OK then, here goes part one of Fungalpunk’s Fungal Skapunka gigs in a three part series located in a nice little venue known as the Dog and Partridge in Bolton. The line up tonight was made up of two bands I had seen before (The Shadowcops and John Player Specials) and two new ones for me (Asezawallas and The Scabs) and it was one I was looking forward to.

The venue was the first boozer I saw after coming off the A666 and with plenty of parking around the corner the journey there was stress free and I was ready for a pint and a bit of noise.
I chatted to Mozza (Dangerous Aces) and Tim (Punk4Life) while The Shadowcops set up for their set and did the usual bit of flyering for the next punk invasion gig at Jackson’s Pit before things got underway.

'Putsch' screamed through the PA for The Shadowcops opening song and it was instantly noted how good the sound was in the small venue. I stood at the side of the stage throughout their set as the two Mikes, Nathan and Mackle dished out their usual high tempo, heavy riffed Husker Du / Wildhearts influenced rock n roll. Another cracking set from the Salford lads who are doing a UK tour next month. Check out their myspace page and see if they’re playing near you soon.

John Player Specials were up next and have been getting a fair amount of exposure and respect from Manchester promoters recently and you can see why. I was a little worried that their tuneful ska tunes might fall a little flat after the heavy guitars of The Shadowcops but how wrong I was. The place was bouncing and these boys from Wigan look set to do pretty well if they can keep writing stuff like this. Tracks like 'Knocking On Wood', 'Future Of Tomorrow', 'Identification' and 'Written In Stone' are performed very well and frontman Jordan has a cracking voice and bags of enthusiasm.

Next up were Cumbrian punks The Scabs. It was the first time I had seen these and was impressed with their in your face old school aggressive punk sound. They started with 'This is England' which had the punters punching the air to the chorus and went on to put in a good 30 minute set of real punk rock. Other highlights included 'Blades Beat Fists', 'Police Brutality' and 'Sexual Deviant'. Another great frontman on show here with Geeza putting in a great and enjoyable performance.

Last band on tonight were Asezawallas which I struggle to pronounce sober never mind after a couple of beers. Another band that I hadn’t seen before and they were going to have to put a decent set in to match the first three bands on show tonight. Bit of a grunge feel about this outfit from Workington that were more than equal to the task ahead and put in a steady set which again went down well with everyone in the venue. Some quality tunes on show again here with stuff like 'Needle' and 'Just Like Leech' highlights for me.

One of the best gigs I’ve been to in a while and a very good start to the Fungal Skapunka series. Roll on part two on the 8th March. It should be a cracker!



Review by Dean of SLit Records - (9 February 2008)