I should have been at two gigs today but after various goings on I ended up at just this one. I have done too much lately and in truth it has been to the detriment of my family life and although not intentional, my enthusiasm and love for punk has had me in cloud cuckoo land somewhat. I'd love to be able to do everything but alas I do not have the power to contort time to my will and so meet the needs of everyone and fulfil my insatiable thirst for noise and nature. As I have always stated family, punk and wildlife are what I am with 'family' always the priority. I needed reminding of this and reminded I am so there ya go.
Enough of my personal state of play and onto the gig proper. Arriving in good time it was no surprise to see the omnipresent figure of Stu Taylor on the door. Had he been home since the last gig? Will the man eventually turn to stone and be a local landmark outside the Star and Garter we can all go and pay our respects to? Very worrying and kind of comforting in a strange way to see this bloody likeable chap in his usual role!
A good chat with Stu and some other local bods and the clock soon ticked on and the first band were tearing it up with a darn good punk rock noise to savour. Bassist and lead guitarist swapped vocal duties which maintained high interest with all and sundry and some red hot riffage was played within the main melting pot that won my favour from the word go. Senseless have asked me on numerous occasions for a gig and I have tried here and there to accommodate but never actually got around to booking them. On this evidence it has been entirely my loss and I hang my head in shame at missing out on this red hot 3 piece. The opening 4 tracks seared into the attentive areas and head me nodding along in rhythmic approval. What Senseless do is grasp the fundamental genitals of punk rock and rub em' up the right way with a sonic sexual expertise liable to fuck the ear drums of all in attendance. I felt shagged out by the end of it so what more could I ask for? Despite my lowly mood this was a tuneful tonic I needed and a big thanks to the guys is given. I fuckin' love a good din!
Rising Strike came next after a small interval and where soon into the swing and knocking out a set to savour which was the best I have viewed to date. A really good bunch of unassuming blokes this and worthy of the entire scenes support due to their attitude, artistry and general sonic outpouring. They have played a couple of SAS shows and the head is held high and proud as I can point the finger and say 'told you they were a good band.' I have prodded and poked their cause in the background and gigs and notice are being had which suits me fine. Tonight's ska-core treat mixed numbing riffage with sharp upstroked skank and technical twiddling and combined to give an end result to scoff down like a sonic bulimic. The band looked the most relaxed I have seen them with the drummer totally loose and at ease and being a noteworthy musician to keep an eye on when ya see em' 'live'. Mind you the other players ain't half bad and really know their instruments inside out (in a non-sexual way of course). Loved it and long may the Strike Rise (in both sexual and non-sexual ways). The song about X-Factor was my personal fave but what it was called as totally slipped my mind. Fantastic stuff – take note!
Finally the much anticipated Wasted Life. After reviewing their CD I was looking forward to this as the whole effort rocked hard and had a veritable clout to be reckoned with. Tonight the opening dug deep and the band rattled forth and promised to build momentum and really tear it up from midway onwards. Unfortunately it didn't happen and although the flat-line hit was at a fair level it wasn't enough for old Fungal and I expected a whole lot more. With two guitarists the overall explosion of sound wasn't there and I couldn't help thinking that something was just a little below par throughout. 'Oi You', 'Kick Me', '1977' and 'All Fucked Up' are all solid songs amongst many but tonight the sound didn't maximise the potential and so I was left a little deflated. I am not convinced this was a true reflection of the band though and on many occasions I have seen a crew for the first time and been left unimpressed only to go back and see once more and to be given the true reflection of the crew’s cacophony. This was Ok but there is more to be had - watch this space.
So yet another STP gig and yet another less than impressive turn-out for a trio of decent bands. I did a head count during the last band and came up with 24 onlookers which is shit to say the least. There were more in than that during the earlier bands but nothing close to what should have been in attendance. Another gig clash too which fails to help the cause but such is the scene. I enjoyed it and realise that some things can never change and 'punk' as I deem it is a beast altered and never to be what it originally set out to be. I'd recommend all three bands for your viewing but alas I am a passionate enthusiast who really does need to calm down ha, ha. Get fuckin’ punking.
review by OMD (23 May 2010)