And here we are - Fungalpunk's last blast in Bradford for a few years. A self created sabbatical will be taken from this fine city due to nothing more than the hassles of life and having a feeling that for now I have done my small and humble bit and it is for others to chip in and try and create a stronger flow. I am only a mere peddler of noise, a lone entity pissing in the wind and I cannot do everything. I flit here and there, I have a good family to look after and I have a hectic wildlife schedule that keeps me sane and, most importantly, out of trouble. So this is it - the finale to what has been a very rewarding jaunt. Highs and lows, loads of hassles but many a fine night in the company of some real bread and butter people who have kept the faith and enjoyed the racket - irreplaceable. Anyway - I ain't one to ponder on what has gone, it is the here and now that matters and tonight promised to be the usual eclectic mix of quality noise with the usual worry as to whether or not the punters would show up. Pearls to swine and all that ya know!

An easy drive over and after 20 minutes having a sandwich and drink The Beat Holes arrived with smiles, enthusiasm and...the gear for the night. Charming chaps indeed and they set up without fuss and made themselves immediately at home. Faces came forth, the other bands arrived and good conversation was had and of course, a few tipples. All gear in place, a few punters in, the hand of the clock advanced - why not chuck the first band on?

C. S. O. D. did not live up to the name (Constant Source Of Disappointment) and knock out a controlled, heavily gruffed up set of hate-inspired noise that really woke up all in attendance. The grind of the vocals was really startling and having reviewed a CD of this band quite a few years back I can't remember things being this pebble-dashed. Fuckin' hurtful pleasure indeed. Individually the band performed well with bass coolly delivered and growing in stature and presence as the whole cacophony progressed. The guitar hero was sharp and really varied the wired angles with rough and ready riffage burning bright amongst the odd tweaked and twanged moment. Stick work was taken on by a young shorted sapling who really whipped up a storm with fast as fuck attention to all skins and cymbals - a real confident eruption and not half making some of us feel ancient. As said the gob at the fore was hard gruff and gravel and borne, it seemed, from a stable where metal copulates with punk. He gave a solid performance and hammered home violent verbology with directness and powerful effect. All round a concrete opening with an abundance of hefty material. Chosen song - 'Born Victim' - stung harshly but I was quite chuffed with the whole shebang if I am honest. Good approachable attitude, good noise, good job!

More heads arrived, more noise was given.

The Drastics are the local vocal machine at the mo who do their stuff in raw, unimposing style with a back to basics slant thrown over all discordance and a bare honesty throughout. What they do isn't rocket science, isn't no ground breaking racket making but is punk as you should like it. All areas are currently blending back into the end mix after a recent break and only 1 gig back under their belts. The new drummer looks well up for it with an abundance of enthusiasm tossed this way and that. The songs I am more than familiar with with 'Drinking Solid' a memorable one tonight and of course the easily indulged in 'Checkin' Out Of Society'. The front dude puts in a good effort, bass is attended to safely and guitar chugs out a good groove for the others to thrive from. A reliable crew I have done a bit for and am happy to point here and there for more giggage. A request from Tony the stringman after regarding playing with The Beat Holes again was duly noted and I have no reason to see why this can't happen. Cheers chaps (ooops and lass).

Eyelicker (without a space) are just getting better and better by the gig and just need pushing and poking into various nooks and crannies to keep them on their hardcore toes. Darn fine people who, much to my satisfaction, have just nailed a fine recording via the Pumpkin Studios (always worth pushing) and put themselves on a firm footing for bigger and better things (although they are more than happy to wallow in their own muck as long as they are surrounded by decent folk who appreciate it - full marks gents). Apparently, according to their guitarist, their last outing didn't do them justice and tonight they really wanted to prove a point which, I gotta be honest, they did with blazing nobs on. The instrumentalisation was feisty and all departments did their fine duty with heavy artillery bombarding the pub whilst the perspiring frontman immersed himself in a torrent of vocal violence that really was a pleasure to behold. Head rolling, body writhing with self induced seizures, t-shirt getting damper by the second, throat torn to sheer shreds - who could not appreciate the passion (besides those talking away whilst all this was going on - fuckin' come on - take note, support - this is what it should be about). Anyway the band fuckin' caned it tonight and made a statement for all hardcorian lovers and for the eclectic nature of what this scene should be. Thoroughly loved this and it goes without saying that I will be fighting this bands corner as long as I can. Every song was necessary to the end eruption - cheers for the dedication - never change and keep that spirit!

And so to The Beat Holes - a cover band who make no apologies for what they do. As ye all know I do not do cover bands, they aren't my bag but...this lot had me intrigued after meeting up with them last year and reviewing one of their CD's. They cover, as suggested (come on Ratzoz wake up ya dozy tit), Beatles songs which, in some way is in keeping with what many early punk bands did - punk up a rock and roll number. The requests from the band were far from outlandish - juice money - their demeanour and approach spot on and so, being one to keep people guessing and on their toes, I threw this curveball into the mix as I thought they would go down a fuckin' storm and be nothing more than high value, good quality rocking entertainment. And I was exactly right (thank goodness). The tunes were there for them - all it needed was the band to deliver them in a unique style and with much eye-catching spirit. Wow - and boy did they do that! 'Help', Imagine', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Hey Jude' and 'I Feel Fine' (or fire) were all delights in a showcase that was unpretentious enjoyment played by three 'erberts who just wanna let it swing low and have a merry old time. The songs were belted out with a version of 'Anarchy In The UK' thrown in to add an angle or two as well as a brace of Ramones stunners. Everyone in the gaff lapped this up and any shackles of genre were truly thrown away and I found this a more than fitting way to full stop my current efforts and move into the planned NAG excursions that are planned next (Noise Against Genre tha' knows). Cymbals were set aflame (as well as the onlookers passions), a drum solo was indulged in, the crowd were invited on stage to partake of a sparkling celebration (literally) and all in all this was a fuckin' success. Worth every minute of your time and no sooner finished than thoughts were to do this again at some point next year - why the hell not - rules are there to be bent, busted and  not followed - fun is there to be grasped.  Crackin’ finale.

So that is it - many years, many long jaunts, many noises placed in position and enjoyed by many purists. The Black Swan has been the latest in a small line of venues that has supported the Fungal cause but, the most important thing is, the cause of the bands and the gaff itself. Without venues such as this we are duly fucked and bands will have nowhere to play and all we will be left with is big arenas full of self-indulgent shit that really isn't for the bloke in the street. Proven over and over again is the fact that these places offer the best nights out and if one could only shake off that z-class celebrity adoration, that fake 'this is the place to be' agenda and ultimately fraudulent 'I support everything' veil then we can only go from strength to strength. Music making isn't a game and is an important facet in life that helps us get through and anyone wishing to pour in their efforts to help this continue should be supported. I can't say enough good things about The Black Swan - fine people, no pretence, no bullshit and a real bread and butter gaff that one day, without the right attention, will go down the shitter and then the moaners will come out to play. Don't wait for that day - get out, support and keep these places thriving - it is essential and keeps us all going and gives us some light of what can be a very murky tunnel.

Thanks to all who played tonight and stuck it out - another gem I feel. To all those that believe this shit - have it, take my sincerest best wishes and fuck all the ones who doubt, shout and do fuck all about it. WE WILL HAVE OUR DAY.

PS. I never say never and don't misread me here - I will be back in Bradford but not for the immediate future - this dog has many things in his bowl and variety is indeed the spice of strife for the mongrels at the bottom - and that is where I will always be - fucked, struggling for the ones who matter, barking hard, nipping at many heels, getting kicked about, overlooked but...fucking loving it. UP THE UNDERFED UNDERDOGS FOREVER!  See the soon – Fungalpunk (The Nowhere Man).

review by Fungalpunk (28 April 2013)