Having heard the punk scene in Tottington and Bury was pretty shite I thought it would be worth the risk putting on a show there and seeing what could be mustered up. Landlord John thought it was worth a try too so why not?
Tucked away in the underpants of nowhere we eventually arrived at the gaff at 6.30pm with Captain Trev in tow. A quick shufty round the place and first impressions were of a potentially good venue with emphasis placed on entertainment and music. A nice set out this with plenty of places to hide and relax if need be which is always handy when bands play a bad un'. Anyway a couple of games of pool (both victories being luckily mine) and The Threat Bars arrived. I already knew Tony who was a top geezer and he introduced me to the band who seemed just as friendly and enthusiastic. My band Backdated turned up and so did Churchill all in good time so it was just The Dummies we waited for and a crowd - sounds familiar.
A couple more faces turned up and so did The Dummies led by a grumbling Banjo about the difficulties of finding the venue and the slight dent in his wallet funding the journey. Grumpy old sod. At last things got a rolling with The Threat Bars first up and playing to a piss poor turn out. Being only their 6th gig I thought this quartet put themselves across well and achieved some good musical moments that outshone the odd loose spot here and there. A quite nice range of songs here with practice and more gigs needed to tighten things up and improve the overall performance. Definitely worth more viewings and definitely worth more gigs. Cheers lads - see you in Stockport.
Next up were Churchill who thrashed out their best performance to date. 'Steamin' In', 'Bent Copper' and 'Oxblood Red' were excellent moments but to be brutally forthright this was a stormer. Obviously in the short period that these Oi boys have been playing together there has been a lot of hard work put in and a lot of thought behind the bands identity. Consistent and tight tonight's showing was reaping the rewards of good honest labour. An absolute pleasure.
A chat with Jesse about boxing, moths and other assorted subjects and The Spittin Dummies were on. The first 3 or 4 tracks were trashed due to the sound being 90% feedback but undeterred the guys got on with it and showed excellent belief and attitude and turned a potential blowout into another fine performance. Haggis fronted the show tonight with excellent joviality and gusto and proved what an excellent frontman he actually is. 'Glaxo Baby', 'Badman' and 'Suitcase Pimp' shone from the set and it was good to see this bunch set a challenge to which they rose admirably.
Lastly but not least it was Backdated, a band who play from a 70's time warp and bring forth a spirit that seems long lost. Back to basics seems a little hard to stomach for the so called punk connoisseurs but 'Fuck em' and do what you do is a message this quintet simply and persuasively state. Being their manager does give me a rose tinted view but so what - if you can't look after you're own then don't bother at all. Anyway back on track and tonight Backdated proved they are capable of a headline slot and held their own with all concerned despite a lack of experience and distortion box. Melodic and unpretentious each sing along ditty followed each other to give a nice ending to a good gig. 'Take It Away', 'Stoned To Death' and 'Morecambe UK' stood out from a quality set with a few minor blips well forgotten. Improving all the time and with a sound everyone else seems disinterested in producing Backdated will do OK for themselves and get some decent gigs along the way. Well played chaps.
Tonight the music in general was of a high standard despite PA problems and a totally shit turn-out, but after a chat with Landlord John it seems this may be worth another go. Thursday night is always a struggle and with the venue where it is this was always a tough one, but maybe a Saturday nighter could be better. The Hark to Towler is a good venue to host gigs and hopefully with public interest and some good fortune John and myself can come up with a winning formula and get some decent gigs on and spread the punk rock gospel. Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say and a final thank you to the few that did make the effort and stuck it out and enjoyed what they saw - cheers.
OMD - still Opinionated, still a Man and still called Dave (and still trying).
review by OMD (7th May 2005)