I applied for a new job vacancy this evening that was posted on my message board, it read: “Winger [sic] wanted to stand at gigs and moan about how unoriginal the bands are. Must be able to compare any band with a more famous one and must have own goatee. Qualifications from the school of sad geek wanker must be held.”

Unfortunately I lacked the qualifications required & had to abandon hope as my tutor, Arthur Penis spent too much time loitering in Gents Toilets with a copy of Buggery Monthly.
Instead I headed for this month’s MASE event to moan about how unoriginal the bands are & compare them with a more famous one. Cunningly I went in disguise by shaving off the goatee.

Chinese Chicken Balls –
(correlation) – speedy punk power pop similar to fast Ramones meets White Stripes
(moan) – Chelsea won 4-0

Sansara – 
(correlation) – 2001 punk rock Muse, Clash.
(moan) – no air conditioning

Jamie Cardno –
(correlation) – the Billy Bragg of North Wales
(moan) – he didn’t play Fuck The Kids this time

Dive –
(correlation) – Faith No More when they were good
(moan) – too much Pepsi kept me awake all night

Die Kast Messiah – 
(correlation) – Korn & Marilyn Manson’s bastard love child
(moan) – no naked go-go dancers

The soon to expand to more areas MASE was once again packed to the rafters as the kids take time out watch their mates take the stage from the very young, very nervous Chinese Chicken Balls playing a different sound to the norm to the top performance by Die Kast Messiah complete with theatrics. It was like watching a documentary in rock’n’roll evolution as each band grew in stature through the show, from the rudiments up to a point where a band is ready to be released into the wild.
Chinese Chicken Balls are at the start, just out of their bedroom practises & onto the stage & showing qualities with the perfect love song ending with the line: ‘do-do-do-do-do that’s why I fucked her.’ An almost total lack of response from the crowd should never get you down & the advice is stick at it if you think you’ve got something. Believe in what you’re about regardless of what a crowd thinks or whingers write. Numerous name changes only confuse & lose your audience. Take PSST (Psychosexual Sex Terrestrials), they re-invented themselves so many times over their career & it always meant starting all over again, back on that bottom rung. The positive side of being in a young band is you have bags of energy & enthusiasm to climb that tree, & remember; while you’re a monkey climbing that rock’n’roll tree all you can see of all the monkeys above you is their arseholes.
Sansara are further on in the evolution, I thought I didn’t recognise them or their songs from last time, it was cos their singer was away & they played as a 3-piece in October. Or they’ve completely changed their personnel but hey! Kept the same name. As I don’t get time to watch MTV2 or Kerrang TV I’m not up to date on the latest punk phenomenon, so the 1st song was either a superb self-penned opener or a very good cover. All being very good musicians they just need to get more gigs under their belts & are a stage where they can hold their own at any venue, although I nearly changed my mind when the Santa hats were donned for a blast of So Here it is Merry Xmas.
What can I say about the ubiquitous Jamie Cardno? If he’s not punching 7 bells out of a drum kit for Floater’s Revenge, he’s dancing on his head to some crazy punk rock or he’s restrained himself behind an acoustic guitar & kept 300 goldfish to attention for the entire duration of his set. Not an easy task.

Dive & me are like ships in the night, I’ve either arrived too late or I’ve drunk too much to see them. This time I got there early & found the Pepsi-cola impossible to snort. I asked my mate John Merrick what he thought of Dive, he told me they were ‘a post-dated shower of shit’ & asked me not to print that. He was most certainly in the extreme minority as everyone else loved it. The kids will be showing off their bruises tomorrow having maimed each other to the grinding US grunge of Dive. Their total on stage confidence & hardcore gravel sound just kicks the lily-white ass of the denim cut off crew.

Now, now DieKast Messiah. They asked me to attend for an unbiased opinion. It’s hard to know what shocks people in this multimedia saturated era of rotten.com & the blind lesbian dwarf appreciation society, but if I was an impressionable 15-year-old & saw DKM on stage it would be a lasting impression. They’re aware that a live show is also about visual entertainment & having studied the right rock videos DKM are poised to take whatever road they want, or whatever branch they want on that rock’n’roll tree. Dressed to kill & thrill in blood stained shirts & with the perfect front man with a suck-my-dick attitude that so many bands lack. Sick kicks for shock rockers this goes to prove you can be 5’4″ on the street but be 6’9″ on that stage. A few gigs in the nasty area of a nasty town wouldn’t go a miss, somewhere they can spit blood & leave a spunk-stained stage strewn with vomit. yeah!

 Next MASE showdown – 6th January.