THE SAS TOUR
DEWSBURY, THE RIPPED SKATEPARK - 2nd May 2009
Well the SAS certainly does take its chances with trying to push punk here, there and everywhere and although some failures have been met I still feel some darn fine days have been had by all and sundry. This one I think was another one to remember. The sun was out when Jason, Jordan and Tim arrived at our house and after a quick fag and discussion about the size of Jason’s waistline we headed off to Costa Del Dewsbury. My wife drove steadily and we were there at the gaff in good time before the event was due to kick off. Introduction to Ryan, our host for the day then beer and backdrops were sorted. A few bands arrived and whilst mooching around we awaited the soundguy. Beer and more chats and we still awaited the soundguy who did eventually arrive albeit only half an hour late and as calm as yer like. No worries and with one band looking like they weren't going to show at all a bit of extra time was found.
The general atmosphere between bands was good and all seemed to get on. James Bar Bowen was sharing his excellent potions of homebrew and the day seemed set to be a jolly jaunt away from the stresses and struggles of the usual punk circuit. Off the beaten track is a nice option and I was hoping a few 'erberts would turn-up and support the cause - this gig today was also trying to raise a few conkers for the park so fingers crossed.
Punkined and the Bradford crew turned up and swelled the modest crowd (cheers lads and lasses) and the bands were all ready to play. As totally unprofessional as usual I went with the flow and met bands requirements as needed and so the running order had several tweaks along the way which nobody complained about. In fact seeing the running order was unpredictable I think I'll just write this short review in an equally unplanned order - why not indeed.
So here's how the bands did - not as thorough as usual as I was more than a little distracted and did indeed try to be a good host to all and sundry (as per usual). Anyway who first - eeny, meeny, miny, mo
The Despondents who headlined this one and who kindly provided the drum-kit for all day (and which got slightly damaged - big apologies) played a cracker and the one niggle I have is that I let this one run a little too late and the band got the arse end of the crowd. Who was left loved it and the outfit’s brand of dirty dishwater garage is a true pleasure and has a uniqueness I for one applaud. The outfit look good, play good and have the attitude I welcome. 'Advice' rocks along, 'Stupid Girl' gets the head nodding in appreciation and 'California' is something of a signature tune. I am looking forward to the bands next overdue release and wish them well in their attempts to get a record deal. Should be no problem!
Who next - aaah yes - Most Likely To Fail - not much to say really. Great company who attend my gigs and stay for the full length and support the cause. This is their 14th gig from my goodself and I am proud of that fact. Overlooked by many I have no qualms in helping this fine band of lads along the way and the fact they play some good music is a bonus. The new stuff is sounding exceptional and I just hope this crew dig deep enough to see through a release and keep on gigging. I know their patience runs thin sometimes but they are always a friendly bunch who try their best to showcase their sounds. You should check em' out - I have yet to be disappointed.
Rising Strike are somewhat of a new band but who ply their trade with such neat accuracy and effect that you'd think this was a well seasoned band. They get stuck in when required and always deliver the goods both 'live' and on CD. The SAS may take a break due to my low ebb of mental energy lately but when it comes back I am hoping Rising Strike wanna get involved - I would be more than happy to accommodate. Oh yes and they knocked out another stunner today although I was distracted several times throughout - bah.
Talking of being distracted - or should that be Distrakted. What a fuckin' fine band this lot are turning into and what a nice change to see them out of their local scene and playing a sound, concrete set. The buggers wanted me to sing 'Heroes and Idols' with em' but beer and tiredness held me back which is just as well for all who came to see this and the other bands. At some point I may take em' up on the offer but I gotta be ready. The attitude of this band is spot on and they are welcome company. The sound they are creating at the moment is growing in stature by the minute as is their stage presence. There is more to come too and surely some bigger gigs are just around the corner.
James Bar Bowen can be summed up quite easily. A great brewer of beer and less importantly (ha, ha) he is a fuckin' good 'erbert who plays a delightful acoustic set. This is a vital inclusion into the SAS tour and the full-hearted delivery he gives is what I am always looking for and already the vibes are good regarding this guy. The punk inflection is masque behind some sweet music but don't be fooled. This guy knows the score and 'Holidays In Cambodia' was a delight with a novel touch. I liked the whole set and more of the same would suit me fine.
Glue Ear - 3 young lads in it for the crack and just having a good time. The attitude is excellent and the band are getting better by the minute. I do like 'Boarder Parasite' and 'DSA' which in a way go from one of the bands more accomplished numbers to one which is bog standard and to the point. Either way they go down well with me and as far as I am concerned the punk here comes from the innocent approach. No fuckin' around with money, pretensions or line-ups - on they go, play and have fun - result for everyone.
Wild Trash who also aim for the fun element are a no-nonsense punk band with a real melodic edge. What you see is what you get and these are another band that I enjoy every time I see them. The songs are well constructed and the members work hard with frontman Kev forever dancing and full of that old punk spirit. The closure of 'Cellophane' was a good way to finish another entertaining set and as soon as this is released the better.
Flat Back Four never disappoint and as per usual pulled out a clean cut set that made the usual impression with the crowd. There is a slight busy sound with these guys but not so much as to be deemed poison to the punky lugs. These guys have had umpteen gigs from me, improved with age, always put the work in and again just have a darn good attitude towards the tour and the scene in general. I could pick any one of the songs tonight but 'Dogs Actually' I will opt for because I don't normally. Good to have em' on board again.
The Bullet Kings have been quiet lately due to life in general and concentrating on many other projects and recordings. A band with wholesome bulk (in all ways) and after reminding Big Andy to not bust the drum kit they smashed out the opening slot of the day with conviction and precision - all but the final song which went totally titties up. The song I awaited was the UK Subs cover 'Saints And Sinners' and I can honestly say they pulled it off very nicely. Charlie Harper better get these a main support slot soon because they have done him real proud and rehashed a classic song with style.
The Senton Bombs are great - full stop. That could be the review - honestly - I think they are awesome and they always make me feel more positive towards the scene and get me to re-dig my heels in. Why? Because this band is being sold short due to the fact that they don't fit tidily into any old pigeonhole. The music has an exciting edge and thunders from 3 corners of the room and explodes on centre impact. Again all songs roar for me and the way the band execute each number is a sight to behold. If they want gigs they can have em - simple as.
And lastly and by no means leastly (is there such a word - I hope not) 3 Black Dwarfs. OK these guys may be on some kind of reproduction mission and the 3 who became 4 and are now 5 may consider a form of contraception before we won't be able to find a stage big enough. From seeing them play a gig to 4 people, to picking up a free demo I have been intrigued by the classy edge of this band and seen them grow both in numbers and stage presence in a very short space of time. The whole attack is gaining in intensity and the guys are seemingly becoming more settled with the crowd and each other.
Personally I was well chuffed with this one and was proud of all the bands and their efforts in supporting the entire gig. This is punk at its grittiest, dirtiest best with a gut load of talent waiting to be farted forth. The wake up calls a blaring all the time and the fuckers in the scene remain static. We march on, we try and we are willing to play the arse end of nowhere (again) just to do our bit and support the scene. I hope The Ripped stays open and we can do this again with an even greater degree of success and I hope these bands get in touch with one another and get swapping gigs and keep on having a good time. Cheers to all.
by Fungalpunk Dave