FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
After what seems like an age I finally got to a gig despite recent money worries and such like. Financially the year has been shite and my giggology has suffered as such. The wildlife commitments have been many too and work has kept me on my toes as well, all combining to make me a tired bugger with little time to 'get out there'. Nonetheless after tonight I hit my annual target of seeing 50 all time new bands (current total 51 in fact) and still have room to try and get it up to the 75 mark before the year end. Anyway me and my grand family (3 of us in total) set off and had a perfect drive to the gaff without one wrong turning - a real bonus and one people who are familiar with Bradford will totally understand. Parked up and into the gaff and chats with top geezers Kenny, Leon (Punkined) and Ratt Bag and Phill E Stine from the Kingcrows - a marvellous band! Promoter Leon was his edgy self and pottered around here and there doing the last minute shuffle sorting running orders and what not. For me the best promoter in the land and one that is in it for every right reason in the book - and that is what matters. Not the cash, not the kudos - but the spirit and belief behind the hard work.
A few faces arrived and as the evening progressed it was great to catch up with a few quality people. NOTE: Jim 'n' Arlene - cheers for the Rum and Coke - phew - and the sherry will be waiting for ya in December - glug, glug. First on tonight was the irrepressible Cayn White - punk poet and professional pisspot ha, ha. I have a lot of respect for this guy and his up-front attitude and likeable nature. A grand lad to have at any gig and one who enjoys the scene for what it is. His performance tonight was a pure ad-lib hotch-potch and oozed chaos and unprofessionalism. With Cayn you get what you get and within the punk scene this should be accepted. I told him afterwards that I like what he does but know that in certain circles he would get an undeserved caning from people who deem to know better. Was there anyone tonight who didn't smile with Cayns lunacy? Was there anyone who didn't find his 'have a go' attitude admirable? Was there anyone who didn't think Cayn is a fuckin' noodle ha, ha? Love it or loathe it the lad gets up and gives his all and that does for me. His obsession with granny porn and the like is becoming alarming and I am sure further investigations would reveal some nasty secrets! The banter with the crowd is a nice extra with Mr White’s performances and his 'shuffling through papers, reading out notes, conversations between recitals' approach is as funny as fuck. A crazed opening and one that relaxed the crowd - keep at it fella and remember to get scribbling and squeeze yerself dry.
The Drastics next and a band whom I had neither seen nor heard of before. No Eager Men's Dave seems to be Bradford’s new punk rock prostitute and this time he was on drum duty and did a fair old job. Chits and chats afterwards revealed that this was the bands second performance and it did show. But for me, despite several loose moments and general mistimings, I reckon (no, change that to know) we have a band rammed with potential and liable to be a real force to reckon with after a few more gigs and rehearsals. Don't get me wrong though I fuckin' enjoyed this big time and thought the high level of riffology was intense enough and packed a real punch. A bouncing drum beat, bubbling bass work, gritty guitar and gruff vocals all blended to make a real nice end noise that can only grow in stature as the band matures. On this evidence The Drastics can have a few SAS gigs next year no problem and I would be more than proud to showcase them further afield. My daughter and missus both backed up my opinions of a good band - 3 out of 3 say yes - the verdict is clear!
Young Adam Morgan next and what a talented young dude. 13 years old and all alone with an acoustic guitar in front of a crowd of spiky topped bastards - respect. At that age I was masturbating, sniffing glue and throwing stones at trains - mmmmm! If only someone could have motivated me in a better direction! Well this young urchin seems highly motivated and has an abundance of confidence to draw upon. His repartee with the crowd was brilliant and his song delivery bang on. 'If The Kids Are United', 'Teenage Kicks' and 'Stranglehold' pleased all and sundry and his Paul Carter cover was lovely. My favourite was the breast feeding song - absolutely choice and coming from such a cheeky fellar as this just gave the song an even greater comedic edge with the thoughts in ones head always suggesting 'this is wrong'. I loved it and so did my family and that again speaks volumes. The generation gap covered on all fronts and Adam mate - just keep at it - you have a lifetime of great times ahead. Keep it real and just go in there to enjoy and see what transpires - good one.
Next The Mardi Gras Bombers - wow! I have these booked on a couple of gigs already and basically these were arranged due to the bands attitude and my outlook that is 'if you don't chance your arm you will never know'. A couple of surprises here were that the frontman Damien is an old SAS supporter who reviewed the first ever gig and pushed the cause for all concerned. It was great to catch up with him again and the chat was really encouraging insomuch as no matter where we go we have comfort in the fact that a few of us aren't giving in. Also guitarist Andy has played a few SAS gigs too with his band Boredom which highlighted how things swing around in this tiny scene we are all guilty of deeming bigger than it actually is. That is why we need solidarity and great gigs like this - point, I hope, very much made! Anyway despite the vocals being too low the set was as a stunner and as soon as I can get hold of a copy of some recorded material the better. All components worked well together as a stand alone unit and as part of the team. The racket was full-on and lacking any air to breathe which when done well really succeeds. MGB's do it well and with conviction and seem both comfortable and happy with within their zones. Must see again! Also thanks to Trev for the free T-Shirts - appreciated mate.
No Eager Men are a band I have been into for ages and after a split, reshuffle and what not it was good to see them at it again. A new female bassist tonight and this wasn't half bad. I know how this lot can sound and reckon there is a bit to do yet to get into the full groove but what I saw here was solid enough. Unfortunately after taking a leak halfway through I got chatting with a few faces and missed the last 4 songs which sounded fuckin' awesome. On returning I did catch the last dregs and asked my missus and little' un' was what I missed as good as it sounded. Two strong nods confirmed my suspicions - aaagghhh! Good stuff and the curve should be turning up all the way from here!
Next were one of my fave bands of the moment, namely The Kingcrows. I fuckin' love this outfit and like the effort they put into the shows both artistically and fashion wise. They look the part and sound the part and have some unorthodox songs that have their own distinct sound. One of the great puzzles of the moment is why they are not doing better than they are as regards attention and support. We know the crack though and such is our scene. Anyway this was cock solid and the picks for me were 'Magdalene' and 'Insult and Injury' although no bad eggs were found in the freshly laid batch of belters. Another piss break and natter caused me to miss the concrete 'Sex Oui' (to be honest 'Sex Wee' would have been more apt) but the guys played it as an encore and I fuckin' lapped it up (no not the wee the song you deviant twats). Brilliant, and me and my family are Kingcrows fans for good I reckon. Good chaps too and hopefully next year they can spread their wings and peck away at pastures new. The new CD is worth picking up by the way and a review has been written on this site - simple really - read, order, receive and enjoy - go on you know you want too.
So two bands to go but bedtime for Bonzo as they say. We've been rushed off our feet as usual lately and with my little un' doing her usual 5 hours of gym the next morning it was time to go. To be honest I didn't want to but family first. Apologies to The Pain and Threshold Shift but I am sure they put in first class efforts and were well received by, as always, an appreciative Bradford crowd.
I really enjoyed this and thanks must go to all the nice 'erberts I met and to Leon and Kenny for their efforts. I love Bradford and continue to have grand nights there - the people who support these gigs should be all proud of their scene and long may it continue. Great stuff and a solid reminder why we are in this scene - nothing more needed.
review by OMD (30 August 2009)