FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
Over the years I have been frequently asked "What do you think about Slaughter?". My response of "Shit really. They're just not my cup of tea" usually fell upon a visage of complete disbelief. Its quite obvious this band are well liked and especially on their local patch, so with the underrated Spittin' Dummies supporting (one of my favorite bands) this was a chance to see how they have both matured in the contrasting spells as punk bands. Tickets were obtained well in advance.
The pre-performance gossip sounded good and when Dave and Banjo of 'The Spittin Dummies' informed me that during warm-up "these guys are the bollocks" I braced myself for something special. Now being a bigotted northern git with an opinion on everything, and hoping for a chance to see The Dummies blow away the big boys I tried to reassure them that they would more than hold their own. They didn't seem sure.
Round the back into the gig area and Dummies, on you go. Now as stated, to me this band is one of the best bands around at the moment and I was convinced that this was an opportunity to mix it with the top dogs. They have the material and the capabilities to do something profitable and here was a stage to prove it. Unfortunately, a conspiracy of circumstance and just shit luck ruined all. The PA sounded dodgy with lead guitar sounding more than empty (later confirmed by honest Dave), the vocals were up and down (sorry Haggis) and Banjo didn't seem motivated. Chris the bassist plugged on but all in all a bad showing. "Glaxo Baby" and "Cosa Nostra" usually 2 solid dependable tracks were the worst of the bunch, and couple this with the guitar playing up, it was basically a downhill trek. In hindsight though I am a touch too harsh on these guys. The fact is that The Spittin' Dummies are a shit hot band who fit the bill and whom I expect a lot from - in fact too much. All bands have an off day and this was a classic example. On the positive side as Haggis would say "The Dummies Are Here". Yes, and doing a damn good job of it.
A bit deflated after this showing I wasn't in the mood for The Dogs but beer is a great persuader. On they strolled and burst into that melodic ditty "Twist & Turn". Is this how good they are? Maybe I have been wrong all this time? No surely not! A couple more tracks and yes I was actually enjoying this. The guitar work was simply incredible, with what seemed little effort applied. Of course "Boot Boys" and "Cranked up" were the best of a stunning set which had this old punk pinging and pogoing about. To prove how good they were I even spotted a grinning Dennis "The Oi" Matthews jumping around like a possessed flea. Now when this critical bugger dances - a band must be good. As the set progressed the dancing mob increased in numbers - always a good sign a band is doing a good un'. Track after track was dished out relentlessly with the crowd baying for more - and more came forth. No hiccups, no arsing just good solid music. And then we were done.
Now as I write this footnote my hand doth tremble and my gut doth turn for I must confess I am humbled. Slaughter and the Dogs are still not my cup of tea - but they are an amazingly good band. All in all - I was wrong! There said it! But would I pay money to see them again? Yes I would, but not a tenner!
Finally back to the Dummmies. If they felt disheartened and a bit pissed off with this performance then don't worry lads. Slaughter and the Dogs played Blackpool 2 days after this gig and by all reports they were shit. You see we do all have off days! And would I pay money to see The Dummies again. You bet your ass I would!
Review by Fungalpunk/OMD (20 June 2003)