FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
With several reservations I attended this gig that barely resembled the one that was planned a few weeks prior to the date. No Vice Squad, no Chelsea, no One Man Stand, No Roadkill and no Dirty Love. We were left with Lowlife UK, Stuntface and Guitar Gangsters. Banjo the landlord decided to opt for a freebie so it was worth a look and Lowlife are a class act anyway so all wasn’t bad.
After much farting about, which seems longer when you are not drinking, Lowlife got things moving to a pretty piss poor turn-out. I counted about 40’ish in the crowd and that was with band members. Disappointing to say the least and quite a surprise as the Thatched has a good track record for pulling the punters, albeit the usual suspects.
Anyway enough waffle and Lowlife played a stunner. Unrelenting conviction throughout, good banter and some tight-as-yer-arse music, this was a joy. The new stuff off the latest album was well received as was the anthemic ‘Ugly and Proud’. Beaker is a great frontman who just gets in the zone and goes at it full throttle. The Steve Harley cover was inspirational and was played with alarming ease. I like this lot due to the fact they put in 100% everytime and have stuck with it over the years despite numerous line-up changes and meeting a lot of closed doors. Well one in particular. That door is now open and I expect these drunken buggers to wake up whoever is on the other side and give their eardrums a right good bashing. Class.
Next Stuntface who, for me, still lack that finishing touch. As a 4 piece they were the dogs bollocks but since the major change around they are still a bit short. ‘Every Dog Will Have Its Day’ is a great song and always shines from a quality set but there is a slight void there that maybe will be filled with time or maybe needs an extra member. You can’t knock these guys though as they put the work in and always produce an above average effort.
Still a shit-piss crowd and mainly made up of the regulars rather than travellers the Guitar Gangsters eventually set about finishing a half decent night. From a stereo-typical punk point of view this was off the mark but again – what is punk? Certainly not restricting in its approach like too many of the people involved today are! From a musical point of view this was par excellence and delivered with a practised skill. A major example of this was the ‘Rattle My Cage’ outpouring that was impeccable in its clarity. It almost sounded as though it was on CD it was that good. Other highs were the Patrick Fitzgerald pip ‘There’s A Safety Pin Through My Heart’ and the genuinely classic ‘Everybody Wants To Be My Friend’. This was good although a trifle unexpected and the main gripe I had was that it seemed more Rock ‘n’ Roll than anything else. I felt I was at an after wedding buffet and the bride had gone all nostalgic and got her fave band in for the night. Soppy bitch! Awful ain’t it but that’s how it felt. The fact that they got dressed for the occasion before going on made the performance a bit stagy too which I never like. Saying that when one reprobate shouted out ‘You’ve got dressed up’ the response of ‘We like to make an effort’ was met with a wry smile.
Views after were mixed and so was I. Question 1 – did I enjoy them – answer – yes. Question 2 – would I watch them again – answer – yes. Question 3 – Would I put them on a Fungalpunk promotion – answer – yes. Question 4 – do action man’s genitals arouse you – answer – ye – er I mean – oh shit – NO!
So what’s my problem and why the misgivings? I don’t know and I know for sure that my missus and little un’ would really enjoy this lot and I get the nagging feeling that the GG’s should be doing better than they are and getting a lot more credit for their skill. Strange really but I am the quintessential picky pillock and sometimes indecisive. Oh and that bit about action men is the result of a virus – so please don’t read anything into it.
In retrospect a good night at a venue I have been to a little too often for my own mental goodness. Seeing the same faces in the same places, smiling in the safety net of home was never my idea of a punk night out – occasionally its great – too much and it’s depressing. Hey ho – onwards we go.
review by OMD (10 December 2006)