FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
My little un' hadn't been to a gig for ages and is a fan of The X-Rippers, Most Likely To Fail and Sounds of Swami so coupled with the fact that this was a good opportunity to also support The Shay, landlord Barry and Punkined in what seemed to be a hit or miss gig, myself, young un' and good lady arrived at the gaff at 2.50pm to see a large portion of this all day Yorkshire Punk Celebration. A few pull-outs forced a delay and as we sat and chatted to the Most Likely To Fail crew time ticked ominously on. 3pm became 4pm and 4pm became 5pm and 5pm became 6pm. And then as if by magic...
Most Likely To Fail opened up the show as the delay had already got them down in the doldrums far enough and the lads just wanted to get up and at it. Despite the hanging around this was another good outing even though it was a really disappointing turn-out. This was the 13th time I had watched the MLTF crew strut their fine melodic stuff and in all honesty I have yet to be disappointed both by their output and attitude. If every band had what this lot have then the scene would be at its very best. They play well, mix in with the punters and stick around supporting the cause. They could easily have fucked off home and said 'to hell with it' but they knew Punkined was up against it, knew the crowd was wank and knew other bands needed supporting. Not a lot to ask really but it is so scarce to find players of this mentality in today's scene. The pick of tonights flourishing crop was 'Code Blue', 'Weekend Rebel' and again 'Most Likely To Fail'. A showing worthy of more response but the few in attendance did enjoy it and another main support slot is had with a top band at this fine venue so all in all a good result from a dire situation. Frontman Paul sold a bit of merch and even had a go at selling some Crayola crayons with which he had earlier been seen colouring is body in with.
Chits and chats and a poetical interlude was had as Cayn White hit the floor and spouted off his one man rants to a crowd that had now swelled to about 12 or so. Now this lad has had his share of problems and does suffer heavily from the old nerves but nonetheless the bugger gets up and has a go and if that ain't what punk is about then I'm stuffed. The John Cooper Clarke classic 'Kung Fu Takeway' began and ended proceedings with another classic from the master thrown in half way through to keep all happy. Interspersed with the JCC covers was Cayns own original material which was delivered in passionate style. Cayn had had a few drinks and was obviously as nervous as hell but he got on with it and with experience he can only get more confident and produce a better show. Don't get me wrong though this wasn't bad and he really does have the gift of the gab and delivered rhymes about 'Biscuits', Porn Shops' and even 'Spongebob Squarepants' with crafty cheek. A chatty lad too after the gig and another who stuck around and supported the cause. Improvements to be made and still twiddles needed to find his own identity but he gets a fungal nod for keeping it very real. I'd like to see him get scribbling more and really go to town with his talent and get out an avalanche of material - it would be to punks benefit. Hey maybe even a punk book of street poetry - now there's an option mate!
Geoffery Oicott next and the untrustworthy news on the grapevine was that these lot are good for a laugh and are a more comedy based band. Talk about bollocks. This was hardly comedy at all and even though the frontguy was dressed as a cricketer and brandished a bat every now and again this was a full on OI treat that really knocked the noise barriers for six (fuck it I tried to avoid any cricketing puns as it must have been done over and over again - damn and blast and nuts). This was a totally noisy blast and very effective it was. I should have picked up a CD but nattering and tiredness kept me from indulging - silly bugger. I liked this a lot and pick of the songs was a ditty called 'Bouncers'. The guitar work and thumping bass was excellent and the drummer whalloped out a good beat to work against. The frontman has a voice made in 'Oi'land and tore it up in boisterous style with aggression and melody both well balanced. A good do and more viewings will be, I am sure, just as enjoyable.
Sounds of Swami next and as far as technicality goes this buzzing 4-piece really have it down to a fine art. This was as electric as ever and even though the stuff they do is just too busy on CD I find that their 'live' showings are totally fuckin' bewildering. They have played a few Fungalpunk gigs in the past and I have always enjoyed the set and this was no exception. Every component is working at maximum power and nailing every note with practiced expertise. It is a wild mix and sometimes mind-meltingly confusing but when a trifle restrained it works a treat for these battered lugs. I can't see how anyone can criticise SOS for their application to detail and pinpoint execution and feel it is just now a case of finding the right crowd to blaze a trail to. The set oozed accomplished musicianship throughout with the drummers performance particularly noteworthy tonight. 'Identity Crisis' does get better with each listen and was the familiar tune to pick from tonights eruption.
And lastly for us tonight came The X-Rippers. It has been over a year I think since I last saw these buggers and it was good to catch up with them again after such a while and a band lay-off. Now a four piece this started a bit loosely and I had worries as to whether the set was going to be a real let down. By the end though the crowd was won over and The Rippers produced a really good do. The main thing about this band is that they have some real crowd pleasing ditty's that tickle the right areas at the right time. Couple this with the fact you have one of the cheekiest frontmen in the game and you are always going to do well. 'Whose The Doctor', 'Richard Hillman', 'Rolex', 'Pop Idol', 'Jimmy Kelly', '49 Bus', and the two covers 'CID' and 'English Civil War' made this a hugely enjoyable set despite the stuttering start. Me and my family like the Rippers a lot and have had some good times in Barnsley and hopefully they can get cracking again and get the gig ball rolling.
So with rumbling bellies, tired eyes and a sour taste as regards some bands commitment we headed home giving our farewells to the few that mattered. This is a crackin' venue and one that draws em' in for the big names and struggles somewhat with the underdog bands. Barry and Punkined stick with it and I fully applaud them for that and I feel anyone and everyone should make the effort to keep this venue thriving whenever they get the chance. The pub has a good atmosphere and an improving sound and more importantly showcases a great deal of tomorrow's talent. I'll get across as and when my hectic lifestyle permits and more than likely will have a good time too.
review by OMD (21 September 2008)