(review n pix by neil crud)
I was reading somewhere that Stiff Little Fingers (SLF), who had 8 chart singles in the early 80s, in the days when you had to sell shed loads of records to make a dent on the charts, now make more money selling directly to their fans via the internet than they ever did in their heyday. SLF are ignored by the music press (a media that dictates what you should be listening to), & are regarded as like reading last weeks TV Times. But it does go to show you that there is far more to the music scene than what the Radio One – NME cartel like you to believe.

The same format is possible in North Wales; we have a thriving scene, let’s turn it into a thriving industry. Local bands are picking up on it slowly; Fudged, Carpet & Pocket Venus have all brought CDs out to sell at their gigs & beyond which, after the initial recording & copying outlay soon pays dividends for them to reinvest the cash back into more recording, equipment &/or drugs. Black Swans & X-Ell are under the wings of Mike Peters & Out of Use are hitting the UK hardcore punk circuit, & the MASE organisation is honing young bands for the future, almost like a training academy. Judging by tonight’s attendance & a lot of new faces the Breeding Ground is fast becoming a recognised venue, this scene could almost eventually become self sustainable.

The recently reformed Kismet also had a CD available for sale tonight which has their own stuff on it, material that was very thin on the ground during this comeback performance. Look, I’m sorry but if very blade of grass in a field was a potential cover version, then there is a well trodden path right through the middle of it where many bands have tread. Yes, I know I whinge & have had pot shots taken at me for doing so, but why play 2 Muse & 3 Radiohead songs in your set? A cover or two is fine, particularly the way Kismet played the 1st Muse cover, with a real passion & great guitar sound throughout. Quite frankly there is no need for karaoke with distortion when your own material needs to be heard.

Jamie Cardno, the much travelled drummer with Floater’s Revenge can get away with cover versions for they are not your run-of-the-mill expectations for a punk rock gig i.e. Subterraean Homesick Blues etc. Jamie has been seen so often on the circuit armed with his acoustic guitar that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on Richard & Judy next week. He also had an unknown partner alongside him strumming away, was it Richey Manic?

A superb turnout greeted Dive (pictured) who have become tighter than Steve Sync when kids knock on his door asking: ‘Penny for the guy.’ Benefiting from a full rig & improving sound from Chris White’s YTS engineer, Dive will be urging overkill over the next week with another 2 gigs in the area to ply their trade in heavy grunge. A Dive CD wouldn’t go miss either. We also had the added bonus of a brawl amongst the crowd during their set & I was worried that TBG would be charging us on the way out for the added entertainment.

Next up are Flinch, Skinflick & Fubar. Bring your earplugs.