FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
A long, long week at worked had dragged its feet and tripped me up along the way leaving me slightly fagged out at the end of it. Tonight was a gig attended out of loyalty and necessity and not one I went to with a skip in my step. Nevertheless though I still expected a good do and was more than happy to put the effort in to support and review rather than stay away or go seek out some same old 'safety net' shit. Stu Taylor is back in the mix and for me if ever a promoter deserves getting off ones arse for then this is the dude. No baggage, no ego, no bullshit - putting on shows for all the right reasons and now with emphasis on the underdog - get in!
I arrived in grand time and had many grand faces to chat with - Travis and Graham are two excellent dudes who one could natter with for ages and who always are willing to check out new shit and dip their toes in obscure waters. Graham is currently on a quest to see as many new bands as possible after hearing of my zeal to see 50 new ones every year and making this year a 100 chasing special. Great stuff and the way the lads going I am more than happy to be beat by December the 31st. I'll push the bugger close though ha, ha. A few more faces and disgraces arrived and as per usual the first band where up and at it on the dot (take note Dean Diggle ya bugger - start times being used correctly ha, ha).
Glue Ear are under no illusions and realise that the chances are they will never achieve nothing in the scene and never become superstars. The truth of the matter is that they really don't care and tonight's loose, sloppy performance reflected that somewhat but was still enjoyed by myself and a few others that are not really arsed about immaculate deliveries as long as the bare basics are there. This set had the bassist drifting off 'thinking of something else' during a few songs, frontman and guitarist Scott quite happy to have a chinwag between songs with whichever chum caught his eye in the crowd and the drummer Lambert trying his best to hold things together and coming out in relatively 'critic free' glory. 3 unassuming chaps, in it 'just for the crack' I always enjoy the sticky lug outpourings and really should be harsher in my assessments. The best songs tonight were two efforts I am not totally familiar with but one was about Green Day and the other was a slickish skanking number that did the business. 'Not A Friend' is always a joy as is 'Boarder Parasite' and 'Gordon Brown' so what more could I ask for. Well if I was of a deviant frame of mind I could suggest that the 'Win A Date With Lambert' competition is rigged in my favour but alas Tim Davies has already jumped in their first and as I type the couple are no doubt copulating with ardour (or hard ons). A shaky, unsettling thought to end a wobbly set - what other way to full stop the review!
Bad Precedent should, I thought, have been introduced by whispering Bob Harris so as we could all have got into true 'Whistle Test' mode and rock along to some raving riffage. Totally and utterly not my bag this and certainly not the bag of some of my punking mates but I have to admit the set was entertaining enough and contained many power-packed moments of unified musicianship that I did enjoy. The long haired guy at the front played his guitar with zeal and seemed lost in the bands self created world of heavy sonica. The drummer certainly got stuck into the skins and banged out a delicious beat, the bassist kept composed and caressed the neck with attentive skill and the second guitar maestro played solid enough and added extra ingredients into an already bubbling mix. OK in parts it was still hard for my punked intestines to digest but on the whole I chewed, consumed and shat with delight and would recommend the delivered dish to anyone who likes a denser ditty. No real complaints and 'yes' more than happy to check out again.
So far the crowd had been pretty wank and it was only a late influx that saved the day albeit it did seem these were friends and comrades of the headline band who were not really all round punk rock people but just a loyal bunch supporting their own. And nothing wrong with that ya twats. So The Pyrats came and went and to be utterly honest what I saw in between did little to inspire me. I was looking forward to this and deliberately avoided any pre-gig listens to the bands tuneage so as to go in as a neutral. I know rumours beforehand were of a covers band which as always doesn't sit well with Fungal as I always like to see a band do their own stuff. This was half and half and although the covers were played sweetly and would go down well in the nostalgia pit my message would be to 'fuck the Clash, fuck the Undertones, fuck Mr Cash etc. and move on your own way and keep things fresh and swaying. I reckon this crew, if they deem fit, could go down the full covers route and do OK but I would frown at that and so would many others as feedback later told me. As regards their own songs well the band could obviously play and had some strong moments but the pace was too static throughout and a few speed bursts were desperately needed to hold this fuckers attention. Many mates walked out and a few who stayed did so out of stubbornness and general fairness to the band but afterwards stated it was hard work. All I can do as a reviewer is be honest from my own perspective and hopefully the view point of others so I hope there are no gripes but one never knows in this game so on I go regardless. I'd like to see this crew again with a full arsenal of their own songs with added variation and some real 'ooomph' in the mix. They are more than capable so in a few months watch this space. To add though, a few were in fact enjoying this so don't take what I write as gospel you perusing puddin's - go see for yourself and please feedback.
Sometimes it’s a real twat being a reviewer when you see something that you don't like for no other reason than not being your style or chosen cha. With so few reviewing 'erberts in the scene I crack on and I feel it is a justified role that if done with direct honesty with intent to niggle the bands into proving one wrong or being more determined in producing the goods then the job is a good un'. It would be great to say everything’s great and win new friends with slack lies and cheap arse-licking nonsense but alas I can't and won't. I do what I do and do it my way and as Stu Taylor said at the end of the show 'I wouldn't expect anything less mate'. Respect and to all concerned tonight cheers and keep on doing what you are doing and take heed or ignore but appreciate the honesty.
So the 3rd STP gig and still the struggle goes on. It is getting there but when many who claim faithfulness waiver with the merest temptation then it will remain an uphill climb. One thing - as long as Mr T is putting on shows and I am mooching around 'I will be there'. Think on!
review by OMD (1 May 2010)