(by Neil Crud)

Although they had a Top 20 hit & another 9 singles in the Top 75, Spear of Destiny never had mass appeal, had it been a case of many people liking the odd song rather than a few people liking all their songs then tonight’s attendance would’ve been higher than the 120 or so who made this mid-week effort. It was a wholly different audience to the normal Breeding Ground attendees who were being pulled through the birth canal by a pair of forceps when Kirk Brandon first alighted a stage with The Pack & then Theatre of Hate.

Organisers Paul Hammond, Steve Buckley & the hard workin’, hard rockin’ Dave Hughes lost money on this but in Paul’s words; ‘we’ve been knocked down but we’ll get back up again.’ Or was it Chumbawamba?

A different audience provided Prestatyn’s Carbonari to perform in front of people almost twice their age & despite the poor sound from Dodgy PAs Inc, the band did themselves great justice. A distorted vocal sound that hurt the ears could only mean that the PA engineer has fuzzy hearing. Nevertheless Carbonari showed the few of us who are familiar with their set that they are partial to adding dynamics to already formidable songs & also presented the perfect showcase to those seeing them for the 1st time. I was speaking to Chris Yates from Pocket Venus this morning after whose better quarter (he’s a big boy), Maz raved about Carbonari but wasn’t so complimentary about the main act. Vocalist Sarah Lipman finds herself in a… I don’t think envious is the right word, but I’ll use it for now – an envious position where the majority of females in the crowd want to be her & the majority of males want to be with her. As their song states, Sex Sells but there’s far more to Carbonari than that as regular readers to these reviews & those who have seen them know all too well.

I wonder if the hundreds of posters advertising this event had had ‘Britney Spears of Destiny’s Child’ on them it would’ve made a difference to the turnout? I certainly wouldn’t mind spearing Destiny’s Child! Is that a politically incorrect thing to say? I don’t give a toss I’m an anarchist anyway! Wayne The Bastard (ex-Crud co-editor) suggested that had Fudged been on the bill as well we’d have seen another hundred bodies through the door. Yes, but would they have stayed for the main course? Spear of Destiny’s set was very 90’s & would not be out of place as the set of any ‘new’ band. Bereft of the brass section or even saxophonist that so dominated their early work (& put me off them) they are now a guitar act with a point to prove. That point is; ‘We are not a cabaret band.’ Kirk Brandon was here on the opening night of the tour not to please the punters with the hits. There was no Westworld, Take Me Alive or Liberator & for people who are deprived of ‘name’ bands out here in the 3rd world they would have left feeling short changed by the band. Not that there was a poor song in the hour long set, exemplary guitaring & that strong distinctive voice did confirm that Spear are professional & when the left side of the PA croaked it in the 2nd song it improved the sound tenfold. With a voice that powerful you only need half a PA!

The conversations that ensued afterward were of mixed reactions; my sister Jane Crud shared my thoughts that they were first class even though Propaganda was the only tune we recognised. Steve Rastin of Shantytown who has inadvertently seen Kirk Brandon many times through his various career guises thought they should’ve opened the set with Liberator to really grab the audience by the balls & then perform the present playlist. Andy Fatman will make headlines of his own this week by making it a first for attending a gig & remaining completely sober, thus actually being able to remember meeting the band & having Pete Wylie trying to scrounge a pint off him (unsuccessfully of course). Steve Sync & Fairziff were too pissed to comment but when I mentioned to Steve that Kirk always looked as he was a beginner learning to play when he stoops over his guitar he quipped that all Kirk needed was a 1980’s style bedroom around him.

Although having fulfilled probably his own ambitions (when I used to DJ at The Bistro Paul Hammond forever badgered me with the demand of, ‘Neil, will you play some Spear’) & those of a few others the Breeding Ground will take tonight on board as part of the learning curve. It will only strengthen the part they are playing in making this shantytown, or at least the name, the Breeding Ground a credible one.

‘Ladies & gentlemen, please welcome live on stage, The Damned.’

Perhaps I have an ambition or two to fulfill, we’ll see…

(Spear performing Propaganda at this gig)