FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
And so it snows yet again. This is the Punk 4 The Homeless all day birthday bash which was cancelled/postponed two months ago because of snow. So who’s going to trek out this time? Oh yes, Stiff Little Fingers, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and Tenpole Tudor are playing Rock City a couple of miles away as well. No cancelling though Dean Riches the other half of my own outfit The Poor Geezers arrived from Boston the day before so if the worst comes to the worst we will do a 12 hour slot. Anyway here goes - Ska Pete who’s due to be first act on after intros and bits by surrealist/realist poet Dwane Reads and Eagle Spits the bloke who’s trapped in a contradiction, but Pete is ill, understandably cancelled, loads of bugs going round and if he’s anything like I was the beginning of the week he has a three day date with the bathroom, joy!
So Dwane Reads, clever odd angled visions of a mad cap world. The anti psychiatry psychiatrist RD Lang once said “only the insane are sane in an insane world”. Apparently he came to his conclusions by using Dwane Reads as a case study. Insightful, quirky, edgy and funny. In Shakespeare’s plays the fool is always the wise man, here we have a bloke in a plastic policeman’s helmet shining a torch into our world for sooth. Dwane popped up several times during the course of the day and each time people loved him especially when he did a poem about prawns inspired by Tezza from E.S.O. With Tezza peering over his shoulder looking like a two headed punk rock beast. Another chap who cropped up on occasion was rapping poet type bloke Headshifta who was more traditional in his approach and subject matter being more street level politico inspired.
OK first band:- Rude and Reckless, not the rock-steady outfit one might expect because of the name but a punk heavy pop punk band with balls, energy, youth and harmonies. Tracks included, ‘Break Something’, ‘Money and Freedom’, well played punk music from Cambridge. A young, relatively new band but you wouldn’t be able to tell, they rocked like experienced punkers and were a damn fine way to start the day - go and see them or give them a gig the fragile creature we call punk rock needs some fresh blood in its veins else it expires. Rude and Reckless could well be part of that transfusion, watch out for them.
Next band due on phone me, their coach from London has stopped at Milton Keynes (it was not supposed to be going anywhere near Milton Keynes, snows a funny substance) and they are going to be late. The band supposed to be third on the bill are The Poor Geezers, so we changed sets.Here’s what Dwane Reads thought of The Poor Geezers “punk 4 the homeless at the doghouse in Carlton. Nottingham.
Dwane Reads spies The Poor Geezers. A collaboration of Eagle Spits & Creepy Cool. They have been around for years, No ego's here on this stage, stripped down bare to basic guitar, bass & snare which are played via foot pedals. With a soothing vocal accompaniment which is not in f what you'd expect. But, hey it seems to work Tracks such as ‘Man Finds Biro’, ‘Homeless Again’ and ‘3 Times Dead’ you've just got to listen to. This would work well as a busking set, which I did enjoy including the track ‘She’ with Rachel Eagling on vocals.
Time to take to the streets Geezers.
We had been on stage 5 minutes when Joy Radio walked in, yes! Not much of a hiccup they could go on next. The coach ride from London hadn’t worn them out, they raged. Today is the day Sonic Youth broke, bands seldom get better than this. Controlled mayhem, controlled feedback, top notch musicianship. These guys are young, multi talented and edgier than a Triceratops. If you like your punk experimental then you could do far worse than these guys. I love this stuff, Steve Albini would be proud and their young bald headed front-man was wearing a Minor Threat T-shirt to boot, a fine pedigree in a band soooo young but with enough nouse to make their influences work for them.
Next in the Colosseum are Luddite Bastard , this is the second time they had played a Punk 4 The Homeless gig and in the 18 or so months since last time they seem to have grown up as a band. Not in any naff AOR sense but their musical muscle has got tighter with its flexing and the guys have just got a damn sight tighter. There is the obvious Leftover Crack skankiness but now a harder almost metal influenced spine in the creature. Those in attendance cheered, applauded, danced etc. today Luddite Bastard were very good and a big thank you to them for lending the backline. Good quality scruffy punk rock of the variety to be found in the 21st Century.
All the way from St Albans via Spain or something, come Brocker, fun loving 3 piece punk outfit with a love for flamenco, ska and rockabilly. These guys love making music and it is obvious. The fun is addictive and feet cannot keep still when the tracks ‘GangstaSka’ and ‘One Man Moshpi’t are played. They are tight and extremely enthusiastic. Thirty minutes of high octane catchiness.
If anyone has been wondering who the 10 year old lad is who has been so enthusiastically watching bands so far, he is the drummer of Sods Law. Old skool, political, shouty punk rock with a cracking drummer. Anti war, anti government, police etc, the ingredients to bake the finest old skool punk rock. Rough as you like NO THRILLS, no clever chord changes just basic, full ahead punk bloody rock and that’s good enough for me. Nice one fellas.
So leaving sunny Blackpool to join us in Nottingham are , hard as you like, dirty, rum swilling thrash metal outfit, Constant Source of Disappointment and they go down a storm. In your face, swaggering tight, thrash metal and they are “sick of you”. Old friends of Punk 4 The Homeless, no attitudes, play the music they want and support everyone else. They do a great Misfits cover but they don’t need to, their own stuff just bloody kicks ass, donkey, emu or whatever. A fine noise.
Freedom Faction were on form. Well crafted tuneage with new vocalist who fits the band very well. The other three have been playing together for a long time and therefore are like a well oiled machine turning out strong old skoolish punk rock. Solid, mid-tempo, have a good time, punk. It’s nice to see the band working as a unit again let’s hope it lasts. I really enjoyed Freedom Faction and that’s what they have always been about, having and giving a good time. The band can play and its great seeing them do so.
If you don’t like The Reverends chances are you are at the wrong gig. Finely crafted punk rock from musicians who can play and know how to right songs. At one point I looked at their guitarist Gaz Moore and just thought a young Mick Jones, yes he is that good but so are the rest of the band. There can be found 77 punk here but also early 80's but this isn’t pure retro nor nostalgia, this is punk rock for NOW, exciting, in your face and well delivered. Extremely catchy and sing-a-long but you know when you are singing along to a class song. This band work hard, love music and deserve to be anywhere they want to be. Thank goodness they choose to be at a Punk 4 The Homeless gig today. I had wanted to see them for some time and I was not disappointed. Punk rock has always been my first musical love, bands like The Reverends are why that is so. I cannot fault this band in any way - enough said.
OK next band on stage were Silent Jack and you can be forgiven for thinking you are at the wrong gig. Glam rock/metal or whatever. Not what you would expect at a punk gig but thankfully the punters have brought their open minds and Silent Jack are well received. Big hair, lots of posturing, complicated music. I have no reference point for this kind of thing but I know they can play and know they were punk enough to be up for playing a punk all dayer. Keep doing what you want to do, that’s how this thing works.
Electric Shite Orchestra - you know what to expect by now, mostly covers but the band are getting tighter, grittier and more solid. What they are doing they are doing well. Chunky punk rock covers with a handful of their own tunes chucked into the mix for good measure. What’s not to like about em’ - UP THE ESO!
Penultimate band all the way from London, The Duel, take the stage with a hard looking Debbie Harry on vocals, Tara Rez. Tara and the boys rock out and look great. Nothing wrong with looking good, I just fail to do so. Ramones, Blondie, The Clash, all influences but it sounds like there’s a twinge of mod creeping through now as well. Full on life affirming stuff encouraging unity. The Duel keep their brand of punk fresh and spirited. Another band with quality musicianship and catchy tunes. After 30+ minutes they were joined on stage by Eagle Spits who cocked up ‘London Calling’ for them. The San Miguel was good. Yes The Duel do wear their influences on their sleeve and the rest of their clothing but their new wave/punk rock attire is more than a fashion statement, they live the walk and can be found on demonstrations outside Indonesian Embassies when the media controlled punks are safely tucked up warm in suburbia. Enjoy their sounds, watch em’ get excited, jump about a bit with em’ and feel good about yourself.
OK we are getting there, Addictive Philosophy. Crusty, anarcho, ska, punk, festival, political, trumpet and other tags. Spot on, enjoyable music from some nice people. Think Citizen Fish, Specials, Zounds. People danced and people had a good time whilst governments were berated. And an anarcho vision portrayed with guitars, drums and brass. Eagle Spits wanted an encore so they did ‘Banned From The Roxy’, it’s a strange affair when he can remember Crass lyrics but not The Clash.
Overall an awesome day with some top notch bands. A mega raffle and all in a superb, friendly venue. Watch this space because Punk 4 The Homeless will be back at The Doghouse.
A major thank you to all the bands, everyone who helped in any way. We helped some very needy children and had a jolly fine time.
All proceeds to street children charity, CasaAlianza,
review by Eagle Spits/Dwane Reads (26 March 2013)