Let us get one thing straight - time is indeed precious. It is a gift not to be wasted and used as best as possible to do ones bit - is that clear! So, many may ask why spend time doing gig reviews, why bother to record what has been, what the world in general couldn't give two flying fucks about and what is, in the main, part of an overlooked genre that makes very little impression in the modern day? The answer is simple but has many afcets, these being: - a/ Because it is an excellent platform on which to give kind criticism and pass on hopefully helpful enthusiasm, b/ It is a worthwhile way of recording occurrences that matter, that need to be noted and that deserve extra attention, c/ Without reviews the vibe of the gig is lost forever and that in itself is a tragedy, d/ The artistes and promoters need all the help they can get and finally e/ If I don't do my humble bit then who the fuck will? Those are my reasons, those are the points I make to hopefully make a few think and get their arses in gear in what is a world of take, take, take or what's in it for me - disgusting. Think on. These days I pick and choose my reviews dependant on many factors (time, as stated, being the main one) but I try, and that is all I ask you lot to do!

So rant over, time to the review, a small overview of a night in Manchester at the seemingly doomed Star and Garter with the reliable and loyal STP crew at the helm whom were trying the best to raise a few nuggets for a young sprout who needed a bit of medical help (Oi Oi Ezme). I arrived well before the start after an afternoon stood in the cold at Cheadle Town FC where I witnessed a 3-0 kicking in horrendous weather and on a mud strewn pitch. A chat with the STP ladies and Uncle Stu and upstairs with a beer for the first band of the night.

The toilet walls of tonality were once adorned with three shitty smears of the most bitchiest order, 3 smears that clattered and battered their stinking sonica this way and that with much praise along the way had. Alas the detergent using deviant who wipes so many players off the brickwork of discordance did his bit again and one smear was removed and we were left with just two - boo, hiss. The two refused to be wiped away, they merged together and became one dirty brown mess. The mess took on a shape - two ears, a snout, a nice brownish furry finish - hey the slogan that an invisible hand scrawled below seemed apt - You Want Fox? Tonight after finding their sonic feet the two remaining reekers of rhythm got up and plied their trade with just a bass and drums for assistance - well, well, well - surely not 2 Sick Monkeys in drag (shudder, shudder). The noise radiated was tinged with garaged tones, thumped along with tympanic gusto and given a good underscore of rib-rattling by an alive and alert bass tremble. The start wasn't impacting enough but I am sure that will come and may I be so rude as to suggest that a nice riffed up instrumental wouldn't go amiss as a commencement to proceedings (just a thought). The start grew in stature though and by the time they had reached a song called 'Addiction' a real flow was had (and that wasn't just the beer) with the heads going down and hot-nobbing to the finale (anyone reading any sexual connotations into this needs to washed their brains out with bleach - ya mucky pups). As per with initial viewings one can only make delicate decisions and tentative judgements but my thoughts were that when adding tempo the band thrived better and if they go more down the full garage route things will be surely more impressive. Nevertheless this was a steady do, had much promise and gave suggestion of a band who should do OK. I look forward to the next encounter with assessing mitts at the ready.

Next up and The Polyesters, a band I put on only two months prior at the very same gaff and whom I reviewed with the sign off 'it will be interesting to see how they progress'. Progress was indeed on my mind tonight and I hoped and prayed that the band would not disappoint - oh ye stupid, doubting Fungal ass. This was a fantastic effort and when compared to their previous outing showed a considerable swing upwards with definitely more thrust in the hips, more spittle in the gob and more guts within the belly. The band displayed a thriving unity and with their impish stick siren on superb form they had a constructive platform on which to build with the lasses at the fore all plucking and fuckin' with a noisy conflagration in the pit of their souls. The switch of vocal duties offers much scope to manoeuvre and change tack so that the onlooker is always enthused.  The guitars, when posed with and worked as an entire chugging machine, move the complete set onto higher plateaus and the desire that steams from the grimaced wenches is a treat to behold. As stated, the sticks were delivered with an absorbed relish and for me a sturdy backbone was created for on which to attach much musical muscle. The crowd responded with applauses and cheers aplenty and at this rate of improvement the band are going to make some mighty impressions out there. One of the best performances of the year thus far.

And Finally to the East Town Pirates. Headliners and fully deserved with their sailing ship of sonica rocking and rolling with the usual vigour and giving the punters in attendance a real swashbuckling treat of streaming hits that all fall into one heave ho of consistent tuneage that has neither flaw nor fuck up. A new dude on drums tonight I believe - fuckin' hell, you wouldn't know it, what a fine smash, crash, smack and wallop affair it was and it really enhanced the impact the band were making. Strings were a tight as you like and frontman Rik delivered his vocals with aplomb, professional insight and with much appealing accuracy. It seems an easy task to gob off to so many wonderful tunes as this but Rik has his chords and spirit in unison and peels out a great range of slightly corroded tonsil work to heighten the experience. Like a hit parade this was, with all songs zoning in on the theme set and as per, my thoughts swung to the question of how long they can keep ploughing at this sea-faring thread. Time will tell but with so many places to play, so many punters to please there is plenty of woof in the dog yet and long may it continue. I would like to see them come on land on their next release and do a little raping and pillaging of new sonic areas but hey, I am forever wanting and never at rest but if you don't prod you don't get a reaction and what would be the point of that?  A fine finish, ‘Ship Ahoy’ indeed!

Done dusted, slightly rusted but sober and happy again - ooh man. A nice effort by all tonight, not a great turn-out but the one's who did must get the applause as well as the gaff for housing the event and the STP crew who chip in and do the business. Oh and good luck to Ezme ya young fruit - here's to a long, happy and punky life for ya - keep pogoing people!

review by Fungalpunk/OMD (29 March 2015)