A Tuesday night gig - a veritable rarity although even going to a gig is a bit of a rarity for Fungal lately. I reckon it is a bout 4 weeks since I went to a gig which in my books is slack work indeed. However the kidneys and ticker playing up have forced me to rest and the hectic fungi season along with family life really have left me no time to catch up with the sonic scene. I do my bit however and after tonight reached my annual target (for the umpteenth year on the trot) of seeing 50 all time new bands in a year besides the other groups I have seen over and over. Arriving in good time in drizzly wanky manky Manc I was met by Dean the promoter on the door and had a quick natter before heading inside to view the first snippet of entertainment.
Jeramiah Ferrari got the gig underway with a bit of reggae dubbed up skank that was, as expected, driven by hard trembled bass wires and hot foot string strokes. Within the mesh of the melody were overtones and undertones of calypsotic harmony and funkadoodle twangings. The main ambience was one of a chilled out flavour but essential thrusts were included to give the overall set diversity albeit in subtle style. The dudes played a good short set and perhaps the most charming aspect was their unassuming character and the gentle way they involved the audience. Each and every song had its own individuality with the boundaries set by the chosen style but I did find a couple of inner ditties ironically 'middling'. Nevertheless if the JF lads are in town I wouldn't be opposed to checking 'em out again and enjoying the deep rooted rhythm. A sweet start to the evening’s entertainment.
A quick break from the noise and back in.
Broken Nose next and a delivery that was a typical example of Skacore. This sub-generic sonica can grate on the nerves big time if not played with articulation and consideration. The fine line between technically astute toneage and piss poor cacophony is a dangerous one and many a band fall foul and come out not doing their ability justice and not getting the recognition they deserve. What Broken Nose did tonight was provide an assortment of sounds that were well blended and yet given their own separate spaces so as to keep the onlooker intrigued and involved. Time taken to view the players was had with no apparent gripes although my idle ass forgot to take in the drumming duties so apologies there must be given. String wise a high level of insistence and persuasion was had that let the frontman go with the flow and do his gobby bit. The captivating aspect of what the band produced was the fact that they didn't go overboard on one particular flavour and kept the ingredients varied and complimentary. Power surges were enhanced with moments of higher tranquilly which were again found dwelling within effective avenues of melody. Overall a sound mix and despite the band being around for 8 years or so it is only now that they seem to be making any headway - be interesting to see where they end up for sure.
Another break and a good chat with promoter Dean about a variety of musical subjects and the twattology found therein. Always interesting!
Finally The Aggrolites hit the stage with a grandiose entrance and the crowd (which had suddenly swell - no surprise there then) were suddenly all eyes and ears. Quote from Facebook:- 'The Aggrolites are more than a band they are a movement unto themselves. They carry a banner - one created with their own hands. This banner reads, “Dirty Reggae,” and represents their signature fusion of reggae, soul, grit and determination. For seven magnificent years, this dirty reggae bunch has rolled from city to city, across the pond and up main street USA. They rally the kids, the parents, ...the students, the cops, the bosses and the drifters. The people come, they relish in The Aggrolites, the dirty reggae and the joy that comes with it all. The liberating rhythms and catchy grooves demand a return trip.
Out of the Los Angeles school of hard knocks, The Aggrolites have earned a Ph.D in "feel good music." On the road they educate with the thunder and punch of the reggae drums and bass, the ripping, soulful melodies of the organ and guitars, and Jesse Wagner’s voice - a gift from the heavens, a perfectly intact gift from Otis, Sam, Ray and Wilson'. Now that's some promo! Now here's Fungal's take...
The set started in slow and steady style and in truth I expected more. 4 songs in and my patience was already tested and initial thoughts at being in the wrong place at the wrong time were mine. Look people I gotta try an assortment of sounds and many times I come away delighted and occasionally I come away defeated. It was becoming more apparent during this set that this wasn't for me and although keen on all things skankoid this was too much of a flatlined reggae sound that failed to raise the slightest interest in the fungalised punker. The crowd in the main would disagree and many bopped away in their own chilled out space lapping up the gentle tones that were flowing forth. The vocalist had a good voice and all players knew their roles and played intelligently and within their own arena but when the band threatened to inject more energy, more pace, more power they immediately cut back to the same steady rhythm which for me was an utter disappointment. I watched a good hour and found nothing to change my initial thoughts and so I came not an Aggrolites fan and went away the same. They are good at what they do for sure but they just don't do it for me - yer takes yer chances etc.
2 out of 3 ain't bad and back to the punk spunk for me I reckon. I will still dabble outside my warped and misshapen circle because if you don't try you just don't know and an eclectic approach makes things far more interesting than digesting the same old, same old. Its amazing how little follow this ethos though and from gig to gig I hop knowing who will be there and who won't. Good on Dean again for the gig and doing his bit for the music scene and a shame I can't be more positive on this one - next time perhaps or perhaps not - either way I'll try and be there (time and health permitting) and take all in and review - you gotta do a little now and again ain't ya!
review by OMD (9 November 2011)