I nearly forgot to do this review due to a non-stop schedule following on from this event. In fact the last time I had five minutes to scratch my arse seems like eons ago and so the fingers tap the keyboard here with manic attention and with one eye on the next task to catch up on. Stupid or spirited is the question but either way on I go. With finances at a 'bust' level it may not be with such an 'out there' aspect but in the background the work continues to push wildlife, keep punk real and help the underdogs bite and most importantly to look after my family. I digress and I have no time to - on we go.
Few were in attendance when I arrived at the early time of 7pm. Would this be another poor turn-out for whom I regarded as Manchester’s best ever punk rock promoter along with that old cockney terror Steve Lillis. Things have changed and circles within circles have grown and as a result the punk spirit (if there at all) is spread thin. As a result Stu Taylor's gigs have suffered which is to the detriment of the local scene and beyond. Since his latest venture began I have attended every gig and have been disappointed nay disgusted by the attendances thus far. Stu, as ever, remained upbeat but tonight would force a rethink and the plug would indeed be pulled on some cracking future shows. My loss, your loss, everyone's loss - stupid, stupid bastards!
The Kirks where on first tonight - shock, fuck, horror - 'The Kirks playing Manchester' - now where have I heard that phrase before? Too many fuckin' times to be honest and although these dudes are a fair band on the curve that climbs upward they really do need to sack off the local area and spread their aching wings. This was a fine and dandy performance though with many a new song showing promise and plenty of punch in the pocket. Many moments absolutely soared greatly with some solid riffs enhancing the general impetus the band were building. Max still waffles on oh so slightly too long between songs which obviously impedes the flow but he is a loquacious dude at the worst of times so it is something we will all have to bear. 'Ratz' is an obvious fave and in general 80% of what I heard did make a good impact. Some parts however tended to sound a bit too 'technically twatty' so a good listen to the CD will uncover whether this is the case or a misdirected judgement. You get what you get with The Kirks and as ever it ain't half bad.
Tyrannosaurus Alan next and the mix of skank and spirit tonight showed a great advance in delivery from the last time I saw this two-tone crew. The first viewing I had was on one of my SAS exploits and myself and many more were equally taken by what we saw. Unfortunately the many more weren't in attendance tonight and so missed a decent do with many moments to savour. The mix in gob work, the strong string work, the perfectly applied brass and the adhesive drums all combined to make the most of tonight’s mix and match presentation and had me enjoying the entire performance and so appreciating the promoters insight and the bands ability. Towards the end the crowd did tickle away to get downstairs and have a fag and a natter but this was no reflection on the output. Either way I am reviewing the set and I enjoyed it so if you disagree write one yerself.
Finally, hailing from Detroit, Choking Susan hit the stage and strutted their stuff. The first few songs left me as flat as a deflated rubber tit and I worried that the low crowd and lack of atmosphere had caused the band to put in a half arsed performance. Not so and slowly and surely the tempo gained and the vitality poured forth as the players played and the front lass frolicked. Maybe it was just me not being fully focused for the first few tracks (it happens) but the upturn was definitely felt and the crew thrived all the better for it.
A certain sexualisation was obvious via the lead lady and of course this attracted the attention of the seekers of eye-candy. This ain't no bad thing as it maintains focus and so gets the bands songs listened to a little more carefully I reckon. Everyone (in its loosest term) enjoyed the show tonight and the rock 'n' roll spirit burned real bright in some parts and so exposed the inner talent of a good working machine. Shockingly I possess no stuff by this crew but alas I can't fuckin' have every CD under the sun. With a back log of 11 CD’s to review I resisted temptation to buy a silver circle but reckon they will shift many at Rebellion anyway. At some point I'd like to catch up with this lot again and reassess the flavours and then get a few discs and review accordingly - one thing is for sure though it won't be at an STP in Manchester though - then again here's hoping!
Shit crowd, great gig - usual scenario - some people love the Manchester scene some people see the divisions and know better - personally I am disappointed but will seek my punk as and when I can at wherever I feel the need to go. Come on dudes work together and support the many aspects - up the punks, the punks are fucked - blah!
review by OMD (4 August 2010)