A grand weekend of birding, football, enjoying the sun and chasing my forever twitching tail that gets yanked in many directions (ooh yes you sexy tugging folk). Prior to the gig I was hit with a wave of tiredness and I could easily have dropped on the spot and had a snooze - darn that pesky Stu Taylor and his inconsiderate gigs ha, ha. Arriving with only minutes to spare before the first performance I grabbed a couple of tins and went upstairs. Here I found a naughty chair in a corner and duly plonked down my ass and watched the opening set.

Vertigo Violet were a bass-less trio led by a screaming blonde banshee who vomited forth an eruption of approximately 25 minutes (I may be being generous) and who, in the main, did little to perk up my creaking carcass of cacophonic curiosity. The tunes were well laid out and the three players worked hard although there was a certain emptiness throughout and the flow seemed too staggered and bare of any rehearsed routine. The 20 or so punters stayed, gave applause and cheered but it seemed with no fiery conviction and perhaps I was not along in my feelings. Chatting to the promoter Stu it became apparent that this was a work in progress and the crew had only been on the block for less than a year. I admit there were many moments that snatched at the attention but the potential needs to be squeezed harder so that onlookers will be truly frazzled. All I can do, as a reviewer, is take in all factors - juggle, chew and then cough up a verdict. Tonight that judgement tells me that this was an average outing with plenty of scope and hope. Seeing this is still an embryonic performance though we can't read too much into matters. Take note though, as a DIY dog I write to push bands, not put them on a downer, the gauntlet is thrown down and I have a knife and fork ready to swallow my words (but not my honesty) - think on!

Next up and Angry Itch. The band flared up before a good crowd and paraded a quite gratifying gamut of popping pustules that were duly sonically scratched, inflamed and irritated by three blokes on a mission. These lot squirted from that central boil on the backside of Britain known as Birmingham and tonight blistered the bonses looking on and seeped with a spirited sweat that got due respect. 80% of the songs throbbed with authority whilst the other 20% I deemed less effective but were still loaded with noticeable tuneful toxins to choke on. For me, when the drummer went full at it and the wire workers adopted a more duelling role, the whole pimpled set took on a ruddier and more effective appearance. The vocals complimented ideally, some riffed moments appealed to the inner naked ape whilst more crafted sections revved up the gears of the more cultured core. I enjoyed this 40 minute set, I thought it was finalised with professional aplomb and reckon AI3 will not be doing so badly for themselves as far as feedback and support goes - and good on em'.

To the headliners - Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds. I hadn't seen this lot for many moons and as far as I can remember the last time I did cast my eyes and ears their way there was nothing untoward or outrageous to report. As a result, tonight I expected nothing noteworthy or life-changing but what I got was a very pristine and polished performance by an outfit in command of their art and easily moving through the gears with precise and educated know how that anyone in attendance would do well to find fault with. The essences of New York punk, 77 riff, sleaze and roll, the throwback honesty and the bands own style of sonic soup were all thrown onto the mattress of melody and left there to copulate, procreate and produce acoustic offspring to pogo with. The punters responded to the runts of rhythm with body movements, broad smiles and generous hollers. As Ed banged and the wire warriors worked this was manifesting itself (ooh nasty) as one accomplished gift and the songs rolled with little effort and the consistency remained high. 'Euthanasia' was a particular pick from many shining pops as my impression of the band grew in no uncertain terms. Suddenly we were done, an encore came and that was indeed that and I for one, had no complaints.

Farewells and fuck offs were given, STP had pleasured the Fungal One yet again (sexy bastards) and The Star and Garter had played host to another good night of vibrology - we mustn't grumble must we!

review by Fungalpunk/OMD (27 March 2017)