With a few gigs coming up in Bolton I needed to get some flyers out and the fact that there was an all dayer punk/metal gig to see a few new bands I thought I would go down and spread the word.

First port of call The Alma Inn where I dropped off some flyers for my Good Friday bash and had a chat with Trev and Mags before Tim 'Punk4Life' Davies arrived. We headed off and next stop was X-Records where more flyers were left and I picked up 6 CD's for £16. Not bad and it seems every time I visit this place they have a 'Buy 5 and get em' all half price' deal on. I also sold one of the Split Bits CD's so a good job all round. A wander around the museum to kill some time then to the gaff for 3pm.

No sign of any activity and knowing of a few pull-outs I had the inkling that it was going to be one of those days. A chat with Paul the owner was quite fruitful and it seems this old fungal fucker will be doing a few punk nights there so watch this space.

Another wander and back to the gaff and still only a snifter of anything like a gig. A few chats with faces and a few more CD's sold and the clock ticked on and 2 and a half hours later than the proposed starting time the first band kicked off. Very frustrating for me because I had made plans to leave at 8pm and was hoping to see 5 or 6 bands and do a fairly hefty review. Not a chance at this rate and in some respects it was a good job I was off the ale because this was one of those days when excessive drinking would have definitely taken place.

Anyway Agent Ape struck into action and produced a set filled with a decent amount of tunes only let down by an unsettled sound and a few empty moments. The crew they brought with them enjoyed it so marks awarded for making the effort to encourage people to support the cause. Overall this wasn't bad and in a few months the whole set should improve provided they get their arse in gear. Like I said there are some good songs and they only need a few tweaks and twangs so as to fill out the whole composition and the job should be a good un'. Definitely worth another viewing and perhaps a gig or two.

Roadkill followed and this set was interrupted by the frontmans wafflings and various equipment problems and so never really got started. For me the worst I have seen this band so far and that isn't good as they were starting to get their act together and produce better stuff. I don't think this was a true reflection of Roadkill and more viewings are needed to truly assess this bands progress.

Well the time was turning and my leaving hour was approaching and only two bands seen. At least Phobia were up next so if I could squeeze them in all wouldn't be lost. A few more chats and a bit of advertising regarding some of my gigs and Phobia hit the floor and produce an energetic, screamfest that worked well despite the odd blip. The crowd loved it and the aggression and fiery grind was really well delivered. With two screaming frontmen alternating the rabid rants Phobia looked very much an early 80's apocalyptic punk machine, but there ain't nothing wrong with that. 100% punk and no fancy bits this set just got on with the job in hand and took no prisoners. Nice lads as well which for me is as almost as important as the music. Really enjoyed this and a mental note was made to book these buggers on a gig in the not too distant future.

The days assessment was mixed and the initial delay was a blemish that slightly tainted a potentially cracking day. The crowd was good though and so was the atmosphere and the pub should get quite a reputation if the standard remains the same. Really pissed off about not seeing some other bands especially Displacement but we busy buggers can't do everything.

It would be good to try a few punk specials here and Paul, who owns the gaff (I think), seems a sound bloke and as fair as they come. Here's to some good punky nights.

review by OMD (3 February 2008)