FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
After a cold mooch around the Peak District in search of ornithological delights and a quick shuftie around Buxton it was back home, quick change and into Manchester for this early hardcore gig that I expected little from but as always am open to persuasion by. I had persuaded Tim 'Punk4Life' Davies to have a mooch at this one due to the fact gigs like this are liable to throw up some sweet surprises and that crossing musical boundaries and chancing ones arm is always a good thing. Unconvinced he still made the effort although he was the only person in the crowd I actually recognised. Funny isn't it how punk has become so fractured with so very little cross-over (no it isn't). Anyway a good chat with the ever-present Andy who runs the gaff and it was time for the first band on, namely Broken Teeth.
From the first to the last this was a high-powered treat that blasted its way forth with malevolent drive and articulate angst and whipped several of the crowd into uncontrollable fits of dancing energy. Flailing arms, crowd-crashing mania and general attentive madness came and was orchestrated by the band who played an absolute stunning set. Both guitarists were very much in the zone and the drummer smashed away with organised fervour. The guy at the front jumped, skipped and convulsed whilst roaring along on a sea of superb H/C electricity. As expected (and quite suitably) the set was short, explosive and totally effective. This was a genuine pleasure and for me Broken Teeth are an ideal crew to throw into a more orthodox punk rock gig and so spread the bands word and wings. Excellent.
Something Inside came from Germany and although started in a way that didn't convince me, by the end of the set I was totally taken with the entire riot. A visually energetic performance was enhanced by some darn good, powerful songs and an overall noise that held attention and I am sure won the band many new fans. Again a short set so a shortest review but I really couldn't criticise this crew on this debut viewing and once again would be more than happy to check them out further. The songs here had a more fractured approach which 9 times out of 10 doesn't work but Something Inside applied their trade with smart ability and pulled off a thoroughly entertaining batch of songs I really do need to hear more of. A solid band indeed.
Before going on to the last band mention must be made of the crowd. After attending some recent gigs with poor turn-outs which were set at a more orthodox time this was a totally different kettle of fish. The gig ran from 5pm until 7.45'ish and through the entire gig all punters watched the bands, gave positive feedback throughout and showed up the sub-scene where I dwell for what it is. No people hanging about outside gas-bagging rather than supporting and no walking out during the set to grab a beer or talk more shite. No - in the main the crowd were thoroughly attentive and gave a great account of themselves and believe me this was a very good turn-out as well. Busier than the last 3 shows I have attended it would be great to see sonic zones intermingle, work away together and spread the noise for all concerned - just a thought. A big up for Kam and Marios who had brought this gig together by the way - respect!
Finally the headliners The Mongoloids. New Jersey straight edge stomp and they rounded off a crackin' show with a marvellous array of acoustic rage that was a little too much for several immersed minds. Blasting riffs, bone jarring eruptions and swift, saturated vocals this started fantastically and finished a few notches higher. From the intro one knew this was gonna blow several minds and so it did. Many free-wheeled and kicked away with almost uncontrollable abandon and many joined the guy in the lead with many vocal variations. The general passion in the pit was exceptional and when the vocalist came forth, offered the mike it was like moths to a flame, flies to a cows arsehole nay the hungry to the elixir of life. The singer sank beneath a swarm of raging faces only to emerge triumphant and satisfied that all was well in the land of Manc hardcore. The other players did more than their bit with some real head-banging taking place and some mind-melting moments to savour. What a racket, what a joy!
So 3 big, big winning outfits who I would gladly see again and a gig that hit all the right spots for all concerned. My message is simple - punks everywhere unite together and fight the apathy - no one can lose out if this is the direction we take. I'll continue to bob about from gig to gig regardless of the sub-generic flavour and over the last month have enjoyed ska, rapping reggae, US new school, retro, hardcore, skater, acoustic etc. as well as the odd bit of quirkier stuff one would fail to categorise. Go for it - love the noise, support the scene and never be afraid to test many ponds. See ya at the next one perhaps.
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (8 May 2010)