I have not done a gig review for absolutely ages, the cause - too much time spent doing other things and hoping in the meantime a few other folk would do their bit - so much for 'hope'. As ever, I was stretched to the max and duly putting a rubber man's nob to shame with my ever elongated use of time. Today I was frazzled after work, was full of a cold and struggling to get the carcass animated. My good lady was kind enough to drop me off at the gig, along with our neighbors John and Sue who, having been on a Esso Blue and Bostik Glue bender had decided to have a night out at a gig before going around Manchester to hopefully molest a few vagabonds and do a spot of festive shoplifting - they are a disreputable pair. Upon arrival it was gratifying to spend time nattering to many fine faces, some of whom had been scarce on the scene of late due to life's demands and a certain disillusionment. As mandibles wagged, beer flowed and a healthy crowd rose in numbers (darn the attraction of labels and the codology of hype) time ticked on. Eventually a viewing position for this spluttering bod was found and Wolf Bites Boy took to the stage.

The band under the opening spotlight are one I have done a bit with since their inception into this murky musical mire and, may it be said, are a unit I have always had a great deal of faith in. With an almost full room the pressure was on to produce the goods tonight and by heck didn't they deliver in a full, sanguine and rhythmic style that even this ardent fan was taken aback by. The set had all the usual flavourings, mouthy stampeding, cobble-stoned honesty, regulated riffs and rhythms and some sound invigorating skankoid invasions. The on-looking crowd seemed convinced, they all held their ground until the last stroke and I did see a few bits of merch exchange hands which is always a good thing. The set was a DIY embryonic classic-laden showpiece with many, many songs already well and truly drilled into this particular carcass. 'Rise Again' is a particular passion provoker with its fluent movement, 'Fighting On' is the veritable chant chunk with its old punk slogan repeated over and over and used as fuel to keep the defiance levels raised and 'Wear Your Heart With Pride' has many sub-genre touches that those in the know, and those that don't, will be undoubtedly charmed by. Within the weave homage was paid to the lost, to those still here and I was very proud to have a track dedicated to me, a lovely cockle warmer called 'Family Isn't Always Blood' - ta fellas. I have seen this lot now on quite a few occasions, it has been a long journey and one that needs to continue on and on and on – ad infinitum. If the crew play it cagey, do not over-expose themselves and keep the glorious tuneage of a level such as this then, I am fairly confident in saying that 'big things await'. My fingers are crossed and my todge knotted!

A beer and another natter and back up to watch the headline band, a band riding into town on the back of big 'ooh haa' and all the bollocks that goes with being signed to a label. Some are convinced by this kind of shit, some are sold before they partake but this fucker knows better and comes, absorbs, throws off the fuckery and makes his own mind up. I am not familiar with the band due to being a purist gutter dweller where pimpled reality, ugly aspects and warted wankery all take precedence with 'hope' a flimsy thread onto which we all cling. Grade 2 took to the stage, they began in a style I have seen, heard and ranked with tight-arsed musicianship, fast youthful energy and good visual movement all coming to the fore and giving the punters very much what they asked for. I was taken, happy to invest further time and made sure I took note of each contributor and noted what they were offering to the 3 way fray. The balance was spot on, the talent obviously there and although some clichés were used, some facets were obvious in where they were coming from this, in truth, was a 'live-wire' show played with incessant vim, vigor and direct controlled aggression. The vocals were shared, the skins clatters at the back with hefty gumption and some of the wire-wanking at times was, to be fair, tighter than pubic curls of a recently electrocuted King Kong.  I came with indifference but in a slightly paradoxical way, I came with eager interest, I am no fool, I have seen all this before but, I know a good band with a good future when I see one though and I have them penciled in for a return viewing next year - I will do a full-on intense review maybe - in the meantime check em' out and enjoy - but don't forget the less fortunate in the mire you scabby sonic gits.

So, a double header up the open orifices of this rather fagged out Fungal - it was a good do, I am back in the gig reviewing groove I hope but as per, I have lots to do on many fronts, this is a mere small contribution trying to keep things rolling, up for debate and just on the cusp.  Time, time, time, regard it as a crime etc etc.

Review by OMD (20 December 2019)