Tonight it was Andy Fatman’s turn as I one by one introduce the Crud Crew to the admirable world of MASE, the organisation behind keeping 500 teenagers off the streets of Llandudno once a month. My first feeling was of being gutted having learnt that we had missed Plutonic & particularly Flea Cirkus who I really enjoyed at the Breeding Ground a few months ago. My second feeling was of total shock of being the only living person to have ever witnessed Fatman order a coke & lemonade at the bar, admittedly this was an alcohol free joint, which means the kids down bottles of Thunderbird wine before getting here. I also had the added bonus of being frisked by a female bouncer on the way in (she had strong hands).

Following fast in the footsteps of Emily comes Beth with her short acoustic set & a lotta bottle to quieten down the hundreds of spiky tops who obediently sat cross-legged in front of her. What happens to such performers in the future can be open to debate; will she form a band? Will she be the next Tori Amos? Will she have 7 children & live on a commune? Who knows or cares, what Beth did possess ahead of the majority of bands in the area was the nous to burn off 10 Cdr singles & flog ‘em for £3 apiece. They all sold out & unlike her counterparts Beth is £30 better off tonight & tomorrow 10 people at least will be listening to her Fire Breathing EP.

Sansara with their singer doing the rock’n’roll thing & being away in States, carried on regardless as a 3-piece with the obligatory covers (this time from Bush) but their own stuff was played much better.

Fatman found the whole evening bizarre, as MASE would never work in Rhyl: ‘Too many scallies there,’ he said. I think what he meant was that most people have an outside toilet at home & because they can’t be bothered to walk that far they instead shit in their own backyard. There are always those intent on ruining everything for themselves & everyone else.

never eat yellow snow, it'll make you blind

Snowblind did impress me with a competent performance, great on stage presence & keyboards to boot. A front man with a decent voice & a classically trained guitarist. The obvious Radiohead leanings didn’t do much for me nor did the covers but there is definitely something there. The bands here are perhaps spoilt by performing what in many cases is their debut gig in front of a swarming mass of 500 punklets, all hell-bent on losing weight through sweat. The acid test comes when Snowblind & their peers set up in a shady pub in a dark corner of a forgotten town to play in front of 4 people, 2 of whom are the barstaff & the other 2 are collecting for their Deaf Peoples Society. It is something all bands have to face if they want to go beyond the ego-massaging barrier of local hero worship.

a finger of fudged

This is the 4th time I’ve seen Fudged & I’m uncertain whether they actually play all those unnecessary covers all the time or saw it as a good way to rouse an already roused crowd. I say (& mean) unnecessary as their own stuff not only knocks the spots of Blink 18bloody2 it smashes them to smithereens. OK the Mrs Robinson & Stand By Me are good fun as they’re moulded with a bit of thought but please ditch the others! When you hear the self-penned Fester & the magnificent one about moshing you’ll fully understand where I’m coming from. The Mosh with Me or whatever its called is a classic & I hoped it wasn’t going to end when the guitar solo broke in; I wasn’t disappointed as this 3-piece had carefully crafted their way to the end of the song to ensure we weren’t let down. You do sense that Fudged are or the verge of taking that giant leap, particularly when the Red Cross have to pull the maimed out of the crowd & girls in that crowd are throwing their knickers at you! I gotta admit I am jealous as the closest I ever got to that as a punk rock star was being hit in the face by a tuna sandwich at a Hell’s Angels wedding!
Here’s to the next MASE.