FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
I knew in my heart of hearts that tonight would be a struggle but niavely thought the quality of bands I had on would attract a few 'in the know' punters and so make the whole effort worthwhile. When will I ever learn and listen to the sobering voice of fact and reason?
Myself and good lady hit the venue at approximately 6.30pm and chatted with landlord Neil about the nights entertainment and plans for an outdoor stage and future Fungalskapunka nights. His backing and belief is quite admirable and only adds to my feelings of guilt when the gigs don't fulfil their true potential. Tonight we were up against 3 major festivals and a free gig (organised after mine had been set in place) literally two streets away (talk about pulling together). Anyway with last minute pull-outs and a mad rush to fill the gaps I was hoping the work would pay off but wasn't so carried away as to not realise this would be a real trial. Adding to the other 4 competitors for the nights punters I was also up against the Ricky Hatton fight and The Eurovision Song Contest. Yas indeedy folks even shite like this affects turn-outs and that is the current state of affairs as regards live music - sad or what? If only I would have performed those atrocities with Terry Wogan - maybe the smug twat would have repaid the favour by pulling the whole show or moving it to another night. Then again...
Spoon Command turned up and we swapped notes on local scenes and chinwagged about what we all had planned. Apparently a forthcoming EP called 'Ladle Of Filth' is on the cards which I found very fuckin' amusing. Good likeable lads these from the south of Wales and their lengthy drive once again added to the weight of guilt on my shoulders if this was going to to be a quiet night. Aaaaaaaggggghhhhh (Lovecraftesque exclamations of pain and frustration - and why not).
2 Sick Monkeys arrived as did Ded Mole Crickit and eventually Mr Turpentine and the show had to kick off as time was now advanced and the crowd, well I mean expected crowd, was absent. So with not one single punter in attendance except myself, my missus and other band members (oh and the sound guy) Spoon Command burst in and gave a fuckin' performance that was a nice start to the evening's punk riot. With great intent and a general mid-paced assault I thought this lot played a quite excellent set. Don't forget - the room was empty and these guys could have thought 'fuck it' and have gone through the motions and got on and off as quick as premature ejaculating pigeon. No - these 3 welsh warriors gave some great riff attacks, some very nicely executed moments and an overall fuckin' good do. The best song was one which mixed vocal duties between the drummer and guitarist which if I remember rightly was about 'some evil cunts dying'. Terry Wogan perhaps ha, ha.
Dead Mole Crickit next and the start with 'Ghost Town' dripped with class which continued to smoothly cruise on the good ship skank and the turbulent waves of hashish soaked waters swelled quite mightily with the jazzy reggae vibe catching the breeze and giving the few in attendance (a neutral count of 2 this time) a good do. Similar to a laid back jam my initial thoughts of a good band were reinforced by this excellent set. My wife hated it and I suspect this is a usual theme with DMC as audiences are going to be totally for or against this mode of music. Like I said I adored it and the dreamy segments mixed with meaty slices worked well and the 'King Of The Jungle' finale was a great way to greet the finish line.
All the fuckers who were missing this were really losing out and as Jonny Turpentine hit the stage it finally sunk in that this was going to be the worst attended gig that I have ever put on. Jonny did his bit and again I thought he did brilliantly. He maintained an optimism and rattled off his tunes with dedication and after 20 - 25 minutes I pulled him off and said enough was enough. No insult to Jonny but I thought he desreved better and it was paining me immensely to see him play to this barren room. At least he had two punters ha, ha. His songs of emo's, punks and society in general were great and I was totally absorbed but the distraction of the void was too much to bear so off he came. Jonny needs a crowd to banter with and the fact no one was there is my total responsibility so I did what I deemed fit. No bother with the said artiste and his promise of playing for me again, anytime, anyplace was really nice.
Lastly the fantastic 2 Sick Monkeys. Pete asked me 'how long have we got' and I responded with instructions to just rattle through it as quickly as possible and let's all fuck off home. The 2 'erberts from Swindon did just that and I'll tell you something - this 200mph set was a total fuckin' stunner and all the people who keep saying 'yeah these two guys are great' really fuckin' missed a superb performance that was drenched in belief, spirit, defiance and punk attitude. Again the lack of crowd was disregarded and the lads played a true humdinger and this really says what's in the hearts of this duo when they get up and do their best in these starved times. This bunch should be eating from the top of the tree and I despair when I see less convicted players kissing the right arses and achieving more without this hungry, admirable spirit. It was all good as per usual and this fastest set yet was I think their best. The workaholic dedication will put these 2 poorly primates in good stead and when Pete informed me earlier that in no way were they giving in it really was a great note in which to encapsulate what tonight did achieve.
After a true failure my head was low but not beaten. There are some genuine punk dudes out there but in this trough of apathy and idleness these bands are being vastly let down by people who claim to love music and are really only interested in self, scene and status. I want no glory, I want no praise, I want no success (well not the form society says). No - all I want is a good thriving punk rock circuit were talent and attitude gets its just rewards and people are hungry for new sounds. In this day and age of affectation, downloads, celebrity and sheen it seems we have a long way to go (if ever) before we see some semblance of how the scene should operate. Depressing I know but come on - let's hang on in there and give it our best.
Apologies and accolades to all who played tonight as you deserve both in equal abundance. And remember - when the scene is shite, keep burning bright and when the crowds are thin, never give in! Be punk and walk against the winds of destruction!
Review by Fungalpunk/OMD - (27 May 2008)