Another week done, another donut swallowed, another gig at the start of the weekend! Once again I did my bit, arrived in good time, but once more I was met with a vision of a grinning fiend on the stairs inside the gaff who took great delight in the fact that the gig was running overtime - bastard. The fiend was indeed Mr Diggle, the promoter for the event and the deviant who takes extra pride in fiddling with the hands of time (and its private bits too I expect). A volley of abuse was sent his way and off he skipped, with a mischievous grin on his face, back into the dark recesses of the upstairs gig room.

I purchased a couple of cans of non-too-shite beer (things were looking better already) and chatted with a few good beans who were looking forward to the evening ahead (no matter what time it finished). I gabbed away, made various inane comments (I'm good at that) and then was accosted by Noz 'Purple Dome' O' Nobule. He seemed teary, I asked why, he gave me a cutting from his diary, this it what it said, excuse the digression'.

Diary Extract - 19 February 2013 - of Noz O'Nobule - a man in love with desire

It has been a fine day that ended in disaster, where can I start? I'd been with Brian all day and all I can say is we ended up in the sack indulging ourselves to the extreme - it had to happen. I had been bummed on several occasions before but when the time came for Brian to expand my bowel I just fell apart in a maelstrom of emotion. As I looked into his one good lust filled eye and his one empty glass orb I, without thinking, dropped my trolleys, climbed on the bed face down, and raised my pimpled arse for him to corrupt. I looked over my shoulder and saw Bri's mighty weapon for the first time, a good 8 inch of lumpy beef, with a dome at least 5 inch across - like a fuckin' golf club man, a golf club - Fore!!! It was over in an instant, in, a ramming, a  peer backward again, I saw Brian’s one eye roll upwards, his nose seep blood, heard his final utterance of 'Call Me Betty' and whoosh, an ass full of black seed was mine and...Brian dropped dead. My dilemma - am I a murderer, can I carry on this affair with a dead man, will the bands on the gig later this week be any good'. Oh what a life!

I looked at Noz with pity, I could offer no answers. He offered me a picture of Brian - wow what a stunner - a Cycloptic ginger beast with a leer straight out of the asylum and a complexion similar to sandpaper with lumps on! I returned the portrait, shook my head and suggested all is not lost, the bands tonight may just be OK. Noz tootled off - half an hour later I caught him indulging in a full on snog with a 20 stone Kenyan - such is human nature.

Back to the bands, after throwing a brick at a passing priest I headed upstairs and indulged in the Rabid Dogs, (Headbanger with a Nosebleed or two). The set was built on the entertainment factor and was primarily a cover do with many Slaughter and the Dogs efforts thrown in. As well as these some good old songs that rung the bells of familiarity were chucked out and the already swollen crowd seemed to lap it up. Being critical...well I can't...I don't do cover bands but this wasn't just that and in truth the band poured out a fuckin' enjoyable set that captured the attention of the crowd that seemed, in the main, to have crept out of the woodwork. So many gigs I attend in Manc, so many faces never appear until the big band is in town, here was a case in point. Hey ho! Yes The Rabid Dogs did the opening stint well and many tunes were tattooed with neat flamboyance, solid mid-riffery and gave birth eventually to many overall solid toons. The frontman is accomplished and sanguine, the drummer, well, he has been around a while so he should be half fuckin' decent ha, ha. Two stringmen knocked out some good punishing melodies and I went back downstairs for a beer quite happy.

A slurp, a slash, a slanderous attack on many - I do all three quite excellently! Up for The Vile!

The next band was typical punkage that one could hear on any gigging night of the week up and down this septic country. Does that make it any less relevant? Why should it - you pay your money and you take yer chance - if anger, energy, intent and a good old noise fuck is what you are after then why shouldn't this puke fulfil thy desires? Having the current Discharge frontman on vocals is seemingly an attractant and also sends you down an avenue of noise that brings in the obvious flavours many will indeed want. Me, I am an eclectic old fruit and can take or leave this stuff whenever the need arises but the band did pour in their arses and souls, there was a distinct conviction, there was a definite generic edge so many find solace in. I prefer to tear up safety nets of sound rather than wallow in them but I do have an inner appetite for any old racket making and so took this for what it was. Good riffs, powerhouse deliveries, a predictable cover that impressed me so much I can't fuckin' remember it - bah! A decent band doing their thing and keeping an important flame alive within one big conflagration that eventually destroys all due to the 'people' and 'ego' factor. I like it and I don't if you get my drift - The Vile though seemed to convince many so into the minority I shall be escorted yet again...talking of which…

Peter and The Test Tube Babies next and a band that I have never really been a fan of. Once again the room was filled for a trip down memory lane at the expense of gigs where many outfits will ply their technically better and more relevant trade for less fuckin' interest - and that isn't punk at all! But forgetting all that and my own personal passion the Test Tubes did pull a crowd, did entertain throughout - I missed the first 2 tracks and the last 2 - and they did play a fair set. The angst, vulgarity and fun was all there, the predictability rife, the classic numbers the highs - the punters wanted it and who am I to complain? Well for one I have an opinion and fully entitled to it you are so think on ya twats! 'Maniac' was an high for me, love that song, 'Banned From The Pubs' a low - a real basic cut with no real clout. A few other recognisables did the business. The pit pinged and popped, I am still not the bands biggest fan. I could put the boot in, I could praise - I'll do neither because I have much to do on many fronts but hey if this lot are loving it, the people want it then so be it - I’ll be mooching elsewhere!

Is there a place for the old school hangers on - of course there is and bloody good luck to em', is there room for the more basic side of punk built on passion and undying -spirit - darn right ye doubters. But, and the biggest but as far as I am concerned - there is plenty of room not to get stuck in the past, to move on and support the new breed, the new talent that will take us forward and keep the noise happening, in yer face and fuckin' real. By all means support yer faves, support the old crop who have done their bit but never, ever do it at the expense of the lesser known - because you really are missing out. Access all areas as best you can - a bit of this a bit of that, be a bugger, be a twat but be...well not restricted by generic rules and…be yerself.

Off home I went - quite pleased, still with much to say and happy with the few good folk I nattered with - keep it reeeeaaaaal maaan!

review by Fungalpunk Dave (23 February 2013)