A nice gig here from the TNS crew and one with a good diversity of bands which I always relish. A bit low and with a busted leg I was in two minds whether to go or not but thought the effort would be worth it due to the nagging thought that the crowd wouldn't be overwhelmingly massive and there were a couple of bands on that I certainly needed to see again.

Arriving at 7.10pm I had a chat with The Senton Bombs about the previous gig they had played for me and what a good impression they had made despite my sozzled condition. A few more faces arrived, I entered the gaff to a sparse crowd and awaited the first band to get up and at it whilst chatting with Big Daz.

On time The Senton Bombs kicked off and combined orthodox rock and Ramonesy punk with excellent efficiency as well as adding their own flavouring which resulted in a truly enjoyable set. Self peddled on their myspace site as 'Kings of Wrestle Rock' I would like to suggest that I knew what this meant but if by any chanvce it hints at slamming the lugholes into submission with musical body blows and pile-driving punishment then I am not far off the mark - then again...! One of the good things about this lot is the fact that each member has his own on-stage visual persona with the guitarist looking like a Ramones extra adopting all the understated poses, the bassist looking the full rock monster with shades, long hair and solid bass playing and the powerful upright drummer who pounds away with deliberate anger and provides a concrete foundation for the two front lads to build on. All tracks were startlingly good with 'My Girlfriend Was A Nazi' a memorable snippet. Yeah more viewings please and hopefully more notice for this fine band who are ready to fly further afield from the sperm soaked shores of Blackpool.

Chits and chats and The Hijacks came forth and were highly appreciated by the on-looking crowd that was in fact the largest of the night. The sound was 100% skank and similar in fact to a whole host of bands that I had viewed on TNS and Ska Bar nights around the Manchester area - hence the glowing reception. Where they any good though - hell yes and the overall ambience this lot exuded was enjoyed by all. Nothing original was blasted forth but if it is as good as this then there doesn't need to be - simple as. Another viewing is needed thopugh to analyse further and in truth I should have picked up a CD but chinwagging and resting my leg held me back. Silly twat!

Prior to The Hijacks a dread-headed poet hit the stage and rattled off two grime rhymes one of which was about his adoration for slugs. Can't fault it really and again another CD purchasing opportunity went begging due to me being a trifle idle of mouth (a rare occasion indeed).

Weeble came and went and neither impressed or depressed as it was one of those sets that was good but failed to inspire. A few moments were exceptional and again another viewing is needed to truly dissect and evaluate. The crowd seemed to enjoy it so there you go!

D' Corner Bois were next and were a band who I was looking forward to seeing again as their last visit to murky Manchester was a stunner and the consequent CD I obtained was equally enjoyable. Tonight the band was looser than a homo's arsehole and seemed to lack any kind of unity thus resulting in several botched openings. Despite this the band showed enough clout to still make it thoroughly enjoyable and there were some really sledgehammer moments to savour. A man down obviously didn't help proceedings but you gotta make the most of it sometimes. 'Duped By Nazis', 'The Sweatshop Hop' and 'Happy Ever After' were the best and with no 'Parasite' in the set I was left a little unfulfilled. Still a good fuckin' band though and with a cocksure frontman who is very simialr in fact to Watford Jon of Argy Bargy but has far more potential.

Finally with time running thin came Manchesters External Menace and after watching 3 songs I had to leave to get my lift. What I did see was good enough though and they played the simply classic 'Rude Awakenings' - a textured tune to savour and one which brings forth haunting yet pleasurable memories of the punk of yesteryear. Again a band with a man down but with the years of experience this lot have it really made no difference and the 3 ditty's I viewed were decent enough.

So a mixed bag from the TNS brigade resulting in a lower crowd than usual which is slightly disappointing if not unexpected. I thought it was a good gig and with enough to please everyone in attendance. Worthy of more but still there was enough punters in to make it a good do - hopefully the mix and match approach will persist and TNS can get the support. Time will tell!

review by OMD (7 July 2008)