Look ya bastards this gig I am about to review isn't my chosen pond in which to swim and in truth all that double-based diddling is a noise I can take, leave or spend time to piss on. Ok perhaps not the latter but in small bursts I can bear this stuff but over longer periods I can just walk away with no worries whatsoever. So the question is - why attend tonight’s show? Well in true Fungal awkwardness the response is 'why not'? I fancied something different to review, needed to keep the ball rolling and was more than happy to support Mr Diggloid of Slitty Titty Promotions who tries his best, does a good job and ain't a bad old onion. So after a long day at work, a good session of tennis against county champion The Jeploid Master and a not too crappy bus journey into Manc (surprise, surprise) I had a wander around town due to having lost my bearings and in need of a sugar fix. Eventually my knackered legs were kind enough to get me to the venue in good time and to see what was happening whereupon Johnny Bond, my good neighbour, duly turned up and a chinwag was had outside before we heard the first band in action at what seemed a remarkably early time. What's this I ask - Mr Diggle running gigs to time - outrageous!
The Hyperjax are a band who I haven't seen for a good while and this was a different set up to what I remember. The last time I saw this crew they were a well drilled unit, full of restrained vitality and buzzing with a good stringed thrust. This to me seemed like a stripped down version but all in all the band operated in time, with zeal and with a good concrete balance of strong tunes. Main vocals and guitar was the general heart of the noise with big bass ropes twanged with effectiveness and drums pounded with articulate precision. Some songs stood out due to more organised riffs that contained a familiarity most music lovers will be aware of whereas some will take a little more time for my old Fungalised lugs to appreciate. As far as opening bands go this was very good stuff and although towards the end my punked up patience was drifting due to, as I have stated, this being out of my sonic playground, I think The Hyperjax are a quality crew, up there with the best in this sub-generic pit and are worthy of the respect they get.
A few more chats with several people asking me 'What the fuck are you doing at a gig like this' (such is my soiled punk reputation) and The Grit hit the stage and gave a performance dripping with persuasion, oozing showmanship and in keeping with tonight's set theme (hey 2 out of three plus points ain't bad ha, ha). The word on the street of The Grit is of a very good band indeed and even adopting my most 'cuntish' pose I couldn't offer up any realistic argument. This is a well rehearsed outfit riding on the quiff of a wave, full of oiled and ironed out musical nouse captured and regurgitated into one long neat package. The band thrive in each others company, have many a good tune (although the final love song with lighters glowing was, to be polite, bloody poison to my soul) and are equipped to keep rising to the top where the cream gets curdled and the customers are happy to lick (excuse my realistic and putrid outlook). This is a rock and roll machine at the top of their game and whilst blending psychobilly, skank, and in small part punk flavours, this lot are sure to keep on winning new fans from a variety of pits. The crowd loved it, I thought is was decent enough and can only see the band going from strength to strength providing they keep knocking shows out like this. On stage they put the work in and for me that deserves rewards but this is the fickle music scene so one will just have to wait and see.
Two bands down and all OK but you know old Fungal - a big gaff, the wrong noise, never settled - twitchy bugger ain't I!
Devils Brigade came (or Matt Freeman if you are into the non-punk hero adulation kind of crap) and again we had the double bass at the fore backed up with rattling drums, westernised cotton-pickin' guitar and gravelled vocals that after a while got on my weary thre'penny bits. Many came and enjoyed and seemingly became aroused at the mention of Tim Armstrong and Rancid (name drop, name drop, name drop) whereas I stood unimpressed and watched the set unravel. Many were convinced, a few were not and please count me in the minority. Nothing whatsoever gave me any interest and although I stuck the set out until the final encore I walked outside in the belief that Devils Brigade are off my radar and sit alongside Rancid (oooh mentioned them again) as a band I really don't rate. Mikey Wong the omnipresent flyering machine put it best outside when he succinctly stated that he wasn't watching a band who had a guy in 'who couldn't play bass and couldn't sing.' Ha, ha - very harsh but I could see his point. The vocals are Marmitian and are definitely an acquired taste - whether the dude could play bass or not is your decision - at this point I couldn't give a flying fuck.
So something different for ya and make of it what you will. Me, I prefer the soiled filth built on passion played in pisspot dives with the only reward being defiant and not following the crowd. I can still however appreciate where this noise is aimed at and where indeed it comes from but it just doesn't do it for me. The questions I ask is 'Would I kick a door off its hinges after listening to this', 'Does my inner punk flame get kindled and burn with melodic zest', 'Do I wanna jump, jive and get blasted and destroy when the sonica comes my way' - all three answers are the same - that's how it is - no apologies but please keep on doing what you do and give everything a try as you just never know.
Ok that's it from me - agree, disagree, whatever - I'm off me arse taking time to do something - are you?
review by OMD (10 March 2011)