I was sure promoter Slit Boy Dean wasn't expecting a super duper turn-out for this gig and after a swift chat this was indeed the case. After a couple of bank holiday festivals and being the day before the working week starts it would be a hard task to fill the joint so expecting little the gig went ahead, albeit half a hour later than stated (as per usual Mr Diggle). Only a few usual faces were in attendance with a split age group making up the crowd of about 50 punters, an interesting mix methinks.

So without further ado into the review as I am pushed for time and can't be arsed to waffle.

The Great St Louis I have seen twice before and can't remember a thing about them. Not a good sign and now with new recruit Carl Arnfield on guitar I was wondering if things would have changed and a lasting impression would, at last, be made. Well, in truth, this is a different monster and from the beginning to the end this was a sonically saturated noise filled with solid musicianship and well timed attention. A few minor blips were passed by without bother and the set was thoroughly enjoyed by yours truly, and it seemed the punters in attendance. I have recently seen a couple of bands with two guitarists not maximise the noise potential but this wasn't the case tonight as GSL powered their way through a set full of consistent songs that had a fair clout to them. Far from short sharp punk, in fact reminding me more of Bruce Springsteen with a few spiky topped influences these songs were more orchestrated and more 'rocked' than what you would normally expect of a punk rock crew. To be honest what is a punk band these days is so fuckin' nebulous it is hardly worth pondering sometimes - so I won't! There is a hint of many influences with a US open plains inflection more than apparent - trucker fucker music where a Yorkie Bar and cowboy boots wouldn't be out of place. Good riffs, some tidy drum work pushed to the max and with some surreptitiously accurate bass playing going on which I suggest you take notice of in future. All round a good do and the start to the evening was a good un'.

Mike TV next and now no longer with Pickled Dicks this crew still poured over us a fair amount of popped up cheese with influences too obvious to mention. Total throw away bubblegum melodic punk that I personally thought was absolutely spot on and really was played with utter sincerity and general expertise. This crew know what they want to produce and do it with maximum skill and with an admirable articulation. Each player has his role and goes along with it contributing to a band each and every one of us should go and enjoy. You are not going to get political ravings, you are not going to get acoustic violence via scorched speakers and you are not going to get piss and puke toxicity that encourages heavy drinking and a good old pogo. No, Mike TV play things sweet, processed and polished and that has its place within this cosmopolitan scene and is very much welcome. Best band of the night I thought at the end of the whole show and I know many would disagree but my arse is there to be kissed so up yours. This band catered for the punter and interacted well and had some really highly charged moments mixed in between the more comfortably pillowed sections. Totally likeable with easy to pick up rhythms I am keen to see these dudes again. Although my background is total underdog saliva for the past 30 odd years I still like a bit of pop punk and think it is quite a marvellous thing when played so well - loved it!

Finally the Cobra Skulls. No matter who it is you will always get people turn-up to a band from the US due to an inner infatuation with all things from across the pond. Much to the detriment of this countries identity this malignant thinking has crept into punk a long time ago and still continues with many. No matter what happens the band already start off on a good footing with some and the merest comedic remark is met with uproarious laughter and 'we love you' smiles. Not so here and I thought the band were OK and did what was required of them but nothing more. The vocals seemed to be lacking any 'ooomph' and the whole set went on for too long (forcing me to leave 4 songs before the end). Technically they were on the ball with the drummer a real speedball that seemed to have several more gears to move through with ease. Some songs rocked and some just passed me by but one thing is for sure is that when the CS3 skanked it up with added reggae rhythm it was like watching a different band. Any song which included these exciting moments stood out like a sore thumb and were, in all honesty, fuckin' brilliant. Why there isn't more of this mode in the mix is beyond me but the trio should really consider this style. Marvellously executed and deliciously timed I just couldn't get enough and unfortunately I didn't. The main crowd enjoyed the entire set so perhaps my thoughts are in the minority but I am convinced the skanking sound is the bands way forward.

So 3 bands for 6 quid on the door and not bad at all. A good mix is always the way and a bit more of the same Dean would be grand. Oh and a final message to Andy on the door - one and a half million just to 'Jizz and Fart' go for it man!

review by OMD (1 June 2010)