Having been smashed out of my skull at the last gig I attended a vow of abstinence had been taken as well as a determined effort to not miss any more bands, whilst at a gig, due to excessive alcho-intake.  I likes a blow-out now and again like the next man but am not a happy bunny when it assists me in missing bands (especially if I ain't seen em' before).  So tonight was the first of many a tee-total gig for Fungal and in truth I wasn't concerned in the slightest.   Arriving at 6.50pm after local knowledge Mikey Wong informed me the tickets said ‘doors at 7pm’ I was pissed off to find that the venues external poster stated doors at 7.30pm.  Darn your peepers Wong!  The said Mr Wong turned up not long after my arrival and duly showed me his ticket which clearly stated a 7pm start - darn your timepieces oh promoters of this gig.  Not to worry and a good chinwag with Mikey and Stu Taylor was had with a few other faces chipping in.  Into the smoke-filled gaff and a short wait was had before the first act was up and as they say 'at it'!
To open with an acoustic act is, I feel, not a good move and I always prefer these one man music makers to be slotted into a gig made up of bands so as to alter the flow and give people a chance to regain breath.  Chris Catalyst had the unenviable task of opening and whether this was by choice or chance it didn't work for me.  Of course this guy who is known as being the guitarist in The Eureka Machines and The Sisters of Mercy wasn't going to fall too flat on his face as there are always people impressed by names and such.  Being unfamiliar with the dude and his output makes no difference to my judgement and I wasn't overly keen on what came my way.  The first song I did nudge my mate and say 'yeah this guy can sing' but on the second song I gave another nudge and said 'OK that's enough for me'.  Maybe a premature judgement but one sometimes instinctively knows if the sonics are to be savoury or sour to ones own palate.  Too many tongue-in-cheek moments and gabbing between songs didn't help my conviction or the flow of the routine.  I am not going to harp on and shred the guy because many liked what they were getting and again emphasis is on 'it is only my opinion'.  The fact is the guy has a decent gob, knows his onions, has a reputation to be played on but...doesn't do it for me - end of!
Bad Taste Barbies next and any band with Medicine Stu on board are surely worth a look.  A fellow piss-pot and a rock 'n' roll pirate who loves his noise the lad gets my vote and the fact I hadn't caught up with the BTB crew to date was entirely my failing.  This was a very entertaining discordance that held attention, produce many moments of rockin' rhythm and had plenty of tangents to skip boundaries.  The drum machine and audio enhancements worked a treat and although nothing new is under the sun this was still an eye catching recipe.  Androgynous bitchy sub-porn sexuality draped in a somewhat New York Dolls/B52's bastardised cowl with plenty of trashy tuneage this was enjoyed by all and sundry with each component thoroughly relishing their role.  'Bad Taste Barbie' and 'TV Trash' are immediate numbers that spring to mind and have me ready for a another viewing real soon.  A dirty pre/post punk cock/tit conundrum to unravel at your pleasure - flies and knickers down - gyrate man gyrate!
Obsessive Compulsive I knew sweet FA about and expected little as is the best way.  What came my way was a rocked up riot highlighted with gothika and slightly peppered by a punkish seasoning.  The initial blast was well orchestrated, in unison and very, very effective with the front lass holding her own and rockin' like a bitch.  Big riffs came in waves, sharp sonic attacks were scattered throughout and intensity was kept at the maximum through the entire show.  Something somewhere had me thinking along the lines of a Skunk Anansie style racket which is no bad thing but Obsessive Compulsive have enough clout and shout to really do without comparative suggestions.  Black metal burned hard thrived tonight and I just hope the band can capture the energy on their new CD.  It will be interesting to see if they do but in the 'live' arena I can find no faults whatsoever.  Toxic, sinewy and as tight as bullocks ball bag this is worthy of a peek by rockers of any ilk.
I had missed Sorry and the Sinatras the last time they played Manchester and so wondered what I would witness.  More processed US claptrap who can play or a darn good band?  The answer is easy - a very, very good band that really rocked the joint hard and bedazzled the crowd with some amazing music.  The maelstrom started fast and never let up whipping new admirers into the fray with utter ease.  In no way did I expect something as effective as this and so was more than a little taken - fuckin' fine fare indeed. The cascade continued relentlessly and the quality execution was what made this a fitting finale and rocked my boat no end despite being a little bleary eyed. I can't add much more as I am currently out of gas - listen up - check the band and enjoy.

So a nice trip out and some good tuneage had - I can't moan, best not - thank you to all!

review by OMD (21 April 2010)