Over the last few weeks I had watched Dean of SLit Records work his ass off for this gig and despite a few pull-outs he stuck on in there like a good old promoter and gave up his time to try and get a decent crowd to this newish venue to see 3 more top punk outfits. A hard task indeed but with his last gig getting 72 payers things were heading in the right direction and the pre-gig vibes for this were quite optimistic.

Arriving at 7.30 to an empty venue didn't upset the feeling I had that this could be a busy night but as time ticked on, bands arrived and the soundcheck was underway I started to have a few misgivings. The soundcheck continued and still not many punters - very depressing to say the least.

Chats with faces and bands were had and Most Likely To Fail eventually got the evenings entertainment underway despite a shitty sound and a piss poor monitor the band soldiered on through a set that started badly with 'Weekend Rebels' suffering drastically from the dodgy sound equipment. The set soon got back on-line and the cultured tunes won through although the accoustics really blighted MLTF's melodic approach. I adore this band and was sad to see them hindered in exhibiting their quality sounds and the shite turn-out was a real galling point I felt the band did well to ignore. 'Code Blue' was one of the best tonight and the lighter guitar of 'Innocent Eyes' seemed to work well also. If you like your music well constructed and played by honest, genuine 'erberts then these are a band worthy of attention and I for one will be flying the MLTF flag with pride.

Next up were The Kirks whose overall approach is more high energy and heavy riffs and with a recent upsurge in quality this was again a grand do. Frontman Max is always on the cusp of making a real faux pas but somehow just manages to remain in control and deliver a damn fine entertaining show. It should not be forgotten though that this mischevious 'erberts stage antics are only attainable because he is backed by a band currently driving on all power packed cylinders and the dedication to the task over the years is now paying dividends. There are a couple of tunes that still I find slightly messy and over fussy but overall The Kirks are ramming forth some quality fuckin' tunes and 'Rats', 'Over The Top' and 'State Of Emergency' are 3 to savour. 'Ace Of Spades' is always a crowd pleaser and this lot, I must admit, do it justice. Very pleasing indeed and more to come methinks from a band growing in stature all the time.

And lastly to the local flavour of the month, namely One Man Stand. If you have read my recent review of this fine bands latest CD you can imagine my expectations were ridiculously high and I was setting myself for a set of true quality. Bugger, tits and fanny as this was not to be. Again for some unknown reason the sound system didn't complimemt this band and with the reverberating walls it was a real error to have the bass so loud even though this geezer is arguably the best on the circuit. A few blips by drummer Jan and a guitar set way too low and the final portrait had a few too many blemishes to make it admirable. Don't get me wrong this is a fuckin' good outfit but several people remarked on the sub standard sound so at least I don't feel as much of a twat as I normally do when criticising bands. Best song by far was 'Time To Go' as it had an abundance of anger and just blazed away on fiery venom. Worst song was 'Casual Culture' which felt loose and in need of a riffage injection and a real kick up the arse. Overall and from a neutral standpoint this I suppose was OK but I expect and know I shall get more and I refuse to bullshit a decent band who deserve honesty and support. They will go down a storm on the forthcoming tour in Japan but the message is don't get complacent - the bar is set mighty high so get practicing and get ready to jump real high.

In summary a weird night that delivered and took back and left me a bit miffed at the scene. The crowd was wank with a capital 'W' and my advice to Dean is get used to it and get an order in for some thick skin too as in this hit and miss circuit anything goes. Mikey Wong did a grand job as DJ and displayed his vast musical knowledge by playing a good variety of tunes rather than the usual nostalgic shite - good to hear. A night worthy of more and bands worthy of more but that's present day punk - you get what you get, shake it off and carry on or pack it up which I suggest never should be an option.

Punk Rock has some great people in it and deserved of many an accolade for endurance alone - think on and never give in - the options are far too depressing to consider.

review by OMD (25 January 2008)