A visit to the Star and Garter is usually most welcome but tonight’s was more out of necessity than of desire.  Tired, busy and on a total downer regarding news of my 3 day SAS fest being under threat by two competitive gigs in Manchester – aaaggghhh!  So to say I was in a joyful mood would be in fact a fuckin’ lie.  Add to that I was currently dabbling with a 4 figure overdraft and my missus was feeling a bit low with a cold - a recipe for a shite night don’t you think.

Anyway support for Ageless Chaps Steve and the 3 main support bands was my main priority and exchanging CD’s and tickets with Global Parasite for forthcoming ventures.

Upon entering, the gaff was almost empty albeit a trifle early, but I had no fear that the big band mentality would be played for all its worth and the venue would be heaving around 10.30pm (the time when the Subhumans were due on). 

Eventually the steady trickle of punters began and greetings were made.  In truth I was being a right miserable tosser and poor fuckin’ company due to the aforementioned niggles still pecking my head and as soon as the first band were on I went upstairs with my good lady to divert my attention from the mental mayhem.

I had told a few people beforehand that Global Parasite are worth a look and had left me pretty impressed by their recordings and live efforts so far.  This was a decent audience for these lunatics from Leek Land and I was left quite proud of the grinding crustcore trio and the obvious impression they made.  People were already up pinging about at this stage and the sound was mighty impressive for a first band on.  Definitely ones for a Subhumans crowd and they did themselves a whole host of favours during this fast, accurate set.  ‘Smash The New World Order’ was the obvious prize bull but in truth a smelly cow would be hard to find.  Maybe not the entire punk communities bottle of beer but definitely a fair tipple to be savoured.

Down for chats and up for twats!  The twats in this case being The Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man’.  Take note that twats is used in the most familiar and friendly way as these jumping jack rabbits are the bread and butter of the Do It Yourself, Help Each Other’ scene and are always a delight.  Tonight wasn’t the best I have seen them and the constant re-tuning hampered the flow.  It was still entertaining enough and the slow up-turn in consistency is happening but sometimes shit happens.  In rehearsal they were apparently red hot so that just goes to show – sometimes things conspire to keep things level.  A few good songs tonight and a few off the mark - hey ho time should be a belter!

Next The Bullet Kings whose formulated brand of riffology can transcend the boundaries of punks genre’s.  Despite a crowd with a crust the BK’s still maintained a high level of interest and their cavalcade of continuous vibrant ditties was one pure joy.  Some marvellous musical moments here with an intrinsic simpleness so many bands fail to pick up on which in many cases is to their detriment.  The Bullet Kings have found a golden thread and they spin it for its entirety and as well they might because the songs are a glorious tribute to a band who have reached high speed in such a short journey thus far.  The basic rat-tat of similar bands is overwhelmed by solid guitar work, pounding, rhythmic bass lines and some rip-roaring drums.

‘Riot’, ‘London Town’, Skrew The World’ and ‘Punk Not Profit’ are 4 mighty pimples from a buttock of prize pustules and the only burst boil was the ending of ‘Friday Night Nazi’ was oozed filth a little to long for my liking.

For me and my good lady the night was done!  Both in need of rest, having witnessed the Subhumans strut their stuff before on several occasions and realised with a bursting room they wouldn’t miss our support we headed home.  We had supported the underdog and done our bit and although the Subhumans are a darn fine band tonight we just ran out of gas.  However good chum Dean didn’t and here the review continues…

The pub downstairs started to look rather empty as the mass of Manchester punks staggered their way up the stairs to the main venue for the headlining act. I thought I’d better make a move and managed to squeeze through the punters surrounding the door entrance and worked my way through to the back of the room. The local punks had come out in force as usual to see the 80's anarcho-punks Subhumans but it would be unfair to call it a nostalgia trip as a large chunk of the crowd here tonight were probably not even born when the band first formed and they also had a new album out (albeit after 20 years) Internal Riot.

They didn’t disappoint and put in a tidy and professional performance with lead singer Dick running the show and looking like he was still enjoying it after all these years. New material sat seamlessly against old hits like “Apathy” and “Mickey Mouse is Dead” and the place was bouncing right to the back. I made a sharp exit during their last song to avoid the crush and spent the next ten minutes trying to squeeze Tim and Big Dazza in my tiny GTV which gave a few people a laugh as they made their way back towards the train station.

Great gig and a good venue that suits this kind of outfit very well. Ageless Chaps has more stuff lined up here this year and I for one will be back for more.

review by Fungalpunk/OMD and Dean of SLit Records (15 February 2008)