FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
After a hectic night on the Friday I was shattered and disgruntled as me and Mrs Spits loaded the car with Punk 4 The Homeless merch etc. Nipped over to pick fellow poet A. Sole up and set off for Stoke On Trent. Uneventful journey with 3 way banter of the enjoyable kind.
We arrive at The Green Star in plenty of time for the Noise 4 Nature/Homeless bash and were greeted by the smiling face of Stu the landlord. Nice one, chill out for a few minutes and Katie Pedagree arrives, cups of tea all round.
Being a shirker Dave HT arrives after us with the two awesome ladies in his life. Great to see all three. I like these punk rock family get togethers and the troubles of the night before had vastly faded from the Eagles mind. Hugs, introductions all round and sunshine breaking through. People are starting to arrive and gather in the sunshine. So being acoustic based it was agreed that Paper Town, the first band, would play outside.
Paper Town - A laid back folksy, punky outfit with accordion, double bass, one of them drum box things you sit on, banjo and a Proclaimer look-alike on vocals. The musical equivalent of sipping the finest wine and eating the best strawberries and dark chocolate on the first sunny day of the year. However they weren’t quaint, there was power in the band and they oozed craftsmanship. Less manic than the Pogues etc. but certainly had a firm hand grip. The vocalists voice was strong and solid and together with top notch musicianship they were a splendid opening band indeed.
Then photo time, a lady dressed as a bee, me, and Dave HT, the three representatives of the charities. He, he.
Right lets have it. No messing, no thrills, scuzzy earnest, honesty, of the anarchic variety in the form of Buff, who were the first band on inside today. An anonymous masked front bloke. No wondering where these guys stand on things and the grind of the music sets my anarchic soul alight. I like this. Old enough chaps to have had the knocks etc. but still determined that the world can be made better. Good on em, make that noise, sing your mind. Don't change.
Rushing on then, Evil Eye do their thang next and do it well. Solid old skool with D-Beat twinges. A solid unity in the musicians who were fronted by an educated vocalist with opinions. These guys have obviously listened to No Futures back catalogue and chugged their own crafted variety of those times. This is good stuff and played from the gut. Kick it.
3 poets up next the first being myself - here's Dwaine Reads views:- “Amongst the crowd at the Green Star pub in Stoke I notice a Poet on stage. He starts, stops then relaunched into a set of words that take you on a white Knuckle ride without compromise. Words of Truth, about Atos the government Body that is used to attack the disabled, followed by Jesus Christ the Anarchist. No Heckling here, ho no. It’s Eagle Spits, on stage and everyone wants to listen, applaud and cheer. Rightfully so, as his Poetry is of the observant, critical and sharp end of the spectrum. Always with something to say even in a ten minute set. Rachel Eagling jumps up and does a wonderful accapella song entitled PMT, happy birthday Katie Pedagree, this is your moment!
Next Dwane Reads, top notch poet, top notch bloke. Off centred world-view and a concern for the small as evidenced in his poems about chickens and “big bet boy” the everyday made fascinating through the Dwane Reads filter system. Creative, imaginative and able to hold the audience’s attention and fascination, well done chap.
A Sole, an asshole. Again wonderful verse from a bloke not afraid of surrealism. At moments he talks about anal whale sex whilst on the phone to his mother. Do not heckle this guy you will lose. Probably his first time to a punk audience but they loved him. Quietly spoken but words that disturb. Again, well done.
Followed by Mispelt 2.0. Not seen em? Do so. Quality, thought provoking with a little lass on vocals from various locations. At least a couple of em’ are involved in mental health for a day job and these elements feature big style in their lyrics. Dunk the guitarist and second vocalist always dedicates their song ‘Special Brew And Methadone’ to Punk 4 The Homeless, good chap, great tune. They were much loved today. Professional and fun punk rock which on occasion reminds me of Kim Wilde, strange but true. Punk rock with all the right pedigree but sounds very NOW, fresh as... You really do need to see this band, they are great - Export Quality.
Next the 3 amigo poets are back with another helping but the front guy from Evil Eye also treats us to some fine verse of the political edged vein.
Burning From The Inside flex their finely toned torso next. Great training and body tone. This beast has been drinking protein drinks and eating chicken. It makes a solid rumbling noise and has more edges than a hexagon, yep! Wonderful plumage, solid chord changes, splendid skin thrashing. All round top side punk. Get your feet moving and sing along. Unfortunately I missed a chunk of their set because being diabetic I had to go in search of food. Sated by chips and curry sauce then back to catch The Jackhammer’s. All the way from Scotland, thank goodness that wall fell down. I would have wanted to keep these boys out. Big riffs, catchy hooks, a love for The Ramones no doubt. I wasn't alone in loving this band. They bloody rocked and thought they played badly, they didn’t. Several bands do this stuff, few do it so well. My first time, I wasn’t disappointed. One of those moments you are blown away by a band you haven’t heard of. This is why I love the underground punk scene, its full of pleasant surprises for those who can be bothered to take a look. Rewards aplenty. Solid, not wimpy but catchy, tuneful punk rock. I love a good tune. I now love The Jackhammer’s.
Brocker I know. Always fresh sounding, genre defying, mixing it up with punk, rock, ska and flamenco etc. Great musicianship and great fun. A warm stage presence and a real joy to watch a band enjoying themselves so much. Mainly mid paced with occasional manic spurts. No going through the motions, the enthusiasm can be cut with a knife and be served on a side plate with a cup of strong spicy chi. Which would be appropriate, there is a mixed spice of otherness to Brockers punk rock I am pleased to say.
There is something in the water in Stoke On Trent which helps to raise a fine crop of spot on bands. Destination Venus are a spot on catchy, likeable band with personality. A huge net full of catchiness crammed with fun and frolics. Good banter between band and audience with a good vibe/vibration throughout their set. Punk indeed but contented, well fed punk. Possibly not life changing but certainly mood lightening and that’s often more than enough.
Septic Psychos are one of my favourite bands because they are so good. It is impossible for me to give em a bad review simply because they are as tight as a gnats twat, they write wonderful songs and give it 200%. A fine sense of humour shines through amongst too serious subjects. Hard as nails but full of hooks. If you have seen Septic Psychos you will know what I mean. If you haven’t then please do yourself a favour. They really are not to be missed.
Last up The Blissetts. Full of politics of the right (not right) sort. Anarchic in a Blaggers ITA kind of way. The Blissetts ram raid for sure but it’s not done by just speed and volume. The Blissetts will dance lightly round the ring out manoeuvring and heavy weight but delivered gracefully with style. There is passion and creativity here by the bucket full. Anti fascist, anti politics, anti oppression, pro punk, pro Punk 4 The Homeless. I'm with these chaps just don't ask me to keep up. One highlight was seeing the guitarist not miss a chord even when a Brocker member has jumped on his back and stayed there. Another professional set of pro active punk.
Well I am knackered and the Thatcher’s Gold cider (yes honestly) has got a hold on my stressed and battered head but I have had a great day in the company of some great people, listening /watching some great acts. We raised a little cash for butterflies, bees and street children and had a most pleasant time. WE will do it again obviously. Cheers for everyone who played, came, helped. Much love to my anti prejudice buddy Dave HT and his family-until next time KEEP OPINIONATING AND KEEP ON KEEPING ON.
review by Eagle Spits (8 April 2013)