A night at Joshua Brookes in Manchester run by the That's Not Skanking team seemed a nice prospect and one that is always worthy of support. Not a bad venue which tonight offered five bands for a pound. Should be absolutely rammed seeing the Sex Pistols are charging £40 a ticket and have completely sold out (yes sold out in several ways).

Anyway I arrived at 7.30pm and had a chat with Martin from The Fractions, Big Daz and Mike and Mike of The Shadowcops - decent chaps indeed.

Anyway down for a quick coke (yes - off the drink for a while) and GFA were up and at it. 3rd time I had seen this outfit and still I am sat on the fence. The first showing was shite but then the next time I saw them was a lot better. Tonight was hit and miss with good moments, duff moments and indifferent moments. Personally I am still unconvinced but the crowd responded pretty well to what they were seeing although the in-between banter fucked any fluidity and hindered the set somewhat. A song entitled 'Gary Lager' and one about Moseley Boys methinks were stand-out moments with the duff Cocksparrer opening clone the nadir.

GFA - good or bad - the verdict is out!

Local guy Higgy added to the nights entertainment with his spasmodic dancing and acid cum drunken gesticulations.

Next a new band (no 57 this year no less) and one that had an abundance of good tunes and solid rocking moments. A more cultured band than the opening set of 'erberts and the crowd took time to warm to them but with dogged resolution they got there and well deserved it was. Again the verdict is open as some of the tunes seemed to drift on a little too long for my somewhat impatient taste but the quality was more than evident and the forthcoming CD looks worth a listen.

Just Panic - a classy edge that promises much for future recordings

Not a bad night so far and the crowd was middling to say the least (I think at this point it stood at about the 37 payers mark) which in the big scheme of things is shite but in these current pathetic punk times is OK.

And Higgy dance on...

D'Corner Bois next and yet another new band for me and one which really pleased me no end. Proper full-on punk with plenty of good old spirit and thumping in-yer-face tunes. The tempo was lifted several notches and this lot got the best reception so far. Some real gusto on show here with the frontman holding the stage and the bass player up and down and showing a nice confident streak (albeit with the bass occasionally unplugged ha ha). No bad tunes here and a CD was bought as soon as the performance was over - a brief listen so far promises much so watch out for a review of that too. Definitely ones to catch.

And Higgy rolled around...

The Dangerous Aces next who are gradually getting better and better be it a slow and steady process. Good bunch of blokes who clearly love music this wasn't their best outing tonight but it were'nt bad either. Some moments were really rocking but the odd dip took the general edge off proceedings. 'Binge Drinker' was tonights pick but there are a few good numbers in there and with time could turn into some real crowd pleasing winners. A bit more work and this outfit will be doing the business all over the circuit. Always worth watching and worthy of your support. I enjoyed it anyway so there you go.

The Shadowcops - simply awesome and looking towards a great future

And Higgy did to...

Time ticks on and I was being picked up at 11pm and so was aware that I wasn't going to see the Entire Shadowcops set. Bollocks! My frustration was fully justified as I rate this band highly and they have yet to produce a shit set why I have been watching them. The seven tracks I did see tonight were again delivered in hum-dinging style and 'Green Light' was a classy shiner. Powerful, compact and very pacey The Shadowcops bring a whole new feel to the punk genre and the venomous noise they hammer out is beyond compare. very distinguishable and very polished this band put the work in and maintain their own identity. Next year could mean big things for this outfit and fully justified it would be. Best band in Manchester - of course - but even that may soon be an understatement. A real classy affair.

So agree-eth Higgy...

Off I headed after a cracking evening and one which you buggers had bettter wake up to and support. The guys involved in this are true music lovers and jolly nice chaps and to me that's all the credentials you need in this punky scene. The charge of a pound is ridiculous but shows that this ain't about fleeecing people it is in fact just about the bands and the tunes - now thats real.

review by OMD (8 October2007)

Photos by Dean of Slit Records