FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
Here we go, another fuckin' review left to yours truly - as though I don't have enough to do - bah! I do it with passion though, amidst a busy period with many bugs on the wing, flowers in bloom and family tasks to see to (which is priority as always). I was long overdue an appearance at one of these gigs and due to sheer bad luck, circumstances and the usual demands it was entirely my loss- as I repeat - I can't be everywhere. So, I turned up early after a couple of wanders around nearby nature reserves downed a couple of cans of cider and into the gaff I went where I watched some idle football chat on the TV, wrote up some notes for a book project, chatted with the struggling landlord and of course threw down a couple of beers. A few faces arrived and howdo's were had, eventually it was time to shift my ass upstairs and view the bands I could squeeze in before I left at a decent time so as to have an early start in the morn. I shall be brutally swift here - I be buggered and burnt from another day in the sun - it happens when ya get absorbed in the wild.
Mutley - A mellow band built on poppy punk tones with a distinct emphasis laid on melody. The songs flow smoothly and come across without offence which, to my mind at least, therein the problem lies. I like the style, I like the attempt at unaffected simplicity but the band do need a little bit of angular 'ooomph' thrown in so as to ignite the set at certain times. Maybe this incendiary inclusion could come about by some basic power chord chug outs with volume up and unified stances adopted or perhaps a real fast tune or two could be the other option. If this route was taken then I am sure the already sweet delicacies would be given an extra sugar boost and have the punters salivating - just a thought. Tonight the set was as tidy as last time I saw them and was flicked off the wrist in decent wanking style. No fave songs, none that I hate - just middle-ground stuff to swallow or spit.
Dream America - an organised well strung band pouring out a modernised style I have seen many times over, especially in the struggling 90's - it doesn't matter, originality is dead anyhow - everything is a rehash. I liked this lot though, very uniformed, well drilled, powerful and quite fluent in their approach. One thing you need to do when adopting a string led orchestration of noise is to get it nailed and this lot did just that. The 30 minute set suited them to a tee and saw them pour in some good riff and roll, tweak and twang tuneage that needs further scrutiny. The radar is tuned in, I shall be dabbling again no doubt.
Manifest - I have always been reluctant somewhat to make a full on decision about this lot despite them tingling my todge of tuneage a few times over. The band are a lovely set of chaps and are always amiable and have a good sonic streak built in but I always suspected they had a notch they could easily move up to without too much effort. Tonight I felt was an example of ascension, the extra rung was attained and so my initial desires were satiated by a set that blew its own bollocks off and prodded at the anal bag of text this assessor tries to leak out in small turd-size chunks! Powerful, tantrumised, sizzling hardcore that swapped gobbage, thrashed in unison and yet still gave room for each member to blow off their own steam. With a fine absorbed drummer at the rear pounding out the beat I found this a solid treat to feed on. I missed the first two songs (cunt) but I was well fed at the end of this and walked away more than a little aroused - more please, more.
Buddhist Anarchist - a band outside the circle, a band I have always told people to get on, grooved down with and fuckin' enjoy. Fuck inside restriction, melt down the shackles so many scenes adopt, throw Buddhist Anarchist onto any kind of gig and the business done will be signed, sealed and delivered up your disbelieving arsehole with much relish, much rhythmic brutality. The geezers are grand, they grind out tunes that they are totally immersed in with drums twat splatted, bass devilishly manipulated and guitar abused and fingered by a first rate molester who has a fire in his belly. The whole set is a complete bout of thudding noise blended with cooled down moments and mesmerising absorption - and as per 'Damage' is a classic that needs airing in every noised up head in the land. One of the best on the block for me and as long as they keep moving this way I hope the external ignorance will be trampled underfoot.
At this point I should have left, and indeed I did, but returned with my lasses in tow whom I convinced to join me so we could show support for the fine DIY retro garage of Nervous Twitch. I have seen these buggers a few times now (always on one of my gigs) and have had no complaints whatsoever - tonight there was no change. A stripped out sound with jingle jangle lo-fi tuneage done with a keen ear for that old style sound so many overlook. Bass is a fine groundwork on which to build, the skinwork totally accurate for the job at hand and the 6 strung weaponry shimmers with high articulation essential to this just beautiful generic schizzle. The songs smoulder at times, burst into flame when required but all the while contain a fascinating surfy sub-psychedelic sonic flavour to intrigue. The band still have more to come though, I can feel it in my beer soaked water - maybe work on pushing it harder into the face of the onlooker, get out there, look em' in the eye, and show you believe it. A jig was encouraged by this enchanted scummer and a few loveable rogues joined in (ta) and the set continued to please over and over again. Love it and don't let this 'Modern World' get ya down, go out and give as good as ya take.So that was it for me, butterflies and dragonflies to see on the morrow so an early night it was but...the 5 bands I did see and the event itself was worth the effort. If there were more hours in the day and more days in a week (and the doctor would give me free drugs) then I would be at every DIY gig under the sun and out at a different nature reserve everyday but...alas I cannot do it all and I have no cloning system. The overall message once again is this though - the best noise is the new noise, it is far more believable, more for the punter in the pit, has an essence that one can feel is ours. £4 for this gig tonight, 4 fuckin' quid for 8 bands in total - I only got 5 in and thought it was more than worth it so what is your gripe? Keep going Danny mate and I am right behind you, there or not!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (22 June 2014)