FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
Stuck at the arse end of a busy weekend and up against several so called 'big' names that always pull punters no matter what they say - that was the lot of tonight's STP offering. Add to this the arctic conditions, the fact that the promoter (Stu Taylor) was caught putting muscle relaxants in my drink at his last show and it was with disbelief that I found myself at the door of the Star and Garter paying actual money to enter. Tonight however my arse was fully corked and under very strong wrapping - darn that pesky pervert! Having said all this I had high hopes of a bright and cheery gig but...little did I know it would end on an appallingly gloomy...nay embarrassing, note! Read on!
First up after purchasing a bottle of Adam's Ale and a tin of Coke was the young upstart known as Charlie Ingham. A wee tot of a lad (ooh must be about 12 - 13 if that) whom plays his primarily cover based set with youthful joy and hunger. He strums with precocious talent and although the noteage isn't the sharpest, the buzz of the guitar is a little too similar during all tracks the dude has much time to improve and has a decent 'fair enough for now' appeal. The cover songs included 'Big A, Little A', Blitzkrieg Bop', All Gone Dead' and 'White Riot' amongst others but it is his own material that I was most interested in. It sounded well composed and with the passage of the tick tock these initial embryonic offerings can grow into something quite impressive, of that there is no doubt. The crowd were respectful, decently applauded and encouraged and I hope they offered advice when he crawled down off stage quite pleased with himself. All I can do is my humble bit and hopefully we can get the tuneful turnip motivated to stick it out and keep on progressing to a veritable artiste. The makings are there - soon will be the time to take risks, throw in a few alterations of sound and keep pushing the potential. Nice one dude - keep rolling.
A tootle about into the draft-ridden exterior (outside) and back in for none other than Paul Carter which, incidentally rhymes with Ball Farter - now that would be a trick? This delightful chap always gets my vote as he represents everything fuckin' good about the punk scene. Earthy, real, unpretentious, unassuming, amiable and darn good company with a strong thirst for booze - faultless - oh and he has a good array of songs that I always enjoy. Tonight was no different but the crowd seemed a little withdrawn unlike for the first young sprout and the forthcoming acts (a lass and a name) - are ya with me! Anyway regardless Paul played a fuckin' good un' and played his songs with belief, joviality and simplistic attention. 'Gob On Your Granny' is sound, 'Cos I Had Speed' utterly witty, the 'Benny Hill Theme Tune' homage to a genius and the encore of 'Rentaghost' one of the best covers I have heard. The guy is just so in tune with this latter effort and it really is a treat to behold. Like I say I enjoyed the whole shebang despite missing the opening 2 tracks and for me it is people like Paul who deserve the utmost respect from the whole community. Here's to many more years just doing it - if ya ain't caught him yet do so and just enjoy.
After the set Paul collared me down stairs and a fine chat was had - On The Buses, Star Trek, Dr Who, Steptoe and Son, the weather, gigs and of course Rentaghost - many themes in such a short time and then Paul popped back upstairs, I popped out and nattered with the lasses on the door and Andy the owner and whoosh the third act was missed - namely Louise Distras. It happens now and again - bah, bollocks, bum, tit. Anyone wanting to review it is more than welcome. By all accounts she was half decent to...oops maybe next time for me!
Finally Henry Cluney, ex-Stiff Little Finger now plucking around on his lonesome and just enjoying the ride. Feedback had been rather harsh concerning this guy from the few sources I had spoken with and after chatting with Stu he explained the overall score (good nights/off nights ye know the crack). My judgement anyway was as thus - laden with honesty and open unbiased opinion. As always you know my opinions on nostalgia, OK in small doses and fine and dandy if it doesn't come at the expense of other acts. Alas this is very rarely the case so I am always sceptical when it comes to regurgitated noise the star struck will latch on to. The crowd, in the main, wasn't the usual underdog faces although a few supporters were there so all hope was not lost. The set began and the crowd was immediately attentive (it's the name ya know) but, and I hold my hands up, despite a running that soared high and now and again slipped down low this was...fuckin' darn enjoyable and...highly believable. There was a convincing edge to this from a bloke etched in a kind of 'oh what the hell' and 'let's have some fun' way. A free spirit pervaded, good banter was given, Cluney almost felt like one of the boys (and why not) and the lack of affectation even won this obdurate fucker across. The stop, chinwag, start moments heightened the approachability of the guy and the crowd responded with smiles aplenty and many sing-a-long moments. The warmth spread and all and one seemed happy despite, as said, the sloppy moments. 'Suspect Device', 'Wasted Life', 'Nobodies Heroes', 'Tin Soldiers', Alternative Ulster', Barbed Wire Love' and Mr Fire Coal Man' - you get the drift - a 100% trip down memory lane - mmmm- not my way as a look forward punker but it does no harm if one indulges and comes out still hungry for new stuff. Would I recommend Mr Cluney despite my stance - most certainly and if he wanders this way again I'll make every effort to support the gig. Nice one chap but...
When everything seemed to be going well...
When all and sundry were carried away with the tickling tuneage...
The clock had ticked on and the gig had...
OVER RUN IT'S FINISH TIME!
There is only one man to blame for this 4 minute failing, one bald selfish bastard with no consideration for others, a pot bellied cunt with no regard for Father Time. That man is the insidious, malodorous beast known as Stu Taylor of STP Promotions (STP standing for Smelly Toilet Paper or Seedy Time Pervert or indeed Slack Todged Pillock). I could go on, I am too sickened to proceed - never in all my time gigging have I been so let down, so deflated, so utterly dumbfounded - Mr Taylor ye sir are a swine but...hey you put on some crackin' shows, for the right reasons, have a fuckin' top attitude and are a fine man so...hey let's just forget about it ha, ha.
£5 for a good night and an early finish (well almost) - what more do ya want - oh big names - nah - look elsewhere - stick it in the gutter, with the bread and butter and move it all on a little faster. Next year ye get less punk from Stu it seems - ye had yer chance. I am near enough 100% attendance at these shows and I'll tell - a wonderful journey it is - get on board or miss the bus. Alas I'll be missing a few shortly due to being elsewhere but let me tell ya that is my loss and it stings - don't feel the same pain.
Review by Fungalpunk/OMD (25 March 2013)