And the gig review goes like this - I arrive at the gaff, have a beer, chat and then go upstairs to watch the gig. This is what I saw you persuing punker. (Apologies for the short intro - I do my bit, I am knackered and really can't be arsed with the peripheral play around today). Read on...

Black Light Mutants came and offered the apocalyptic, techno, industrialised grind that I expected.  Having recently reviewed their stunning debut release I was intrigued to see how the band would fare in the ‘live’ arena.  What we got was a good mix of horror via the plastic evil midget on keys, retro nuclear punkage hollering via the spastically and spike affected frontman and regular forceful noise from the strings and drum departments.  Individually effective, when combined a real well organised racket machine with each onslaught bringing harsh reality, cold acoustic terror and yet still grasping a decent rhythm.  The electronic enhancements bring solid theatrics to the presentation (something which I always applaud) and so help carry the message these artistic anarchists so desperately want us to hear.  From the festering fall-out some solid sonica was had with ‘Rotten To The Core’, ‘Dominos’ and the superb ‘Complimanix’ all standing out from a heaving hulk of mighty wrecking tunes.  Ones to watch for sure and as long as they don’t get dragged down into an obvious orthodox and predictable groove the band should make many a head turn in their flaming and art-drenched direction.

The Smears next and plenty of eye candy for those with a roving eye and of a leaning where if it looks half decent then it must sound half decent – yes I know but quite a typical stance out there.  Being an awkward and fair cunt no such flimsiness swings my view and if indeed the band are shit then...!  I have seen this crew once before and came away unimpressed and without any memorable sonica stuck in my noggin.  That could have been just ‘one of those’ which happens to every band and when occurring during an initial viewing can leave a permanent poison that creates a continuous harsh view.  Too old, too wise for that and tonight’s viewing was done on a good old clean slate albeit with comparisons made when necessary.  First thoughts were of the band having a more bolder edge with the songs having more impact and more vitality.  Despite being impeded by a dodgy microphone the band kept the crowd’s attention and when flowing produced a half decent noise.  The front lass is highly effective and has a good holler factor that raises the levels of interest and quite a few songs stood out as worthy of further listens.  One particular ditty, having been introduced as a ‘5 minute’ effort was a bloody good do and for me was the pick of the set despite me writing down the name, losing the paper and completely forgetting the title – bah fuckin’ bah!  So overall – a big fat ‘not bad’ and despite Steve Isles recording yet more material for his insatiable secret desires I feel the band have still much potential to tap.

Have you ever had a Disco in yer Dirtbox, would you like one – on this evidence then the answer must surely be ‘yes’.  Look forget punk, forget all musical genres and just fuckin’ take the band for what they are – entertainment.  No politics, no ideals at being more punk than you (whatever that is about anyway) and no desire to get one thinking too hard.  Sonic spunk this be with the performing members all confident they can splash their loud and lively liquid your way without fear of rejection.  A green haired zaneball on drums provides foundation, a blue-faced war veteran, a blond haired glam whore and a festering fat mountain of jizz provide a wonderfully string built discordance and a big babba buffoon donates vocals and we, the measly punter, are led to just swallow with fervour.   The songs, like a horny elephant, come thick and fast with each one laden with high melody and downright passion.  The pick of the crop – ‘Let’s Get Wasted’, ‘I Just Wanna Be A Girl’, ‘Boney M Medley’, ‘Tragic Roundabout’, ‘Burning’, and a whole host more. One of the best non-punk bands on the circuit – of course.  One of the best punk bands on the circuit (if you have leanings off kilter) – of course.  Stunning stuff – and hopefully the band can keep on their toes and not get stuck with the same old set, in the same old sub-generic pool and go further and gain wider acclaim.  It’s all on a plate – are the band hungry enough?  I think so – let’s have it.


To Dragster...

Big hoo ha, big build up and yet a few expressed the fact they didn’t know what all the fuss was about.  My stance is as thus – seen em’ once before and thoroughly enjoyed it, got the album and yes – a real good review was scribbled – tonight – mmmm – good but just lacking a certain ‘zing’ factor.  Now is this due to the sound not fully complimenting the band?  Well the other 3 bands sounded fine!   Is it again just ‘one of those’ – a blend of the band being 20% below par, my jaded head being a bit far gone after 3 bands (I am rough at the mo tha’ knows) and just being a little too familiar with the noise?  Strange, but even though the band pummelled away with relish, the tightness of the set wasn’t wasted, the front lass sung and poured in her all and several tracks really did raise the roof.  In the main though the sound flat-lined and everything sounded a little too similar.  As I say, several people asked me what was all the fuss about but yet the crowd primarily loved this one and a few pinged about in utter glee.  I always get collared with questions about bands performances and all I can do is be honest.  The up-shot – good band, efficient and blasting – tonight – I just don’t know!  I am a mere mortal reviewer not a fuckin’ magic man who knows the answer to every acoustic problem – next time I may suss this one.

So there ya go – good bands, good turn-out, good atmosphere - sounds ‘good’ doesn’t it ha, ha!  Mr Taylor deserves this has he has put in the effort over the years and I am sure in his heart of hearts he was quite pleased with tonight’s result.    The scene in Manchester is still a little split as some faces who you see at certain gigs have yet to appear at Uncle Stu’s and yet at the drop of a predictable hat will be present to pay homage to the same old, same old.  Combine this with the ones who turn-up to be just seen and prove their punkiness (ha, ha – a laughable process that is rife) and what you are left with is still a good loyal following which, is what is required.  I feel there is a winning formula here and long may it continue because that means the bands get noted which, at the end of the day, is what matters.  Stu knows what goes on though and we discuss this over and over again so watch yer step – that bugger on the door has ye sussed – and we are all the better for it!    Hey and those two lovely lasses who do the door have ye marked too – be warned!

review by Fungalpunk/OMD (27 March 2012)