers out of the grimy water in which I usually sit and brought a fine gig to a blinding finale. They got an encore - they ripped it - what can I say?
3 bands, 3 massive sets, 3 examples of why I do what I do. You can fuck all the kudos, glory, ego grooming, point scoring and what else that so many seek - the gutter is the place to be, the back street pub the pinnacle of entertainment - proof is in the messy pudding. Festivals dictate at the mo, with the usual moronic thinking of 'I was there' - and that I cannot compete with that. I'll fight the corner of bands like this forever but I refuse to do it on fraudulent terms. For those who have made the effort tonight a big thanks as ever and feedback on proceedings is always welcome - for those that just couldn’t be arsed because they are saving up for bigger bands or a 3 day bonanza - then fuck you! I shall wander and dabble when I get chance!
Again sincere thanks to all at the gaff for their support - we are nearly there and hopefully things can grow for you all. To add also that dubious machinations that go on here, there and everywhere are still noted and all I can say is if that is how you get your kicks then count me out, but count me out the winner.
A fantastic night of noise that rips the roof off the punk rock myth so many tell me about - it is good to meet some who doubt its existence and who are happy to question all rather than jump of the good ship Idiot and sail to nowhere. Yes I am still blazing, yes I am still 100% behind the bands in the gutter who show great spirit and yes - I am still not interested in attending your party. UP THE FUCKIN' UNDERDOGS FOREVER - no explanation is now necessary!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (20 January 2013)