FUNGALPUNK GIG REVIEWS
So we set off, our car back after being in the garage all the previous day and not getting it back until 20.30-phew! Close. But the Spitune mobile is on its way to Chasetown. For us in Spitune it would be more appropriately called chastetown but there ya go. So we arrive after going through a toll road which cost dearly and us not being able to operate it properly. However , we got through and got to the venue, Cottage of Content, to be met by Jacko Darkwhispers which was nice, but he told us the Fungal family were not going to make it due to their car being broke. Which wasn’t nice. Seeing the Fungals was one of the highlights I was looking forward to. But hey! The show must go on.
The Cottage of Content is a great, dark, smallish venue, run by punks. Friendly accommodating bar staff and friendly locals in the front bar. Despite having no real ale, still a great place.
We kick off on time with Complete Dysfunction. UK Subs sounding stuff with a political head on its shoulders. A 5 piece with some young uns in the band. A 17 year old girl drummer and a meanish looking bearded bloke on vocals. Nice and gruff, no thrills, early 80's sounding punk. They start with a song called ‘I'm A Mess’ and finish with a number about Gary Critchley. A young punk bloke who was nicked for something it is almost certain he didn’t do and spent 30 years in nick for it. He’s out now but still wants to clear his name. Good on you lads (lass), support the underdog. Fuck the government, sack the government. Thatcher’s still dead and the band are mental cases. Just as punk should be. Concerned and noisy.
Next up, Lies All Lies. Think Fudge Tunnel, Brain Police, Big Black and you won’t be far wrong. Noisy as... chunky, forceful. I love this stuff, a wall of noise with sonic (youth) feedback. Taking their influences from a time (mid 80's) when the underground/underdogs were making some interesting racket but still considered themselves punks. With tracks titled, ‘The Black Pool’, ‘Some Things Should Remain Buried’ and ‘The Brand Expands’ you can tell they are coming from an Unsane angle. So overall I totally love the set, occasionally the vocals get a bit too post-hardcore for me but I am being picky. I loved em, they were right up my street but probably not everybody’s cup of generic tea. I love these events cuz I get to see lots of interesting stuff. I like interesting stuff. I now like Lies All Lies and all their angles and sludge.
EYE LICKER let us know that they can't make it cuz the vocalist has tonsilitis so a bloke whose mouth is always a problem stands in. Eagle Spits entertains the masses with poems of a social critique nature, Atos, the badger cull, Paul McCartney and St Paul’s Cathedral get a blasting- as expected. “I feel I must apologise. I am sorry you’re a cunt”say no more.
Then just before the break we have Graham from Gash doing a solo Gash set. One man, one electric guitar, one wife, a love for punk rock and a Social D infection. Quality songmanship shining through outside of its usual 3 piece punk setting. Other things which shine through are his spot on attitude and fine banter. Overall He goes down well. He is joined for the last song by Stephen Thompson from Spitune and The Poor Geezers . The last song was called ‘F.O’ but people stayed and the man was warmly received.
Anarcho, industrial, dub, free-form jazz, punkers, Spitune begin after a short break and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
It’s nice to see Freedom Faction finally have a front person who fits the band and he has been with them a few months. They play a great set of tight, mid tempo, punk rock whilst one or two numbers have a ska edge. The musicians have been playing together for a few years now and it shows. They are a tight body which moves together. With the vocalists, Jelloesque vocals , they sound a treat. The phoenix truly has risen from the ashes.
Some elderly gentlemen all the way from Abertillery (pronounced Abertillery) South Wales up next. Old enough to know better but thankfully they don't. Bloody good, irreverent fun. Lyrically akin to Peter and the Test Tube Babies but musically more Anti Nowhere League. Songs about someone’s wife wetting the bed (I think?). They do a great number which is re requested called ‘Nob Rot’, talk about wanking over Emmerdale. Have a song called sheep about Chavs. Awesome fun and the drummer reminds me of Animal (from the muppets not ANWL) and “you’ve got fucked up DNA”. I think at some point the singer sings the line “skid marks and suspenders”. Which is a fantastic line. Anyway a fine set, well received and a good natured beast but I wouldn’t trust it with my sister.
Brace For Impact, anarcho punks, thrash it out next. Twin, Exploited sounding vocals with beefy early Discharge sound. A few heavy metal guitar bits and a tight well rehearsed machine get us braced for impact. They are dirty and gruff as they tell us how life is. They slag off Jeremy Kyle (good) and sing about propaganda (also good). After their penultimate song the drummer announces to the band and audience that it is his last gig. They thrash out the last tune with gusto and overall they were fucking spot on.
I have reviewed Obnoxious UK more than once and have always given them a good review but it’s well worth reviewing them again because they just keep getting better. Tight as fuck, punk rock n roll, horror punk. Yes they have a Misfits feel but also tonight I caught glimpses of Grave Robber. All songs were tight and excellent but we always have our favourites. ‘Drinking With The Dead’, ‘Cadaver Doll’ and ‘Elvis Is Dead’ were brilliant tonight but ‘Cottage Strangler’ was nothing short of fantastic. For me The Clash are the best band ever or ever likely to be. I am obsessed with Tom Waits and Blind Willie Johnson but tonight ‘Cottage Strangler’ sounds like a bonus track on the London Calling with Waits and Johnson doing vocals. It is that good. The vocals are out of this world, gravelly, bluesy and scary. I am blown away, I thought I knew what to expect (I wait in expectation for Obnoxious) but I didn’t - Excellent, just fucking excellent.
I have been a fan of Born To Destruct since I first heard them. They are a different sounding band from then, with a different vocalist giving a totally different sound. The sound we get tonight are growly vocals from a big and bumpy punk band. From the stage we can feel their pleasure of performing oozing and that infects us. The vocals are raw but clear and the lyrics are spot on. They play a song I have never heard before ‘Proud To Be Shit’ about someone saying only shit bands play in pubs (twat) and I love the song. Its new but its class. ‘Punk As Fuck’ is another sing-along classic. I have always loved the band but for some reason tonight is the best I have ever seen them play. They grabbed me and I enjoyed being grabbed. ‘Wiggle’ was a fun moment as we all wiggled to Born To Destruct. Please do not destruct any time in the near future, you would be sorely missed.
So we finish the night with a full room and a sing-a-long band in fancy dress. Dirt Box Disco know how to entertain. They give people a good time and I have no problem with that. ‘I Just Wanna Be A Girl’ reminds me of The Rezilloes who I love and ‘My Life Is Shit’ encourages us to have a mass sing-a-long. The medley of ‘Rivers of Babylon’ and ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’ bring back memories of an avoided childhood and I guess yes “we are rock n roll”. So happy finish and a massive thank you to Dirt Box Disco and all the other bands for playing.
In conclusion. A fine day where we raised a little dosh for three excellent charities. All the bands were spot on and the people were great. A major thanx to Fungalpunk Dave HT for organizing bands etc. a big thanx to Jacko Darkwhispers for saving the day, finding the venue and running the door. Darren Leake for his help with the door and Rachel Eagling for running Punk 4 The Homeless stall. Onwards and Upwards.
review by Eagle Spits (10 November 2013)