Very much the highlight of the gigging year so far the trip to Poulton offered a great night out.  The Royal Oak is a quality venue that has a great sound system which enhances any band that graces its stage.  Tonight The Epoxies were the headliners and promised much after last years gob-smacking viewing at the same gaff. 

We arrived at 7.45 and after a few hello’s to various mates and faces the first band Senton Bombs were hard at it rattling off an excellent set that wasn’t my particular cup of tea but which was still highly enjoyable and set off a good nights viewing.  Fairly powerful in parts and with a rock influence this four piece made a good racket that the punters seemed to enjoy.  A couple of covers thrown in for good measure got them the nod too and so the gig unfolded.

Next were Pink Hearse, an all girl outfit whom I had heard hit and miss reports about.  Unwavered by others opinions I found this to be highly pleasurable and really enjoyed the spirit and incessant bubbly quality of the whole performance.  The front lady proved to be of ample lung capacity as she belted out some impressive screams and shouts much to the crowds delight.  Despite being eye candy for the lads this lot shouldn’t be given biased merit on this alone as their musical talent has obvious promise and with time should improve to a forceful level.  On this cracking outing it would be interesting to see them again in 6 months or so and see what progress has been made.  Great stuff. 

So far so good and with an ever swelling crowd it looked like Paul and Carl North had pulled off another great night at the Oak.  I’d like to say lucky buggers but it wouldn’t be fair as these 2 northern urchins really do put the work in and get their just rewards.  Nice to see it is to.

Next a band I was really savouring to see again after a recent performance that left me absolutely spellbound.  Riot Squad are seemingly reborn lately and are firing on all cylinders with a violent edged, no-nonsense approach that is just fuckin’ awesome to watch.  The all action, unrelenting onslaught that is now their set is a fine example of how to play balls-out punk rock at its very finest.  This is seriously good stuff and any punter not mesmerised by this vicious assault must be stone fuckin’ deaf.  From the opening classic ‘Riot Squad’ to the finale of ‘Wasted’ this is compulsive viewing with ‘CCTV’ and ‘No Escape’ other highs in a faultless set of gems.  Any band on the bill with this lot must get ready to play a blinder because if you don’t the Riot Squad will wipe the floor with you.  A masterclass of brilliance and for me one of the best bands around at the moment.

Lastly the magnificent and joyously entertaining Epoxies.  Here we have a vision of several digitised refugees that are caught up in a synthesised electro nightmare hellbent on saving the soul with an abundance of radioactive melodies that just bewitch the accepting viewer.  Over the last year this band of merry music makers have come into their own and found a niche in which to produce and present their unique brand of techno punk.  Personally I love this outfit and regard them as one mighty force.  The presentation is impeccable and the fun is tangible as each performance I’ve seen so far is delivered with a zeal and joy second to none.  It would be easy to pass the Epoxies lot off as a gimmick band but the fact that the music they produce is spellbindingly excellent with an upbeat tempo that is deliciously garnished with a paradoxical pessimistic undercurrent of realism.  The contrasting vibes and interspersion of catchy melody is what makes this band and with remarkable achievements such as ‘Radiation’, ‘Synthesised’ and ‘Need More Time’ to their credit you can’t help but admire the whole package.  Brilliant, fun and infectious the Epoxies are one of the greats – that’s an OMD fact.

Well another great night at the Royal Oak and with Paul pulling a few favours for me and my family and with loads of smiling faces at the end of the night that was a real treat to see this was one long pleasure.  This must be one of the best gaffs in the country and long may it continue as punk needs places like this to showcase the best bands in the best possible environment.

An all round class evening.


review by OMD (23 February 2007)