Shite a bollock is this some kind of time warp?  A CND gig in the 21st Century.  Is that thing still going?  Apparently yes, and good luck to them.  It's a long time since I attended something like this (1980ish in Wigan, The Insane were headlining), but it's nice to see people still have a cause.   Anyway I turned up not quite knowing what to expect but looking forward to seeing something a bit different. The first thing that struck me was the faces!  None of the usual crowd from the Manchester punk scene which was a bit of a surprise, except that man Banjo (Spittin' Dummies drummer) whose always up for anything.  A few beers downstairs and a wait while my mate Simon eventually stopped winning on the fruit machine (jammy git) and it was upstairs for the first band.

The All-Stars were basically just 2 girls dressed as cheerleaders doing what cheerleaders do - shaking fluffy pom-poms and cheerleading.  Does it sound like crap?  Well astonishingly it wasn't.  They were actually quite good and certainly had a lot of balls to do what they did.  A great opening act in fact and just right to start a gig off.  Well done girls?

Next up came Valerie?  Verdict - garbage.  The bassist only playing one string stood out like a sore thumb and to be honest seeing a band with members as miserable as sin is not my idea of fun.  What's up you gloomy gits - music can be fun you know?

As Valerie came and went so did a couple more beers - far more satisfying.

The Strap-Ons hit the stage next and were very, very good.  Playing as a band and having a good time is a good place to start but when you back it with good music, well you can't go far wrong.  The front man looked especially comfortable eyeballing the crowd and did the rest of the group justice. I can't understand why I haven't heard more from this band because the punk scene would accept them gladly.  Good attitude!

Last and not least, but not most, were an outfit called Politburo.  Again another miserable bunch of moody sods who, luckily could play a bit.  Not great in my humble opinion but not crap either - I think a case of just there!  However, Banjo can confirm that they were indeed shit and the singer looked like a right C**T.  Sounds good to me.

Not a bad night really and good to see a different crowd - but one final thought.  If in support of CND is it compulsory to be a sour faced lesbian?  On this showing I may just have the answer.

review by OMD (24 March 2003)