THE SAS TOUR
STOCKPORT, BONE SKATEPARK - 1st July 2006
At last Bones Skatepark was here. A sizzler was forecast and with England’s World Cup match against Portugal kicking off smack centre of the gig things didn’t look to promising. Ah fuck it!
I arrived at the venue at 9.30am fairly shattered from little sleep due to the previous nights mothing (needs must). Armed with the Daily Express crossword I settled down and awaited the arrival of Charles and Matt the gaffs owners. After just completing 21 across the said owners turned up and it was into the skatepark to get things organised.
Suspicious Stains arrived shortly afterwards with all the gear crammed into the back of the van with a compressed Eddie squeezed in at the top having barely any room to fart. Ever smiling he clambered down and we all set about loading the PA and gear inside.
A few more heads arrived in upbeat spirits and after general introductions and chinwags AFS had a brief sound check and the day began.
There’s not much I can say about AFS that I haven’t already said. For me this is a quality outfit that simply produces great song after great song. Despite being busy blokes and having various outside influences that dictate when they can play I think that they have done good by the tour and in return the tour has reciprocated by exposing them (perish the thought) to a lot more punters and given them a chance to establish a lot of good contacts and friends. Despite a few accoustic problems today they opened up with another good set and ‘Nobodies’, ‘Guns For Oil’, ‘Only Beer Can Save Us Now’ and ‘Duped’ were overall highs. 4 good musicians here that combine well and always give a good account of themselves. A fantastic start.
Next Social Explosion who injected a nice youthful energy that was a delight to behold. With well crafted songs and a top front guy this lot played a solid set and are surely going to be an asset to next years SAS gigs. I can’t fault it.
With constant clock watching I sank a few more beers before Kamikaze Sperm bounced into action. A good set here with some already established songs the order of the day. The sax sound works well and added a new flavour to the day and this was the third solid set of the day. The switch between singing roles varies things nicely and Kamikaze Sperm seem to be tightening things up so that when mistakes are made they can now carry it off without any major panic. A more light-hearted approach was maybe needed but this was still very good.
Temporal Distortion next and this was not as good as last time I saw them but I still thought it was OK. A few blips here and there but the overall zeal and spirit was plain to behold and I still believe they just about pulled it off. These lot will do OK and have a great attitude plus abundance of talent so no worries here. Keep at it lads and the SAS awaits next year - that’s a guarantee.
Crouch Mog were soon up and at it and displayed a confidence and professionalism that must be a standard for all other young upstarts. Throughout this tour the Moggymen have shown a classic commitment on which they must be commended. Add to this the fact that they are playing some excellent sets and you have a recipe for a fruitful future. ‘Ordinary Life’, ‘Buddha’, ‘Spit’ and ‘Direct Reference’ were pips in a ripened apple of brilliance. The sound all day had been very good (cheers Jim) but didn’t seem to work with Mogs style. Thomas Hardy once wrote something along the lines of harsh condiments and a choice dish - if you’ve read ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ - you’ll get my drift as regards crowd, sound and band. Anyway the Moggymen will do OK and with many a fair avenue open to them the apple looks juicer than ever.
Before our excursion to a nearby pub to indulge in the watching of 11 useless twats kick a spherical object around and then cry about how inadequate they are we were given a superb set by Lowlife UK. Recent winners of Punk Idol and with bottles of chilled Carver the lads jumped up and played a stormer. Over the years I have been pissed more often than not at Lowlife gigs and I really should hang my head in shame. If I had a straw so I could still suck beer in I would but instead I’ll hold my nut high and watch a class act perform a solid set of songs. ‘Fuck you and Your Family’ is my fave but like a limbless washer woman you would be hard pushed to pull any duds out of this sinkful of classics. No sooner had this started and it was over and we all left in search of a local drinking establishment so as to watch the aforementioned useless twats.
Several beers, the unbearably crap football viewed (only the first half) and a visit to the chippy (were I watched the shambolic penalty fiasco) and back to Bones we went.
Suspicious Stains were first and despite some hard work didn’t erect those musical nipples they so often do. This was still good but over the course of the last six months these four dealers in deviancy have improved so much I always expect a stunner. ‘Rockstar’ was tonight’s pick and the finale was, as usual, a peach. The Stains looked a bit subdued by the performance but they should take stock and realise just what they have achieved recently. For me one of the best bands around at the moment because despite being very decent people who have contributed excellently towards this tour you get solid entertainment and a deluge of quality songs. May the stains spread over the unwashed underpants of punk rock.
One Man Stand next but I completely missed them due to distractions with late arrivals and my tendency to talk bollocks with any passing ‘erbert. Sorry lads but you know the score.
Lastly the Guilty Pleasures, and this was more pleasure than guilt. It’s a hard task to end a long day but the GP’s did it well and knocked out a now well established set. James looked the part in his skin tight jeans and cut off tee and led a band that are slowly but steadily growing in stature. Punks future looks bright with bands like this and I just hope they get their just rewards. My missus and little un’ enjoyed this and just as well they might. The classic ‘Stand Up And Stop The Fighting’ epitomised the punk chant and rant sound these Lancastrian punks deliver. Class. Even James’ dad had a go and added a nice touch that I’m sure a lot seem to miss.
Well, after a good tidy up (litter bugging bastards) and a few adieus we left the Skatepark with a feeling of achievement despite a low turn-out. This day was about doing something new and opening up new doorways and personally I feel that was achieved. Everyone I spoke to had had a good day and hopefully this can happen again (hopefully without the footballing distraction which cost us so dear). Cheers must go to Matt and Charles for their assistance in letting us have the venue and to all the bands who made it a great day. The biggest thanks of all is to Jim of Suspicious Stains who worked his arse off in providing and operating the PA almost all day. Given the venue and variation in bands he had his hands full but as expected did a remarkable job. Cheers mate.
The SAS Tour rolls on to Wakefield, then Barrow and finally Blackburn. If you’ve still not been then shame on you because you have missed some punk rock classics and if you have been and appreciated what this is all about then cheers. This tour is no joke and has some high standards we still have to attain. The fact that all bands are enjoying it and playing some of their best stuff to date is very rewarding and hopefully they will reap the fruits of their labour. This is SAS, back to basics, no frills punk - take it or leave it - the future is ours!