My good lady and myself were struggling to get to this gig after a hectic day sorting gymnastics out for the little un' and dashing down to Northwich to do a mushroom reccie prior to two walks I am leading there in October. A quick tea and out dropping some flyers at The Thatched House in Stockport then to Bolton for this gig which featured 4 bands I was totally unfamiliar with. Having recently packed in with punk gigs at The Dog and Partridge due to a lack of interest it would be interesting to see what promoter Cotty could do wth 4 bands on a Saturday night that weren't exactly punk but obscure enough to make it a task indeed. Upon arrival we had chance for a brief natter with the said promoter and then the first band were up and at it. Well almost at it after a bit of equipment niggles held them up for about 10 minutes. Eventually We Say Summer began a short and strange set that lacked any gritty punk vibe and up-front attitude. In fact this is the kind of stuff that gets wrongly labelled as punk and should really find a new tag for itself so as to avoid confusing punters and not delivering what is to be expected. This was nothing special although it had a few powerhouse moments that displayed the band do have ability. To me this mode of melody is an opposing taste to what I usually like to partake of and it just isn't my chosen listening matter. The few in attendance appreciated them but me and my missus looked at each other and passed a fungal thumbs down verdict.
After a chat with Blackburn Danny whom is of several bands we awaited the sounds of Turn It Red. Now Danny knows I don't like technical punk stuff and said that the next band (featuring ex-Slash Monkeys 'erbert Adam) would impress me no end and are in no way at all a fiddly, string tweaking outfit! Well going on this evidence I wouldn't say that Turn It Red are a straight ahead band and they had quite a lot going on within each song to say the least. This was better than the first band and had some right meaty moments with the warm-up song the best of the lot. The guys can obviously dish out some cracking riffs and all on-lookers seemed to appreciate this with much enthusiasm. The main point though is that this wasn't a gig that had punks in attendance and I looked on and was quite baffled to see that there wasn't one pair of buttocks in attendance. This was full of those baggy trousered boys who seem hellbent on giving the appearance that the crack of their arse is as low to the ground as possible. Hey I ain't knocking em' as this is their scene and they obviously enjoy it but the main hitch is that this kind of stuff primarily is nothing to do with the punk racket I peddle. I guess its a taste thing but watching this lot and the band they were viewing rammed home the fact that I was a fish out of the pond. Turn It Red have wide capabilities and if you like this stuff go check em' out but for me it's a no, no.
So two down and both unimpressed it was on to Over and Out a band hailing from Brighton and one who served up a quite appetising mix of popping rock which me and my missus both enjoyed. Rather than trying to blow the crowd away they set about doing their own thing in their own style and this was a real tonic after the first two deflating outfits. Again not entirely where the fungal ones favour lies but I am partial to a bit of pop punk especially when it is played so well. This was well organised and all-encompassing and only the last few songs failed to maintain the high standard. More familiarity needs to be built up on my part and a CD will have to be sought at some point. I would expect alot from these on the silver disc and hopefully can catch up with them again soon.
Finally it was the turn of another Brighton band, A Man Down who mixed pop and hardcore and Yankee wanky influence and came up with their own heady potion of melody and riffology. Being slightly fucked at this point I only stayed for the first 4 numbers and what I did see was bouncy upbeat tuneology with plenty of vim and vigour to entice the crowd into some kind of appreciative action. It was effective but nothing new under the sun but alas what is these days. I should have stopped through to the end but was really struggling to stay focussed and so left rather than misjudge a band because I wasn't paying full attention.
A struggle tonight and the Dog and Partridge still seems to be working hard to find a new lease of life. Promoter Cotty it seems has had enough and after tonights lowly turn-out it won't help him to change his mind. The lad works hard and pushes the gigs he does all he can as well as putting on a diverse array of sound but if people don't show then what can one do. Personally the major high were Over and Out and anyone into poppy punk should have a listen.
Punk is suffering many fractures at the moment and these sub-pockets of punters just don't seem to cross genres a fact I have mentioned on several occasions. If things don't improve the fractures will become severe breaks and then the scene will eventually fall apart. Despite several other gigs I could have gone to tonight of which had bands on I know I would have enjoyed I chose this because both Cotty and the Dog need support as well as the fact that I knew out of all the gigs this one would be struggling the most. I guess me and my missus being in the crowd didn't help matters at all but we made the effort and that in truth is all I ask of the scene!
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (29 September 2008)