THE SAS TOUR
NOTTINGHAM, THE OLD ANGEL INN - 27th October 2012
First band to arrive at the venue were Dirt East Godverdomme. All the way from Holland, bringing full backline with them. What an excellent start. Set up with loads of time to spare. Next arrival, the splendid chap who is Nick Fenton from Apocalypse Babys. He too brought gear so spares already sweet. Ambassadors of Shalom (A.O.S.) arrive with a car full of amps, drums etc - we are cooking with gas. Loads of back up, and time to spare. Pressure off.
The show starts at the scheduled time of 16.45 with A.O.S. who kick into action with a Rancid inspired cover of the hymn ‘Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus’. Tight as you like in your face street punk. The bass player (Peter 118) played for Senseless for many years and the same Rancid-esque feel is a pulsating vein in the A.O.S. body. I saw the band a few months ago and thought they were alright-ish. Tonight’s 20 minute blast is good. Not brilliant but good. Peter 118 and guitarist Neil Roddy share vocal duty and the two voices compliment each other well. The two blokes are crammed with experience and the 15 year old drummer (Joe) is good enough to make it work. It is evident that all three enjoy playing punk and there is enough of a tune for their set to be catchy. The band have obviously been practicing a lot and it has paid off. A few more gigs and a quality band may well emerge. I enjoyed em’ as did the small handful of punters in the room.
Certified are good, very good. Full on raging, early 80's influenced beast of the punk variety your mother wouldn’t like. Featuring ex members of The Varukers, Riot Squad, Gutrot and Braindance. Their history gives you a major insight of what they are going to sound like. Predictable, but quality product in being so. These guys know what they like and don't mess with anything else. This is their 100th gig and their fans turn out to support em’. On two tracks the vocals are spat by non band members taking over the mic. Nice touch. Hard, angry energy oozes from flexed punk rock muscle. Punk as fuck, hard as nails, tight as Atos. 1982 never sounded better. A few more punters in the room and some energetic dancing. Nice of you to join us.
The band were good, very good and so were Apocalypse Babys. But in a much different way. The band have been gigging for over 20 years and the dedication shines through. They produce quality, good natured, catchy, punk rock tunes. I love a good tune, The Ramones, Sloppy Seconds, The Queers etc. So do Apocalypse Babys. Tight, bouncy punk stuff which does indeed remind me of Sloppy Seconds. Maybe Sloppy Seconds are Apocalypse Babys fans? They bloody should be. However The Babys don’t just do fun, happy, dumb ass punk rock. They also touch on some more serious issues in a fun, happy, dumb ass punk rock way. Their song ‘I Don't Wanna Be A Nazi’ is a good example of this. There is some educated song writing evidenced but this did not stop the good time spirit of The Ramones flooding the venue. They certainly got my aged punk rock legs moving despite me being "too old to dance" to quote their song title. The cover of ‘Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler’ encouraged a fun sing-a-long from those present. Overall a fine set of no nonsense enjoyable punk rock. A most pleasant beverage sire.
What the hell is this punk rock thing about anyway? And does anyone actually give a damn? So far we’ve seen an assortment of punk rock ‘erberts take the stage and now we have a long haired, double headed metal beast take the stage. The Dutch 3 piece, Dirty East Godverdomme have big blonde hair (apart from the short haired singing, school teacher drummer) big tattoos, a hugs metal sound and an even bigger sense of humour. Slayer for Spinal Tap fans. The bass player and guitarist strip down to their waist and point their guitars skywards and churn out a hardcore tinged, thrash metal rage with pounding drum beats. Classic and inspired. It matters not to the band that the audience is small they, have massive grins as they grind /thrash out the music they undoubtedly love. These guys are having much fun and the rest of us have jumped aboard the roller coaster for the crazy ride.90's Mosh with a fists worth of hardcore beating in the beasts heart. They cause me to remember Lawnmower Deth and I smile. The noise might be different to what is taken to be punk but the attitude is punk as punk should be. Turn up, supply the backline, have a beer, support all the other acts then blast out the noise you want to make regardless of what others might expect or desire. Dirty East Godverdomme are punk in all the right ways. Do your own thing, enjoy doing your own thing and support others doing their own thing. Works for me. I have no idea what they were singing/growling about. Although the drummer did say one song was about killer polar bears. So big, big sound. No ego. Loads of tongue in cheekiness. Big time OTT posing, massive smiles and half an hour of intense, tight, very loud metal which warmed the cockles of an elderly punk rock heart.
I had a great day in the company of Mrs Spits, the Fungalpunk family and new and old friends but I have to admit the piss poor attendance and the herd mentality of a fashionable pseudo punks got to me a bit earlier in the day .However the determination of bands who were going to enjoy doing their thing regardless helped perk me up and make the day hugely positive and enjoyable. It’s not about the clothes you wear or that you advertise butter ‘get that one’.
Cold and tired we found out we had missed the first band so arrived just as Bruce Tality was doing his thing. Bluesed up, full of spirit and playing to almost no-one the guy gave it is all and did a one man set full of gusto, carefree belief and likeable charm. He blew away on the oral organ (no sexual suggestions please) and entertained the few in attendance (Nick Kent and Dirty East Godverdomme your presence was noted). I liked the guys approach, the humble essence, the DIY feeling, the simplistic edge and the variety he brought to a gig that had much to offer if anyone could be arsed to take their eyes away from the places where self-glory is found. Yes a good start and thanks mate.
Disappointment next – you bet –why - Eagle followed and played to fuckin’ no-one – well except we three sonic ‘shroomers, Nick and the DEG crew and 2 others. The guy works his arse off for punk, the room downstairs was filling up, the gig wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Eagles efforts – but some just don’t care. His mate on guitar, just like Eagle, got on with things regardless but it still stung me on the ass and this, plus numerous other incidences rekindled a thought I have had for a long while that the SAS is done. My arse has been worn down and kicked to fuck by fakers, takers, cheats, thieves, frauds and self-interested fuck-wits and so...that folks is me done or is it (I am made of sterner stuff than sometimes I realise). I enjoyed Eagles set nonetheless – pure patchwork, sticky taped odd-jobbiness filled with reality, gusto and ‘get this, fuck you’ punkiness. His wordage spills forth like well-enthused treacle – inescapable and incessant. The strings were bare basic and apt and together the two minstrels made a fine mess – just how it should be. Never mind the dress up, cultivate the mess up – that’s the misrule!
Still niggled but clearer in my own mind where things are at I watched Wisecrack play out their indie cum folky punkoid set to a few more heads and thoroughly enjoyed their efforts. I nipped downstairs for a quick squirt to see many punters paying no heed to new noise and so went back up to the action slightly fractured (which of course many will love to hear). Wisecrack have much to offer with some delightful tunes that have substantial weight and equally worthwhile rhythm. Once more my head was cluttered and I forgot to snap up a £2 CD but will keep the peepers peeled so as to catch em’ again (just like you should). Thanks chaps. The review will be more intense and refined next time.
Time was cracking on, we had a long drive home and an early start next day – the lasses were ready to go and after 2 songs of the Cryo-Genics we duly went. Eagle – earn ya crust ya bugger!
OK so Cryo-Genics-solid Exploited influenced early 80's punk fucking rock. Played tight, fast and forceful. Anti War, anti fascist, just the way I like it. Big Mohawks, big riffs loads of aggressive energy. I like Cryo-Genics I grew up with this type of noise. Never did me any harm (its toast and chi time now I reckon).
And there you have it – what can I do? I will plough forth with the odd gig here and there purely for the ones who matter. If the time now comes when even that becomes a struggle (due to constant back-stabbing, deflection and petty put downs so as to make one look better) then I will get out and cruise along doing my thing in a different capacity (I say different but you know the score – CD reviews, interviews, pointing bands the right way for gigs, helping others push their stuff etc.). Punk promised me much when I was a young misfit and now (being an old misfit) in the main it gives me pain and the feeling of disillusionment. It is just a place for the social twat, the ones who want agreeing with and the ones who want to be popular – I want none of that! So fuck right off!
And then you get glimpses of light such as Eagle and Nick who love noise for noise sake and don’t need any of the peripheral bollocks – aaagghhh! And bands like Eye Licker who want a gig, refuse money and say they do it for the love of it not for any gain – double aaaaggghhh! It ain’t all grim, there are some gems out there and that is where my energies lay – the rest – fuck em’.
I hope everyone supported one another after we left (I sincerely do) but have seen too many things to believe (so sorry to anyone I have misread).
PS. Next day I reflected (and the day after and the day after that ) and yes the SAS is NOT done – I just need a rest. Thank you so far to the few, fuck the many and good riddance to a wonderful ideal for now. Other gigs will continue on my own terms and with people who pull their weight until I decide to roll out the ragged SAS carpet again.
101 gigs, many laughs, many heartbreaks, many piss-ups, an utter financial loss and the disappearance of the punk spirit I knew was a rare commodity. The fact is though the effort was made – end of! Goodbye, hello – burn many bridges, build some new and only invite across the very few that have made sincere effort – the rest can go to the trolls.
Watch this fuckin’ space!
by Fungalpunk/OMD and Eagle Spits