(reviewed by Neil Crud)

I was editing a video the previous night & there was some footage of the Breeding Ground, & it was only then I realised how much I really do miss those heady nights. It’ll undoubtedly go down in folklore in many years time as the place to go, & ex-goers will be wheeled out to share their fond memories of the place. The Bistro enjoys a similar stature now. A real pleasing moment for Breeding Ground fables would be if in the future the history books told the story of how Flea Cirkus, Fudged & Homespun cut their gigging teeth at the legendary venue. To do that, these bands would have to break from the locality & ply their trade in the big bad world.
In a bold move & that desperate search to find the right venue, the Homespun management team sought out the Little Theatre in Rhyl, a surreal setting with everyone sat politely until the bands came on. Take out the seats & put in staggered football terracing barriers & you’ve got the perfect venue. Although the stiffs that run the place for their amateur dramatics might have something to say about it & they looked aghast when Fudged brought on 3 blokes in wedding dresses to dance. Hey, it’s Christmas! And this is panto, so get a life fossil face!

Flea Cirkus patiently awaited for the makeshift PA to be switched on & started on their speed-punk set of complete originals bar one. A nervous opening song had me thinking that they hadn’t progressed since I last saw them well over a year ago. They soon proved me wrong & with songs like the excellent Rock’n’Roll Wreck & Drying Out they show that although very young, they do have an ear for a good song. Their other strong point is they have stuck together, no name changes, so no need to reinvent themselves. Just a proliferation of live shows is what’s needed now to take them onwards (did they play in Holland last summer or did I dream it?).

The gig going crowd are now very very young in the area, with Fatman & myself stood in the back like 2 dirty old men there is no compromise, no inbetween age & when half these 16-17 years olds get pregnant & the others discover dance music, its important the dedicated remaining few believe in what they’re doing & stick at it. What could change all this is for a band like Fudged to actually break from the local scene & make it big. This would inspire a ruck of new bands in the area all wanting a piece of that (fudged) cake. Fudged have reached almost icon status round these parts & work heavily on the road in obscure places across the North West. With the outstanding Gaz on bass looking & moving like the bassist from the Gillan Band, (complete with pork pie hat & goatee), Fudged have the ultimate line-up & should seriously find themselves a dedicated manager or management company for they do have what it takes. With the unusual idea of opening with AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie, I initially questioned their choice, until I heard it, done Fudged style they turned it into an almost funk-rock verson. Spank, Mosh With Me, Blind Hate are all smartly presented to much amorous applause from the hoardes of fans crammed at the front.

Fatman said he felt sorry for Homespun; ‘How do you follow that?’ referring to the set from Fudged, he did have a point, although each band is local, Fudged are the top cats that have sprayed everywhere, marking out their territory. But Homespun have other aspirations, they’ve taken time out to write new material, had money ploughed into them & see 2003 as their year to make a go of it. Unfortunately 2003 is still 25 days away & Homespun had one of those nightmare shows when what could go wrong did go wrong, & my sympathies are with you lads as I know exactly what you were going through. Backing microphone not on, drummer can’t hear the guitars, guitars going out of tune, new bassist forgets where he is in the song. Every band knows that feeling & it’s best put behind you & look forward. Hell! They’re supporting The Damned next week! The bastards! When Homespun click together, they go like a mule & it’s great to see the superb Murphy’s Law as the opening track on their new EP.

See you next week.