With 5 new bands to see tonight the Ska Bar seemed too good to miss so I headed down the Manchester in hope of seeing some choice new bands. Arriving at 4.30 the first band were almost up and at it and it was good to see a gig kick off on time despite one band pulling out.

Ded Mole Crickit are a band I should have seen previously although due to an unforeseen drinking escapade the band was missed on the gig I attended. Anyway being totally sober tonight I gave them my full attention and was quite taken with what I witnessed. A nice mix of power surges with smart, well timed skank gave the set some impressive edge and the evening was started in quality style. A song about 'Coke and Dope' was particularly noteworthy and mental scribblings were made of another band to keep tabs on.

Fight The Bear next and this was indeed the set of the night. Really professionally delivered with an accomplished sound emitted by some very talented musicians. Each and every song was a choice offering and mixed the alternative/punk/ska genre's very nicely indeed. A band to take note of and one on the steep upturn. Whether or not they make the grade they desire is dependant on keen management of resources, gig opportunities and financial nouse. We shall see! Definitely though not one for the gutterpunk scene where my heart lies!

Skankt hit the stage next and this was the third crackin' performance of the night. Despite following on from the aforementioned great band this crew held their own as well as my attention and produced a set of diverse songs that complimented one another perfectly. With glass shard guitar effects throughout, light heady rhythms, rolling melodies as well as a necessary amount of vigour the set shone bright and the calypso-like ending had me reaching for some bush and getting ready to jive on down and limbo. Great stuff and the finale perhaps was the evenings pinnacle and really left the punters wanting more.

After purchashing 2 Skankt CD's and a Stand Out Riot 3 tracker the latter band took to the stage after a bizarre yankee style motivational huddle. Fuckin' hell - what's all that about then? Anyway this was a band I was long due to see after hearing many great things on the skankvine. The start was however very messy indeed and this 7 piece outfit took their time to settle before firing on all cylinders and eventually knocking out a fair set. Very reliant on high energy and enthusiasm this crew improved as the set went on and the crowd lapped it up. Another good band and contributing to what was, again, a fine Ska Bar gig.

Lastly it was the turn of Sadies Doll, a Bristol based 3-piece who were definitely leaning towards the mellower end of reggae cum ska and as a matter of fact were, for me anyway, the poorest band of the night. I didn't enjoy this one bit and thought the whole offering was mundane, laboured and too lightweight. In truth this isn't my kind of tune and so any band would get the same comment from my distant judgement. However having a tag as OMD the tune always needs twanging so the verdict is definitely a fungal frown. Opinionated but that's reviewing. The crowd seemed to like it it and many a jigger was had but I remained unmoved and was glad when the set ended. Miserable twat perhaps but I write what I feel.

Overall a crackin' nights entertainment and again only costing 4 nuggets. The attendance wasn't great as I have seen these gigs a lot busier but all in all it was good enough. A nice established night this and it would be good to see some of these faces transcend across into similar genres and support the scene but, each to their own as they say.



Review by Fungalpunk/OMD - (24 February 2008)