(from the Crud Diaries)

The tumbleweed blew across the road as Wayne and myself parked the car and strode toward the Social Club in West Shore, Llandudno.  Although a gorgeous summer evening, there was no one to be seen.  We opened the door with anticipation, expecting a couple of people inside, like you get at the gigs in Rhyl.  It was as if we had travelled back in time, or into the land that time forgot; the West Shore Social Club was teeming with life; like a stone unturned is crawling with insects, this place was crawling with punk rockers.

I was genuinely surprised and pleased to see such a good turn out for 4 relatively unknown bands.

OUT OF USE from Llandudno greeted our ears with a 100mph brick wall punk rock assault which got the young pogoing punters warmed up as the original spiky tops, too old to be jumping up and down looked on in proud amusement.

This is the new underground, it is a scene unto its own, born out of the 2nd generation of punk bands who realised that having no work experience in the real world meant they had to go back and do what they did best, making a racket!  You can see the small ads in the back of the NME announcing gigs by the UK Subs, Exploited, Vibrators, 999, Anti-Nowhere League, Instant Agony, Splodgenessabounds etc.  They’re all playing constantly in small clubs in small towns all across Europe, simply to earn a wage, simply because they have no other skill and simply because people are still paying to see them.

Tonight it was the turn of the ANGRY GUITARS from London, only this band are really a punk covers band with a ‘bish, bosh, bash’ rhythm and little else.  The evening was really stolen by 3rd on the bill; ALIEN MATTER another local band who provided the power of punk with a little more dynamics, particularly in the excellent song Final Solution.  And for a band who has only had eight rehearsals they showed the confidence of their seasoned counterparts.

Good to see a young punk girl with pink & blue hair, zipped trousers & a pierced nose, chin, lip & eyebrows also reveal that she also had pierced nipples.

Also on stage was Colwyn Bay band SUGAR RAY, maybe a little out of place amongst the dyed hair and pierced faces but they did have something to offer within their monotonous discords and off key vocals; it was belief in what they’re doing. They wouldn’t have cared if they had emptied the place, it would mean they achieved what they set out to do, and that was cause a reaction.  Jesus and Mary Chain have nothing on these guys.

These nights are regular, well attended events; next up, the UK Subs.  Coming up, Half Man, Half Biscuit, then The Vibrators.

Punk may well be dead and buried, but they forgot to exorcise the ghost.