The winter blues had really got to me lately with its dull and dreary weather and cock numbing temperatures. Couple this with the fact I was suffering from tonsilitus and was near enough 90% phlegm and you may understand why the decision to attend this gig was left to the last minute. With weary limbs, aching bonce and running nose I met Big Daz in town whereupon we sought some festive bronze only to end up with a seasonal chill. Defeated we entered the venue in good time and prepared for the first of 8 bands.

A really spacious venue this and the detailed design of the interior with its hellish ornamentation is wonderfully done and sets a nice atmosphere. Unfortunately it isn't the best venue for accoustics a theme that would be fairly prevalent tonight.

Autonomads opened with a skank and crust thrust that was slinky in parts with its tinkling guitar riffs and flowing sax and slightly more hard edged in other areas. The instrumental offerings were the best moments for me as the vocals seemed totally punished by the poor sound system. This was allegedly only their second gig and I was pretty impressed by what I witnessed.

Next up were a trio by the name of Dammit, an outfit that played a fairly solid set leaning towards the more metal end of the spectrum. Lively, efficient and with some good splashes of riffage this was a good contrast to the more mellow opening act and was again enjoyed by yours truly.

A bit of pissing about before the next band allowed Big Daz to nip out for a bottle of red wine which was downed without concern whilst chatting to a few 'erberts in the karsi's. The crowd began to swell a little more and Projectile Vomit were soon in full swing with their Chaos UK/Disorder style of punk. Real crust and simplistic chords appealed to this crowd and frontman Fat Dean has a good interactive streak that he played like a good un' to this appreciative crowd. It was a basic, down-to-earth no frills set that exuded a real punk ethos and the only drawback was that Dean's vocals were dumbed down by an unforgiving PA.

Offbeat Heroes had more of an emphasis on the skanky side of things and played a nice set that only had the odd blip here and there which was purely down to....yes you guessed it - a dodgy sound quality. A good band this with plenty of fizz and variety of tune and an outfit worthy of further investigation.

Tired already a few snifters were had before Cot Death were up and away. Not bad at all this with some solid moments that shone from an above average set. These are one of those bands you need to double check to actually make a thorough assessment but I bought a CD so that tells you something.

The Something Somethings came next and were a band I was aware of via the Pumpkin Records label. A superbly solid sound this that was a manic skank affair which got the best out of the sound available and really took the gig to a new level. In fact the sound at this point was starting to level out and the standard was a lot better. The finale with a stage full of piss-pots was a great scene and this was a real riotous joy.

The penultimate band of the night was My Own Religion who were well crafted in their delivery and really maintained the high quality music on show tonight. I've seen this bands name all over the place but am unfamiliar with them live. This was a decent outing and with the sound improving all the time they were well recieved by the sizeable crowd. Again further scrutiny must be made.

And at last it was the turn of The Restarts one of the current flavours of the month this 3 piece fully justified their headline status by rattling out a first class set crammed with infectious songs and raucous rhythms. The crowd loved it and the first real pogo action took place as The Restarts moved through the gears and produced a stunner. 'Frustration' was my personal fave as it encapsulated the bands vocal crossover technique what they do so well. In fact it would be difficult in finding a lowly moment and this outfit are surely going to go from strength to strength. They are currently building a fair following and provided they keep it real and don't get carried away both financially and egotistically they can be a real flag flyer for tomorrows punk scene.

A long day but an enjoyable one with a few new bands seen and plenty of chinwags with various faces.

Its always good to vary the gigs but having done an overabudance lately I headed home fairly gigged out and very, very tired. I'd recommend you check out any of the bands on show tonight and see what you think - I suspect you may be quite pleased with what you witness. The punk scene is brimming over with talent and although the attendances are spread fairly thinnly I suspect we are just around the corner from a real resurgence - be interesting wouldn't it - and long overdue.

review by OMD (17 December 2007)