After a thoroughly crap week with a busy workload, a busted computer and news of my wife's mum having a blood clot in her leg I was looking forward to the Star and Garter gig as a way of switching off and enjoying some quality punk.

Arriving at the venue early (as always) I chatted with promoter Steve and Lurkers frontman Arthur about the hits and shits of the punk scene. A few punters arrived (emphasis on few) and a few bevvies were sunk (re-emphasis on few again you disbelieving buggers) before the music began.

Expectations tonight were of a low to middling turn-out due to several other gigs in the vicinity and the punk crowds ignorance of The Lurkers damn fine songs and performances. A really good band this lot but one that fails to earn appreciation from a frustrating punk scene.

Anyroads at approximately 8.30pm Pink Hearse kicked off the nights entertainment in fuckin' fine style thrashing out female rage at a primarily male crowd. Potentially a daunting task but this quintet of lasses did the business and kicked the arse of a few doubters and victims of the negative grapevine. I had only seen this outfit on one prior occasion and was fiarly impressed. Tonight the initial impression of a decent band was reinforced by a solid set dripping with concrete tunes. The screamimg front girl initially catches the eye but unlike other girl bands these melodic maidens of menace have substance as well as tits. It's a fair working unit and choice songs such as 'Bones', 'Punk Puke' and 'Bubblegum' display this to a tee. The Vice Squad cover of 'Latex Love' was nicely dealt with and '2 Fingers' was a superb highpoint in a buzzing, spunky set. Eye candy classification for the ignorant, a darn fine band for the educated...and a quality start for all! I should have got a CD but with financial woes due to putting on too many gigs and chasing wildlife I restrained myself. Will chase one down soon though and the final recommendation is of a fine all-girl outfit that are punk as fuck and nicely dripped in horror, sleaze and melody. Go get em' lasses!

Sick 56 next and it was a case of heavy riffs, snarling vocals and power melodies all combined to make one meaty outpouring. Always good viewing and value for your brass, this band is a welcome inclusion to any gig as you usually get a rock steady performance built on frenzied foundations of real punk rage. This was very good although I have seen them better but with such a high standard set it's hard to maintain the tempo. Still a choice band and a set I thoroughly enjoyed.

Kid Voodoo next - a bizarre inclusion and one I again enjoyed as I like my gigging recipes mixed rather than of one flavour. With a frontman seemingly the doppleganger of the late Andy Warhol (with similar twatty glasses) and a sound of bluesy punk cum early rock and roll this may have not been everyone's bag at the gig but I thought it altered the pace and sound quite delightfully. A look on the myspace page reads the influences as thus '50s rockabilly, The Stooges, The Cramps, Johnny Cash, Ennio Morricone, The Fall, Billy Childish, David Bowie' and that just about sums up this obscure sounding group. A nice change indeed!

And so to The Lurkers. With 51 paying punters all was not lost but surely this band deserves more. Tune after tune is pure quality with the main core alive with vibrant melody and catchy riffs. If I was going to pick the best then I would have to list the whole fuckin' set because this is a band who, for me anyway, have a crater full of cracking songs. 'I Go Sane', the all time classic 'Shadow' and 'I'm On Heat' shone tonight but I loved it all. I have seen them better than this but I have yet to come away from a Lurkers gig disappointed. The sneak preview of the new album is sounding great and Arthurs 'soon to be published' new book aptly entitled 'Fat Bloke, Thin Book' must surely be a cracking read. Great stuff!

A corking night of punk brought about by Ageless Chaps. Value for money and a nice diversity - what more do you want - same old shit apparently!

review by Fungalpunk/OMD (25 February 2008)