I'm going to be brief with this one - it is a busy time, my heads has gone, Facebook have kicked me off due to many a twat and the power they hold over all our heads and I have several on-going issues in my life that are indeed driving me fuckin' haywire. I haven't exploded for a long while and the last time I did was a messy affair so best crack on and get this one done and keep the deflated ball kind of rolling (if you get my drift)!

Arriving at the gaff full of gunk and fury I was less than taken aback to find the place virtually empty. With Adam Ant on the night before, New Model Army playing just down the road and the ever present 'oooh I haven't heard of them so why should I go' mentality rife what other outcome could there. No one expected anything so everything would be a bonus - fuck it!

First up Smokey Bastard, an outfit with a few obvious flavours where Murphy gets kicked, Molly gets Flogged and the fiddling essence of the jaded isle gets prodded back into life. The musical milk that poured forth from the many nippled pap was quite sweet indeed and although the occasional curdled morsel slipped in I drunk deeply of this one and, despite it being a noise I have heard before (what isn't) I thought this was a fair old do. The instrumental moment was full fat for sure with all players really having the chance to showcase their musicianship and raise the tempo of the night’s proceedings. The two main dudes at the front who provided most of the vocal duties held the crowd well with the only criticism being that in parts the vocals seemed overly gravelled and somewhat strained but that is only a minor gripe that I hope assists the band in stretching things further!

Above Them next and a tidy 3-piece going for a more rocked up feel that wasn't exactly punked but more in accordance with an outfit trying to be too regular rather than dangerous. Plenty of power in the engine room but just too orthodox for me and lacking any real spiked edge. Over the years I have seen many a band like this - efficient, tight, professional and without any general flaws. Now it is known I do prefer things DIY and anything with a tattered, unaffected edge does seem to win more favour from this Fungal fruit loop and I cannot apologise for that. This noise dealt me tonight just did nothing for me and although I can see how they have a few loyal fans and where they get their acoustic kicks from I can do no more than pass on at this stage and leave it to someone who would give a more favourable appraisal. Shit I know but why shred something for the sake of it - not a style I'd like to adopt. Not for me - on we go!

Great Cynics next and lo and behold another trio to test the Fungal matter. My opinion again is of a non-punk band with no threat, no poison, no vitriol but what they did have was a catchy appeal that I just can't nail. Drums were effective, bassism kept simple and guitars and vocals full of beans and so a strange brew was tasted and one, if I am honest, needs tasting of again. The songs are aimed at the new breed and have an approachability that lets people not wanting to stand out and gamble be involved with. The crowd tonight reflected what this gig was and is another example of those tangents that have come from the spiked and studded arena but are no longer part of it! There is, however, a great calling for this noise and the baggy arsed brigade and such will love it. Many moments shone tonight, a few passed me by but the band work well as a unit and do have appeal. Personally, my search for racketology lies elsewhere but I am always happy to dabble with this style now and again - its your call.

Finally and fleetingly it was the turn of Crazy Arm. Power plays, big riffs, long songs, over intricate, stodgy at the start, blazing a trail when things were hung loose, altering modes when the need didn't arise - appealing to 90% of the crowd and really deserving of a headline slot. All components pulled it off and people lapped it up but I remained in the 10% bracket and left with 3 songs to go with the belief that I won't be a fan any time soon. Again you can see the catch, see the reason why many rave about the band but I'd be bullshitting if I harked on here and tried to palm off a review just for the sake of it - again the end result is yours.

So another Diggle delivery and this time just a matter of 'being' there for me with nothing outrageous to tickle me testicles of tuneage although Smokey Bastard and Great Cynics have me a trifle intrigued. 4 bands and only one to niggle my nerves of noise and to think I could have stopped at home by the fire, with my good lady (the young un' is in Belgium and France at the mo) watching a good horror film, chewing a few choice morsels and sipping a darn good beverage - sometimes we all make mistakes but the gig looked a struggle and that always prompts me into action - silly, silly bastard!

Oh, just to add, the turn-out was of about 60 I reckon which isn't great but isn't as bad as what it could have been - good man Dean for scraping by on this one - on ye go! I bet Adam Ant and New Model Army was rammed though - no change there then!

review by OMD (17 December 2011)