Absolutely shagged out I dug in and forced my carcass down to the Star and Garter primarily to support my good hombre Stu Taylor and the STP crew. As a bonus there were 2 bands I had never seen before which is always the kind of gig I like to attend - fuck those loops and merry-go-rounds that appeal to so many, life is way too ruddy short and inspiration always comes highest from new vibrations. So, chits and chats and beers purchased I headed upstairs and took up my position at the un-mithered rear. To be a punter out of the way is a blessing - ooh aye!

First up and Nowhere City Riot, a band I had seen before and who in fact had played the final Spit and Sawdust gig before I made my decision to give the particular venture the boot. I say 'my decision' but alas many bands made it for me but I shan't digress and go on a rave, it never makes a difference anyway! So NCR came, knocked out a hefty set that contained some choice numbers. 'Railway Man' was tidy, 'No Hit Wonders' was my favourite albeit with obvious angles and 'Outlaw' was a pulsing bastard that injected life into the onlooker. The walloping and focus was high, 'Take, Take, Take' was the next noteworthy song with a deliberate throb and a cold and ready approach. Clichés were plentiful too but in music, especially punk, what isn't a cliché these days? A song called 'Give Me Some' related to Lemmy and Motorhead (or, in my opinion, a cunt in a shit band) and moved with firm foundations albeit a trifle over steadily. No sooner had I began to mull over the outpourings than the last song came, a corned cracker called 'Last Bus', a closing piece about death that was defiant and upbeat and had a drinking sing-a-long edge to finish the set on a predictable high. This was a confident eruption of noise that got better as things progressed, it had oomph and it had many trimmings the partakers of this scene seem to require and I shall not quibble with that - sometimes something blatant is all one needs. I think there is more in the tank here but all we can do is wait and see!

I Destroy next and the opening gambit was both animated, booming and rocked up with zeal. The guitars were gloriously manipulated with conviction, a tremendous power cascaded off the stage and this revved up trio of girls were really out to get em' (whoever they may be). The overall essence was more rocked than spiked but there came a fascinating mix of restrained riffery, crashing attacks and off the leash assaults. The band were showcasing many facets and pulling no punches. Cooler songs came, pace alterations followed but, quite crucially, with eruptions of wild desire. Fuck pulses were flamboyant from lasses aroused and as they continued to masturbate with melody one wondered what zeniths could be attained. Alas towards the tail end a dip in proceedings came, a certain impetus seemed to be lost or left to fade away but just as concrete doubts were setting in the trio concluded matters with a few liquid numbers and left on a peak. I think I would need another viewing to be 100% sure of this lot but this was far from garbage!

Lastly, The Heavy Drapes and straight in we went with sub-snot, rock and roll rot and 'Should I Suck Or Should I Blow' being an instantaneous tear up that was tetchy, agitated and crammed with throbbing snags. This was a well-fronted punk escapade with no apology and the chasing track was literally in the groove and floated my boat on the highest waters of the night. Things looked set to soar but were brought back to earth with the pointless cover of 'New York', a Sex Pistol's stunner that was played well but was placed in a set that really didn't need it. Of course many old heads lapped it up but for me, it was the bands weakest song of the night and baffled me no end. The following creeper about coming home hammered was more like it and funnily enough had many Pistolian strains running within. A good grind down for sure and followed by more stunning songs that had an exact balance of power, riffery, rhythm and artistic care. Punk isn't always about tearing new arseholes. Onwards we went with the retro cum modern rock relevance pouring over instincts not set to die anytime soon. Oodles of influences crashed against the jagged and always alert rocks of my inner being and I was absorbed throughout. Tones of old NY came, repeat beat angles appealed and after 40 minutes of good music we were at the finale and then outta here - I shall not gripe.

3 bands from STP, new and fruity and the way it should be. £5 for this and what a bargain but it still won't convince the nostalgia nuts or those caught on a lunatic merry-go-round. It doesn't really matter though and if the ones who get it enjoy it and all bands come and support one another (which doesn't happen many times and duly gets noted and mental red cards dealt) there should be no reason to stop.

I got home knackered, as I write this I am off form and feeling quite ruddy ill - but, better to do than not, it is all about helping the ones who matter. Here's to many more!

PS – Darren Kirwan is a murderer!

review by Fungalpunk/OMD (1 May 2017)