FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
As myself, missus and daughter headed for Bradford we didn't mention the fact that the journey would most probably take an hour to get to the town centre then another age to find the actual venue, a gaff we hadn't visited before and so remained lost to us in the labyrinthine mess that this northern metropolis has become. True to form the journey was an hour long but after negotiating the final instructions from Mapquest we ended up outside The Mannville Arms rather than the sought after Polish Parish Club. Luckily Alec formerly of Wild Trash and now of ...... was outside the pub and so I nipped out and asked for directions. Back in the car and several more wrong turnings we were back outside The Mannville. Another request for directions from a different geezer and another attempt. 1, 2, 3 and unbelievable the venue was located. Parking just around the corner I felt like Vasco Da Gama and his crew had just completed the Europe to India run and landed with success on some distant shores. Such is the problematic conundrum that the Bradford maze is!
Entering the gaff we headed upstairs to an impressive gigging room that was more than a little bare of punter and one which had the night's promoter Punkined (Leon) wandering around muttering about how many may turn up (if at all) and how the show will go. This guy is a top bloke and a top class promoter and was one of the main reasons for attending this gig. You gotta support the real dudes so this was more than a pleasure. A few other faces were in the crowd and more appeared as the night went on and eventually al Pinkineds worries were put to rest as a final count of 80+ payers rewarded the promoters excellent attitude and commitment top the cause.
After finding out The Shortcuts had pulled we waited for the first band to hit the stage which was an hour later than expected. I don't mind hanging around when on the piss but when not bent on boozing it does get on me tits somewhat. Nowt you can do though and eventually Wild Trash set things off.
I like this outfit and Kev the frontman is a good old chum who for me has the punk enthusiasm so many of his age lack. 'Bonnie And Clyde' was the first mountainous high attained and I just adore this fine song and the love story that is neatly narrated against a mug full of melody. Highly entertaining and catchy is the theme through all Wild Trash's offerings and 'Picture Of You' back this up no end. It just held on to the right side of listenable though as the sound seemed far from settled at this early stage but the next song had no such worries with a heavy bass complimented by the high volumes. 'The Sun Goes Down' was in fact the best of the lot tonight and really hit the spot for me with its solid riffs and semi-staccato approach. The song I was really anticipating was 'Cellophane' which is a true fuckin' gem and one that I can't stop playing on the bands Myspace page. Tonight it was OK but a few mis-timings by the guitarist took the edge off but didn't ruin my personal enjoyment. I like the anti-consumer stance it radiates and the chorus is just a real dream and one many bands seek but never find. A couple of Ramones covers were thrown in with 'Blitzkrieg Bop' solid and 'Bonzo Goes To Bitburg' the worst song of the set. The sound seemed to aid the first one but slaughter the second and the lesson to be learned is always do a soundcheck and suss the potential. 'Tonight' was hammered out and was as solid as ever and overall Wild Trash did absolutely fine and will keep me and my family in their fan club. In fact we are self appointed life time members anyway so there ya go ha, ha.
So yeah the night started well and with more and more faces entering the gaff Punkined seemed a little more relaxed and mooched about here and there in the true promoters pecked role.
The Kingcrows next and if you have any doubts before I start the review read this little self descriptive text taken from their Myspace page - 'THE KINGCROWS are the product of a sick mind - specifically that of RATBAG, veteran of the Leeds rock scene and former drummer of such bands as Sticky Fingers, Assassination Bureau and the Poison Hearts. The plan was to form a band who combined the energy of punk, the flash of sleaze and the sheer reckless abandon of being in a band with no aspirations towards a career or commercial acceptance - simply the rush of playing noisy, filthy rock 'n' roll for the pure hell of it.' - just about sums it up for me.
I liked this lot a lot and why I didn't pick up a fuckin' CD is beyond me but these moments of idiocy happen quite regularly. Stupid twat! Anyway the glamorised punk machine really made an impression with me and a few early hiccups were overcome and a 5 star fuel was burned bright with some solid riffs, punky rhythms and downright poser behaviour. These guys looked the rockstar part but not to the point of being ridiculously affected and I would be more than happy to check em' out again and give them a gig or two along the line. 'Revolution Street' seemed the most popular tonight bit for me 'Insult And Injury' made the mark. The frontman oozed confidence, the guitar and bass held their ground and the drummer was mightily effective and sported a topper with fashionable aplomb. All components fitted neatly together and the finale cover of 'Stepping Stone' was delivered just perfectly and reinforced my belief of a decent crew. In fact as people know I am not a fan of covers but I do think the odd one thrown in is always necessary to prick the crowds interest - this did just that and more. Why the crowd remained to the rear of the room was beyond me but it wasn't the first or wil be the last time I have witnessed this odd reluctant behaviour.
And so 2 good bands down and Threshold Shift to go. Combining poppy punk, sparse skank and sprinkled reggae this lot were definitely the local faves and the crowd leapt into action against the bands backdrop of accurate output. A few slips and dips went almost unnoticed and the punters lapped it up with quite a few obvious friends of the band in the fray. Can't fault it really and with my little un' yawning and looking at the 20 song set list we decided to watch about 3 quarters of the output and leave. There were certainly no complaints from me although my two comrades were not overly impressed and were more than ready to exit. Tired heads whose judgement was blurred perhaps but I enjoyed what I saw and again have another band on the ever growing list of gigs to get. Whether or not Threshold Shift would go down as well away from their own patch is another thing but if you don't take the chance and push the cause you will never know. This certainly was a well constructed set and the amount of songs displays a band who don't fuck about and have been around for quite a while (albeit on and off).
So we left and we were far from disappointed. Punkined got his deserved good crowd and I can't see why this arrangement can't go from strength to strength. I certainly hope so and the people of Bradford should realise just how lucky they are in having such a passionate promoter bringing all this quality tuneage. Maps ready for more trips to Bradford and next time we may just get there without a single wrong turn - but thinking about it...
review by OMD (21 February 2009)