After an insanely busy week of work, mothing a leading a couple of wildlife walks as well as the usual rush and rave fungal lifestyle my eyelids felt similar to an inebriated rubber man - prone to falling at any given time.  The barbituate boost came in the form of a potentially solid gig at The Thatched House arranged by top cornflake tester Dean 'The Kellog' Diggle.
Arriving at the gaff at 7.15pm gave me an hour or so to natter with various guys and gals from the scene and perform assorted autopsies of recent gigs  and performances.  After his recent court appearance for masturbating in a bag of Ukranian onions (in public) Tim 'Punk4Life' Davies arrived and seemed in good spirits despite looking down the barrel towards 6 months community service in the newly planted Pickle Fields of Preston.  Polish punker Bartek and his missus entered into the mix too and were out on the razzle celebrating their wooden wedding anniversary like all Poles do.
A quick touch of ale and Manchesters finest pick 'n' mix outfit The Dangerous Aces ascended the 12 inch step to the stage with adventurous aplomb and let rip a set as rough, ready and pleasing as you like.  'ASBO' opened with a barrage of noise and is a track that seems to grow in stature with each listen.  It's a brisk basic buggering of the aural bottom and if to enjoy this one needs to cultivate some homo-ears then consider my lugs bent.  'Seems To Me' was as good as expected and the blazing 'Lock In' is swiftly developing into the gorgon of an organ in this parade of plectrum pranged plonkers.  A few flaccid notes briefly troubled the foreskins of melody but overall a stimulating set was had and the DA's hit many a musical erogenous zone with the boisterous bell-end bopping.  I do like this lot and you couldn't ask for a more amiable bunch to have around a gigging area.  Good drinkers too and all obsessed with getting high on nerve tablets and Jimmy Tarbuck golf porn - can't fault em'.
Teeing off next it was The Arguments.  Over the past few years circumstance has connived its way into assisting myself from missing this outfit on several occasions.  I was greatly anticipating this virginal viewing and in truth it wasn't what I expected.  The CD reviews I'd undertaken for this band were I felt fair and gave a reflection of a promising unit capable of churning out meatly melodies and nifty noises.  This was indeed the case and despite the odd hiccup the outpouring was indeed decent enough.  I didn't expect the hardened edge however and so another viewing to thoroughly assess is needed but tonight all was well except for the whole set running on a bit too much.  I blame the promoter due to the fact he was oblivious of running times because he had become entrenched in a heated argument regarding the right wing connotations of eating Shredded Wheat.  Damn those cereal activists!
A brief respite and a chat with Oldham Oik Tez revealed that he had been recently suffering from a bout of genital gout and was currently receiving therapy for other 'crotchety' complaints.  Such are the hazards of sherry trifle sex!
Total Bloody Chaos next and this was very nice indeed thank you very much.  The set was primarily old school stuff that was delivered with festering passion and pimpled pride.  No pretentious histrionics, no squeaky clean twiddles, no yank assed codology.  Real, rough and raucous excrement that there should be more of in this overly hygenic scene.  Consistent drums, a reliably effective bass and an excellently identifiable guitar gave sturdy foundations for the vocal 'him and her' duo (Jo and Doddy respectively) to strut their stuff to.  And oh what fine unaffected stuff!  The interchange of vocal duties works a treat here and Jo's breather from gobby duties was used to full effect as she danced along quite infectiously to Doddy's continued ravings.  Visually effective and sonically sound TBC have at least one fan but there's no doubt I am not alone.  The odd critique may well spout from his righteous platform that this is outdated and an unwanted musical relic but in my usual opinionated way I ardently disagree.  'Chav Central', 'Total Bloody Chaos' and 'Vigilante' were fantastic, familiar and fun but hey the whole fuckin' set was great.  So punkers drop yer pants, sit on your chosen throne, because piss basin punk is here to stay, true to the fuckin' bone!
Well pleased with proceedings so far The Guilty Pleasures were eagerly awaited as recent plays of their new full length CD had left a choice taste in my 'forever at it' gob!  This set backed up my feelings of a band suddenly finding a new lease of life in a career so far that has been similar to a bloke with a 12 inch todge - lots of promise but never finding the right opening and struggling to reach a state of permanent inflation.  Now we have a whole new ball game on our hands (oooh sweaty) and the GP's are bursting from inside the underpants of restriction and are ready to penetrate wider circles (circles - rings - ringpiece - anus = another blatant homesexual undercurrent which is really worrying this tired reviewer).  'Fear, Hate, Lies, Deceit', 'Corrupt Authority', 'Brainwashed' and the outstanding 'Goodbye To The UK' stuck in the old bonse but the whole package was efficient and several rungs up from previous efforts.  Great to see and a fungal thumbs up - now buy the CD twats!
And lastly to Moral Dilemma, a band I had seen once previously  and with whom I was fairly impressed.  By this stage in the evenings entertainment I was wilting fast (not genitally of course) and the MD machine had to be in top form to keep this tired twat alert.  Well they did just that and the set rolled on with the crowd becoming more enthused and thus making the atmosphere a rockin' riot.  A tidy compact drummer, a totally efficient and absorbing bassist (or is that bassest) and an intense frontguy/guitarist this 3 pronged tunage machine hits all notes and seems destined for for a prolific future.  All members obviously know their instruments of choice and what they want to do with them and the only worry I have for this band is that they don't get dragged down into a sub-genre of punk getting sidetracked by insular prestige and promotional claptrap and therefore failing to push boundaries and themselves as far as possible.  Keep it real and throw in the odd tangents and the band should thrive!  Good enough so far anyway!
A good punk night and despite an average turn-out I thought the gig went well.  Promoter Dean coped well after all the kerfuffle of a late venue change as well as losing out by £75 at the end of the night.  After a few beers the night cost him in total a figure of 90 nuggets and I for one felt he deserved better.  Dean is a good lad and my advice to bands is to spare a thought for promoters everytime you do a gig.  A lot of work for a hole in the pocket seems madness and really shouldn't happen but if the crowds don't show what can you do?  Think on we are all in this together - all for one and one for all - well ideally anyway!

review by OMD (4 August 2008)