FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
Another day, another DIY dabble - there is no reason whatsoever to stop. Apathy is still rife, big band mania dictates, nostalgia a constant disease, self-interest omnipresent and there are plenty of overlooked pluckers out there who need a chance to do their thing and address the current imbalance in the music scene and life in general. Today the gig was aimed at getting some money over the bar for the gaff itself, The Station - a place doing things right, supporting many bands and of course many, many causes. Pauline the lead lady is a gem, a selfless lass who has a heart of gold - you gotta put back when you can!
Up early, a morning of chores and out to the gaff for 12 noon. Posters sorted, flyers dished out, the first fiddlers arrived (the Doncaster 3 - what a fine bunch) and it was soon 2pm and the start of the day’s events. It was going to be a long day but that is what we do, no pain, no gain - half measures are not an option today!
Scott Cullen-Steele got up and introduced the first act in his usual charming and cute way whilst managing at the same time to lower the underpants of tone and keep them there for the rest of the day. By heck he was on form today!
Tony Nicholson was the first artiste to make a rumble and did so with wonderful ability shown. Chatting earlier it must be said before I go on that this is a genuinely likeable chap and a good wag of the jaw was had and thoroughly enjoyed - bonus ball indeed. The first two songs of this opening spillage dealt with themes Savillian and being unworthy of love - opposing and yet strangely interlinked in a very perverse way. The mouth worked with textures aplenty, the wires came over as crisp and well animated and this was a firm footed commencement that set the way for an ever-improving performance. 'Fire Flies' exposed a tenderness as well as a satisfying tonal range that dealt with an emotive offering in a genuinely apt manner. A song about stalking threw in another angle, 'Matter Of Scale' was a wise drift that was once more caressed with gentleness and insight and 'Fast Car' was a solid, uptight kick out at the careless who won't change their ways to save our precious planet - cunts. Well bloody said sir. We closed with a personal ditty about drifting, it was a tranquil effort, a comfortable finale to an exemplary set that exhibited real variation in attack and a right amount of polish so as not to block out the reality - one down and what a bloody good start!
To keep things off kilter as per it was the stint of Buff next, an anarcho cum hypnodelic cum experimental cum punk outfit who mesmerise the senses with a stunning lesson in saturation. This was the early alarm call, a healthy crippling burst of heavyweight acidisation that melted membranes, debilitated cranial activity and bust the balls off several onlookers. Buff are recharged, reverberating through new sonic spheres with a brutal onslaught of condensed cacophony. Saul on guitar is beautifully absorbed, Dan on drums holds good rhythm, Rik is a superb wire wanker and Sean on keys masterfully brings a whole avalanche of aural agony to those who like things hurtful. This was a fine tonic to get the juices fully flowing and to prepare one for a lengthy day - bang fuckin' on!
Another acoustic inclusion next and another tickling moment to ponder further. Ali Sarbutt brought to the pit an acoustic pleasure with an abundance of warming elements that were individually tattooed with consistency, honesty and a very earthy transparency that I felt was worthy of anyone’s time. I always get the feeling when acoustic pluckers get up and do their thing many have a mental block and don't fully take note of, an almost 'oh it's just a one man thing' mindset! Crazy, this proved that you should take note, pick up on the unaffected nuances and natural tones. Mr Sarbutt has a distinct vocal touch that is emotive and thoughtful. The songs had a bitterness and a love in built with introspective thoughtfulness most apparent - I want more, we shall get this bugger back for sure - what a bonus ball!
Scared do it for me, they really do - I love pop punk and will sing its praises all day long as it really is a necessary inclusion into this multi-faceted catacomb of din. This is cacophonic confectionary with two layers of soft and hard centres getting melted together to make a taste that is sweet but which has a bite. 'Whirlwind', 'Illuminator', 'Just A Minute, 'Set Sail For My Destruction' all reek of pain free sugar laden success and give the band many facets with which to tempt the passing punter. I love the band and am happy to stuff my face at their stall - Fatsville here I come!
And yet more acoustica - this time from a gent known as Little Terry. We had a sturdy intro here from Scott which placed under the spotlight Tels' bumming and strumming techniques. I held my breath, I was filled with expectation rather than spunk so am happy here to review all things strumming and leave the other element to someone more qualified ha, ha. The gusto of '3rd Rock From The Sun' was a stunning start with impetus kept ticking and kicking via the next song that was about ale and a crazy woman - now what was it's name? A cover was chucked in, namely that Ramones gem 'The KKK Took My Baby Away', a vigorous moment that got the punters joining in. 'Johnny Half A Day' was a lovely addition that reflected camaraderie and unity and showed how much support there is for one another at this sweet level. Yet again another fine gent came, delivered and added much to the day - this was good indeed. 'Homebrew' was a catchy snip that was ideal for the piss artiste and 'Marching Along' closed and Terry marched off - head held high and so it bloody should be!
A monumental moment next - enter Passion Play - what a fuckin' good set. Played with an element of pub rock goodness with an emphasis on a stripped out, bare arsed reality and intrinsically raw boned melody this proved to be an excellent inclusion and one that counterbalanced the days regular acoustic and rocking route. An essence of lo-fi coolness was felt with song after song flowing in smooth rivulets that had an underscoring pulse borne from a mid-evening kiss, a crepuscular relaxation mood from a switched off lay-by. Superb, rich and full of subtlety - this was not enough and again I want more as soon as. The next review will be done using a set list. Crackin' stuff!
Sod Off Seigmund have the potential to make one ill if they are weak of mental nature and prefer to dwell in a discordant house of one theme - silly twats! This is a rag and bone outfit who deliver a rusted iron brand of homemade noise that I find wholly pleasurable and delightfully attentive to my DIY needs. Fuck adornments, fuck the processing regime - throw it off the cuff and see what comes - the recipe for...well that would be telling! The fact is tonight the band were so enthused and genuine even the landlady was forced to shed a tear - don't worry lass you won't be the first! A marvellous montage that saw the lonely old man on the streets come across a taxman to avoid whilst trying someway to get to grips with what the fuck the ice cream man is up to. All dubious and underhand one might think but totally transparent and multifaceted with raw emotions touched and the 'Smile' button pressed regularly. Take it, accept it, join in and you will enjoy it - we ain't looking for analytical applause. As ever, I love it!
Johnny Half A Day brought cultured crooning borne from a gent who is a genuine good egg (although a trifle cracked and with a runny yolk). Saying that there is a paradoxically hard-boiled determination to the guy and he cracks on with an exemplary punk rock faith that will not be dented or denied. The set was varied and off kilter and I liked that - songs about a White Mondeo and Lady Boys kind of gives you a flavour of the wayward themes covered and the flitting fly mind found at the helm. A ditty about a shit birthday shone bright in yet another golden set awash with DIY gumption which just fuckin' does it for me. A small hardcore looked on, I think they kind of got it - good on' em. The 'Punk Police' finished on a nasty pertinent note - sharp as a knife and the added extra of 'Fuck Off John' was a masterstroke. Boom!
Poetical Interlude - I pondered what to do here and thought a crash, bang, have it style would be best with the wordsmiths gathered and left at it - first one goes up and the rest jump in alternately and keep a proper patchwork delivery that will maintain interest for all - I think it worked bloody wonderfully and all contributors played a blinder. Eagle Spits, Rachel Eagling, Ged Murder, Scott Cullen Steele, Dwane Reads and even Pauline the Landlady chucked one in during a good 45 minutes of entertaining and thoughtful tongue twisting, verbal vandalising and word wanking. Tales of Saville, lust, homelessness, that cunt Cameron, prejudice, disability, fishing in shitholes, chickens, catching an itch, bitches with guitars, homophobia and beyond all came foaming forth on a very off the cuff basis and brought about a unified, triumphant angle these days are all about. On ya go dear contributors - fuckin' brilliant moment!
The next band - mmm - now what can I say. This darn day was doing fine, all very decent and above board you know but wouldn't it be foolish of me not to keep everyone on their toes with a fuckin' vicious aural beating of the most accomplished order - enter Modern Tribes! A band with a visceral nastiness and a damning heavy fisted approach that clubs you to fuckery and leaves your senses reeling. Some perverts pay good money to be bludgeoned, those fools could have attended today and got the same treatment for free. Despite the sound guys persistent nob wanking this was a master class in kick arse cacophony and I savoured every soulful scream, stinging wire lash and tympanic wallop that came my way. There were others equally transfixed and took the fury all in good stead. Each song was belted out but didn't sacrifice any noisy nuances and angular adornments that makes this so special. I am keen to keep these guys noted - on we go!
The Mardi Gras Bombers got up next and it was like they had never been away - a set of consummate ease that was glided through by players in the zone and more relaxed with their situation it seems. Always reliable and always top quality, tonight was no exception with all facets totally in unison and combining with a relish that really does knock ones senses sideways. The new drummer (to me anyway) slapped with precision and authority and added a very decent thwack to the overall thumping whilst bass and guitar merchants jack off their equipment with accurate glory thus giving the impressive front chap a foundation on which to strut his stuff and eyeball the audience with utter conviction. Every song floated my boat, I am after all an unashamed fan but as per, 'Resurrection Gang' stood out as being something special and that nasty zest it sprays forth attracts my somewhat perverse nature. Long may this return continue - we need bands like MGB simply because - they be fuckin' good tha' knows!
Cosmic Slop have played a few Fungalised shows now and I am always happy to have em' on board - they do things just so fuckin' right and reflect everything I am trying to do with this damned scene of ours. They come, churn out an upbeat set and create an off the cuff punk ambience that many can't even get close to. Kelly is a natural whom I feel under-rates herself which she bloody well shouldn't - tis marvellous to behold. Dave on drums is steady and absorbed, and Boo Long on the twanging device adds good vibrations and delightful nuances to make this a treat. No long boos tonight - just cheers with the beers for a set well delivered and one that met everyone's needs. The 'ATV' cover is one that everyone says is one of the best covers they have heard, who am I to argue but they have so much more in their armoury and bring many angles to the fore that hints at something just outside the box (the best place on earth). The 'DIY' treat was applauded but I was agog by another stunner - tis as natural as can be, and that will do for me!
Burning From The Inside have headlined for me before - back in 2012 at The Black Swan and, it was surely their turn again to showcase their very heavy brand of punk rock shizzle that goes for throat and maintains a slamming melody throughout making this a very impressive treat for all. I suppose many self appointed connoisseurs, arse lickers, big name obsessives and twats alike would frown on me for putting such a DIY band at the top of the bill - goodness knows why - it is what I have always done, fully believe in the merits of the bands I deal with and certainly won't pamper to jack wanking egos - please think on in future you twats. Anyway, BFTI came, shot down the crowd with a stunner and went leaving us well satisfied with the tremendous blow out they gave. Since day dot the band have been on an upswing and it just gets better and better. This had been a long day and I certainly needed a boom blast to finish and the crew did just that. Cracking drum work, well hammered sir Andrew, superb bass and gob grizzling (with box headwear), yes Wilfredo, choice guitar combinations of power and subtlety, nice one Rob and vocally alive, alert and animated - ping on Paul. All songs stung my arse, even the new ones were devoured by my lug and I know for a fact those dregs that were left at the end appreciated a job well done. No fuckin' about - to the point and wham - have that! A solid full stop! To add - I think a beer mat throwing record was set tonight - a real mess - yippee!
Day done, job done, everybody done. Thanks to everyone who chipped in here and made for a great day. Many kind words have been messaged my way after the event and I am very much appreciative of them all. The last word then goes to Kelly from Cosmic Slop and her summing up in a mesage - 'It was top and the audience what was there were a good lot. EVERY SINGLE PERSON had good things to say about each other. SOLIDARITY, PISSIN IN THE SAME POT, RESPECT....& ON & ON I CUD GO' - I think that sums it up.
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (11 April 2016)