I didn't know you could have so much fun without taking your clothes off. Today I saw the past, present and future of punk and I am glad to report that it is currently in safe hands. The Spit and Sawdust Tour 2006 kicked off in Blackburn at The Cellar Bar and was a real treat for punk fans old and new. The tour, the brainchild of OMD Fungalpunk and Andy Noize Anoize is an ambitious venture but I think they pulled it off.

I nearly lost faith in punk a few years ago; the same old bands churning out the same old stuff. Happily, that's now changing mainly due to the efforts of organisations like Noize Anoize and Fungal Punk, run by people who remember why punk appealed in the first place, punk was a reaction, it changed lives, it saved lives. This tour has reaffirmed that faith.

The day started off with the younger bands playing indoors. A reformed Bobby Dazzlers opened proceedings with a great set of their trademark punk / metal. Next up The Slash Monkeys, similar to the Dazzlers but with a female vocalist. Following them were Middle Finger Salute possibly the youngest band of the day but no less assured giving us a set of old style punk originals. First band on the outside stage were Crouch Mog featuring Andy Dazzler in his second gig of the day. The Mogs represent the new wave of punk, lots of metal guitar and intricate arrangements.

Being an old fart from this moment on the day starts to get a bit messy as these all - dayers tend to do for me . Stockport three piece One Man Stand were good, great old school punk tunes. Then came one of the day's highlights, Kamikaze Sperm. They have so much variation and energy. The addition of an extra sax and a new drummer (Martin Ciderspiller from grindcore outfit Squalbalkus) has pushed their ska punk up a notch. They also raised the first real laughs of the day with the introduction of their special guest backing singers (see photo).

Surprise of the day were The Day Man Lost. They played roughly seventy songs in ten minutes (bit of an exaggeration that). Like a punk Napalm Death they are extreme in the extreme, subverting the preconceived notions of what should constitute a song. Short sharp blasts of synchronised noise, a bit unnerving but thought - provoking and exhilirating nonetheless.

The last two bands really are a blur and by now I had filled my camera with shit shots, completely unable to delete them due to lager so apologies for the lack of photos. Penultimate band of the day, AFS were excellent. Great anthemic punk, hefty singalong choruses and a tight as anything band. Last band up Churchill were again very good. Hard agressive oi, more anthemic singalongs, they really were the dog's bits and a fitting end to a brilliant day.

I really hope that the Spit and Sawdust Tour manages to establish itself as an annual event. Hats off to the organisers OMD and Andy, they brought us real street punk, not the washed - out commercial shit that passes for punk. If you love punk or just enjoy watching excellent bands giving it their all, attend the gigs and show them your support.


by Johnny Asshole