FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
A two way review - well almost - Dave McHale - top man and show organiser tells you how it went and I Fungalpunk Dave add a tiny bit of extra goings-on to add further detail to a darn decent night for a quality cause.
Opening tonight’s proceedings are Feeb, a four piece hardcore outfit from Chesterfield, formed from members of Criminal X, and having a punk rock heritage dating back to the second wave of British Punk in the early 1980s. Lead vocals come from Lee Stomper who seems to vent personal anger through his lyrics. Songs such as ‘Backstabber’, ‘Culture Of Hypocrisy’ and ‘Evil Empire’ really hit home with lead guitar riffs coming from Jonny March as he shreds his way through the entire set with Frank (a guitar he built himself). Andy on drums and Jim on bass are really in tune with what Feeb are all about, and that is freeform hardcore punk, and this is the first band on?
Feeb came, did what they do and left and for me got bloody well poisoned by a poor, poor sound. I really can't judge them on this showing but hey they travelled a good few miles to open a show of this ilk only proves they have the right attitude. A few seemed to enjoy it so I best pass on before the Fungal foot gets stuck in another tight spot. Next time dudes for sure!
The Septic Psychos take the stage and as the bass drum counts down to the opening chords on lead, Pete thunders in with that low slung Rickenbacker bass, Chiz kicks off the vocals and we’re into ‘Psycho Vigilante’. Now I’ve seen these guys a few times before and Chiz NEVER holds back, to the point that veins pop out of his head and neck as he screams the lyrics, but this time it looks as thought they’re gonna burst for sure! This Chesterfield outfit go back to 1979, and their experience shows with classics like ‘Buy Some Shit’, ‘Glassed’, ‘More Beer’ and newer numbers like the excellently titled ‘I’m Not Racist, I’m Just Bald’.
I fuckin' love this band and the general zeal that is poured in through all players is a pure delight. Chiz is indeed a bag of electrified beans but he is allowed free rein to be a busy bugger by having 3 musicians behind him who keep it tight, fun, and absolutely buzzing. It may seem a furious assault but there is some good fun in there and with lines like 'No way, Toupee' a little bit of genius comedy too. This was a great rattle and many who came were thoroughly absorbed.
2 Sick Monkeys comprise of Fred on drums/vocals and Pete on Bass/vocals, and if you’ve never seen these guys before you’re probably thinking they are a little under equipped right now. Their motto is “small outfit, BIG SOUND!!” and for those of us who are acquainted with the Poorly Primates, we know how right this is. Blistering lead and rhythm coming from what is essentially the rhythm section just doesn’t seem reasonable, but trust me these guys know their onions. Powering through their set, interspersed with Pete’s sarcasm and comedy, 2SM certainly keep your attention from start to finish. An excellent set of cutting edge punk from the duo from Swindon, ending in the subtly titled audience participation number ‘Fuck Off’, leaves us looking forward to seeing these guys again, and soon!
I have done a fair bit over the years with this delectable duo of powerhouse artistry and it is good to see them continuing despite a little snippet of misfortune of late. 4 strings and some tubs and it is truly amazing what a racket one (well two in fact) can make. Faultless stuff with 'dedication' the key word. Keep on flowing til' ya burn dudes!
The penultimate band to appear are a four piece punk/metal fusion outfit from Nottingham called Girlfixer. It’s difficult to say which individual takes your attention initially because the overall sound of the band gels really well, until ‘Nation Of Sedation’ hits your ears, and then you realise that Nat screams the lead vocals like a banshee. Nics drumming is thunderous as they power through ‘Heroes’ and the doom laden backing vocals are just as striking. Nat introduces the final song of the set, and cheers go up as she introduces ‘Regret This’. Dean’s bass playing and stage presence are reminiscent of Jason Newstead from Metallica, adding to the metal part of the fusion together with Matt’s awesome guitar playing, and as they finally leave the stage to tumultuous applause, this sets the scene for the headline act.
Girlfixer have had me 80% convinced and 20% wondering in the past but tonight was a big smacking 100% taken. A class delivery filled with improving belief and unorthodox punkage. This band do lean towards the modernised metal end of things but they do it so well and with enough punk conviction as to be always worth a tootle. I lapped this up tonight and thought it was the best outing to date. Each player sounds and looks the part - job almost done I'd say.
Vice Squad take the stage for tonight’s finale and kick off with the anthemic ‘Citizen’. The overall presence of the band is without question, and their professionalism really hits home with the response from the audience. Beki introduces ‘Latex Love’ and admits that her preference is guys dressed as ladies. Nowt wrong with that, each to their own as they say, and all power to Beki for not bowing down to convention. The band blister through ‘Punk Rocker’ from their latest opus ‘Punk Rock Radio’, and this makes you realise why these punk icons are the headliners. It’s worth pointing out that for anyone into the DIY scene that Vice Squad are the real deal when it comes to DIY punk. No bullshit from record companies, and if you are in a DIY band then Vice Squad have to be a serious inspiration.
The last time I saw Vice Squad was at this very gaff and there were 8 in the band that night (that's what heavy boozing does for ya). Tonight trimmed down to a four piece they sounded a whole lot clearer and a whole lot more bearable (that's what non-boozing does for ya). Yes - I expected average fare and got a good do from a band who could go through the motions but seem to be moving through the gears with a bit more drive. I thought at one stage the crew did become a little static a few years back but now are building on a hard earned inmpetus and doing alright with it. Many good songs, visually effective and holding their own (which ain't no bad thing seeing as I always lean towards the lesser known bands - always the awkward cunt ya know). They finalised a good show with aplomb and although I missed the last couple of tracks I had no complaints whatsoever.
In short PUNK4DILLON went down a storm, and special thanks must go to all of the bands, but most of all to the people who turned up on the night. You people spent your hard earned cash to witness this showcase night of DIY punk and all for a good cause, so thanks people, up the punks, and bollocks to the coalition. Peace xxx
Gotta agree with Dave's comments and full marks to all who did their bit. A shame the gig was effected by a show in Manchester but that's how it always goes so one has to just get on with it. One question though niggled me after the gig - is theer any reason why a PUNKFORDILLON gig shouldn't happen again? I can't think of one! Challenge set!
review by Dave McHale (5 April 2012)
Extra wafflings in italic by Fungalpunk/OMD (8 Apr 12)