Another day, another doughnut, another dabbling in things cacophonically Diggloid.  Good old Dean, that sonic sprout who peddles his wares our way had a 4 bander in Manchester and so my aching arse was dragged that way via a bus ride from hell where one pays for the privilege to sit in a vehicle of big mouthed bitches, whispering noodles and coughing and spluttering disease riddled wrecks.  Add to this the sweet fragrances of aged puke and stale tobacco with a jerked stop and start movement and no wonder my head had gone by the time I hit the swamped streets of Manc. Straight to the Unicorn and there on the bar was an awaiting pint of Cider and beside it, perched upon a stool, was that top gent and promoter Stu Taylor.  The cud was duly chewed over the next hour and jolly good fun it was.  I have a lot of time for this dude and recognise where the mans heart is at and the fact that he his trying to push noise the right way - honestly, without hidden agenda and with a smile on the face.  Add to this he takes this fungalised fucker as he comes with failings aplenty and has no concealed sub-text in what he utters and 'yes' Mr Taylor always gets my vote.  Time tickled on and the necessity of not missing the first band clawed at both our punk spirits and so we headed across the road to the gaff for the nights entertainment.   Mr Diggle (another grand promoter) greeted us and in we went to consume of the acoustic excreta that doth fall from the Dirtbox Disco!
So to the first band themselves, as named Dirtbox Disco who got up and relaxed the old musical sphincter and shat a sound our way that stunk of rhythm, pure confidence and darn pleasing tuneage.  The band make the effort as regards stage effect with clothes put to full use and done as a way of to enhance and entertain and not deflect from a fuckin' good clutch of songs (think on).  'Spunk' seemed a key word here and I concur thoroughly that this was a good orgasmic ejaculation worthy of further scrutiny.  Guitar wise the outfit are very thorough and tight and insist on melody over mayhem although the latter aspect is nicely added throughout and so increases the value of the spectacle.  Drums are given a tidy dust-up via a green glassed psycho and vocal duties are deliciously delivered from a fun time fat kid with a painted face and romper stomper growbag (you get the picture I hope).  This guy at the front sings rather than shouts and really does look the part despite the obscure dress.  He puts the effort in and is luckily backed by players of similar passion and this is, without doubt, one of the most effective underdog bands out there at the mo.  'Tragic Roundabout' is a really stand out tune but the set is rammed with well constructed ditty’s that are easily enjoyed and full marks from this fungal scrote are awarded.  Nice set of lads too and that really does make a difference as well.  Stu Taylor of STP has these guys under his wing now, they are on the Rebellion fest next year and a good CD looks to be in the offing - things are indeed looking bright - DBD - Shit on!
A beer, a wag of the jaw and...Bad Taste Barbies.  You know the score with this troop of tuned out, more often that not 'tuned in' troubadours and nothing less than a showcase of idiocy and sub-sexual cheekiness can be expected.  The drum machine was switched on, the players followed and a sound set was had but...  (Add a musical trepidation sequence here)  the Bad Taste Barbies suffered tonight and that was down to two things - crowd response and, it seems, the size of the gaff.  For me the BTB machine needs interaction, needs people to bounce off, needs a reaction on which to feed.  Combine this with their sound being puked up in the larger space of Moho rather than a smaller pit and you have a completely different band on your hands.  Don't get me wrong, the last time I saw this outfit was at this fine gaff and I really enjoyed them but tonight I felt something was a little amiss and that I put down to the two aforementioned points.  Despite my thoughts the band played sweetly with the glitzy ritzy titillation given aplenty.  I am still a fan and even though not thoroughly entertained tonight I am convinced of their chosen art form - just give me them in a smaller seedier dive between sounds of more opposition and away we go.  To end on a positive here is a quote from their Facebook page:- 'Death on Six Legs, a blistering acid bath of Rock and Noise with a deadly dance pulse and more flesh than a barrel of naked monkeys"
Blag Dahlia (The Dwarves)' - convinced now - you should be!

Girl Spit next and 'whoosh' right over my head or in fact beneath it.  A first viewing sometimes is difficult to grasp and this was one of those frustrating cases where the style and sound just didn't do anything for me and left me a little confused.  Even Marios the sound guy seemed at a loss with the bands set and that really is saying something when a dude of such high and reliable calibre struggled.  Opinions from a few faces where of the same low impression but that could still be down to the 'initial viewing' syndrome and not to the band playing a dud un'.  Things seemed overly intricate for the sake of it and no real regular riffage was had.  Each song didn't stand out or alter the mode even though the players were well practiced, attentive to their role and playing to a fair level of unity.  Again quoting from myspace the band say this about themselves:- Songs are torn through at speed, with unpredictable stops and changes held together by a beat reminiscent of a spastic sewing machine, and a hammering bass like a dick on loan trying to get your moneys worth. Guitars ducking and diving like a graceful drunk in a fight, kicking you in the face when your guard is down whilst words screech and yelp over the top of the cacophony, slurred and blurred so only the worthy can understand' which makes me think that I am missing something here. I gotta pass on this occasion and reserve judgement - it would be easy to say 'wank' and move on but what would be the point - maybe I just don't like the band but on one viewing I ain't gonna be so harsh so will wait for the next one ya scummy buggers.
And so to The Dwarves.  With a crowd not as large as expected (about 140 payers) the band hit the stage and I took up my vantage point just right of centre (not politically of course ha, ha).  The opening sequence was swift, high octane and building and yet the crowd seemed a little reluctant to let itself go.  Dean joined me and we both headed side stage where the sound guy dwelt and did his musically mixing stuff.  A nice view from here was welcome and one could study the intricacies of The Dwarves at work a little better.  Drum wise was high action with cymbals and skins raped with zeal by an obviously hepped up dude bursting with enthusiasm and talent.  The string work was well delivered with each component in time, rapid and in the chosen groove.  Front duties were taken seriously and delivered with accuracy and gradually things started to roll but alas not to the expected highs that many may have had.  The Dwarves have a reputation and with these things sometimes people expect the performer to live up to it.  This was a more orthodox outpouring with no theatrics except a bit of casual crowd surfing but for the music connoisseur the noise wasn't half bad although note was taken that the gaff does have one or two duff standing points.  As gears and songs were moved through I had a wander here and there to assess the general vibe and despite the fact that the band were working hard I just sensed that the crowd weren't willing to fully bite the feeding hand.  There was no encore but I was quite satisfied with the performance but again I reckon a small, ‘up-for-it’ venue would be a whole lot better to get the best of this fine unit. 
So there ya go - more of an overview than a full picky assessment and one which has left me unsure in various ways.  One thing I am sure of though is that Manchester is being over-pampered and Dean is giving you some real good shit to chew on.  I enjoyed the night and have note made of about 5 more gigs to review before Christmas - come on people you have a go too - be nice to hear your thoughts!

review by OMD (23 November 2011)