(review n pix neil crud)

Bank holiday traffic eh! The realisation that the council, in their wisdom decided to cone off 3 miles of the A55 from Conwy to Llanfairfechan on Easter Weekend prompted myself & Steve Sync to hatch a plan to get Andy Fatman a seat on the council. It’s a new form of anarchy, infiltrate your enemy, strike from within. For the council, whether town or county are the enemy, they are the non-profit driven corrupt swine who nonchalantly, flippantly and arrogantly squander your money on white elephants & have scant regard for your well being. Amazing what a traffic jam can do isn’t it! Here we are, upright (ahem!) citizens plotting to overthrow the local council (or lynch the highways dept at least) and even worse, get Fatman elected!

So the traffic left us void of Bechdan Jam & Valleum; we caught the latter’s final thump of guitars & drums as we got out of the Crudmobile. But something was different; something unusual to our normal visits here; we heard a loud uplifting roar from within the thick stone walls of Hendre Hall. It was a crowd, not just any crowd, but a huge crowd, swelling & massing on the slate floor. At last! Result! Rhys of Complete Control Music can raise his glass & order a takeaway curry for he’s probably made some money this time. For all his efforts & the excellent gigs he’s put on here at Hendre his company have been running at a loss. But determination & a will to win have paid off as this is the third gig that he’s not lost on now.

We were anticipating probably only catching a few songs of Wendykurk‘s set, as they normally go on after the witching hour which is way past my bedtime! So a slick move was to go on further down the bill, this meant they got the young audience before mum’s ‘n’ dad’s came to collect them. This wasn’t the glammed up Wendykurk we’ve seen on many an occasion, there were no avante-garde dresses, no chili mayonnaise make-up, no Nos in his death-goth-fishnet attire, just jeans. You could tell this was an ankst [sic] riddled set, a drunk bassist, drowning his problems, an evidently annoyed Nomi on vocals who kept telling us how much a broken man Ben on bass was. Yet this angst was vented through a power raged set, long enough to let the newcomers know that they mess with Wendykurk at their own peril & short enough to leave you wondering what on earth hit you. By the second song the audience had been invited on stage by Ben & the 30 or so who could squeeze on there took it in turns to stage dive, much to the delight of the band & much to the dismay of the bouncers, one of whom took up a permanent on stage presence.

The ease with which Matt plays his guitar cleverly dispells the point that he is in fact making it scream, you can see the instrument begging for mercy pleading with him; ‘I was never made for this!’ But he’s relentless & unforgiving as they pound through Freckles, Auroura Borealis etc. The finale comes when Nomi takes out her anger on one of the soft meat dolls (see pic at end of page) & slams it & her guitar into the stage. Seeing an opportunity Ben then picks up Nomi and starts throwing her round literally like a rag doll; she ends up on her head. Then Matt wades into Ben & the 2 end up on the deck in a mass of fists & fedback guitars. Staged, toy fighting or for real? It doesn’t matter, it was excellent entertainment.

By complete coincidence I was playing an old unmarked minidisc this evening while tucking into my haddock, boiled potatoes & green beans (Healthy Crud). And it was an old Adam Walton Show & he & his Minister For Cool Welsh Pop were discussing this new band from Aberystwyth called the Hot Puppies. They played John Wayne Is (the band didn’t perform it tonight) & Adam wasn’t sure what to make of it. Oh how times have changed, this hot young band are on an upward spiral. On stage they are sassy, stunning & sexy, and that’s just the 3 blokes in the band! Perfect melodies, hard hitting yet tuneful poppy-go-happy songs, like the newly written Green Eyeliner or the latest single Dawn of Man. The Hot Puppies sort of have that tacky early 90s Pulp videos image & it works really well. Becky Newman was quick to point out that this big crowd wouldn’t realise if a song was new or not, but she was wrong as the majority of people were well versed with the tunes and one particular guy spat the words down the back of my neck (at least I didn’t need a shower this morning). I really hope the Hot Puppies are going places, they do play the right London venues so I it should only be a matter of time.

Wendykurk’s Ben passionately announced that there’d be no Wendykurk if it wasn’t for Nirvana. Where I liked Nirvana, I was perhaps just a tad too old to have been taken in by their music to the point of having their name tattooed on my dick or painting Kurt Cobain’s image onto the back of my leather jacket. So when the soft twat blew his head off into rock’n’roll martyrdom, it did little to me apart from think, well, ‘soft twat.’ But of course, had I been under 21 it would’ve been a different story, you see, I missed the times of impact of rock’n’roll deaths due to my age. I was still picking my nose when Jim Morrison croaked it, I was too young to understand the fuss over the Sid Vicious saga (see soft twat) & too old to be bothered about shedding tears for Kurt Cobain. However you do see the impact he, or his band had on the music scene & we have to be very thankful for that. So when Kentucky AFC (main pic) kick into their set with Nirvana’s Territorial Pissings & then to smatter their set with the band’s better songs you can see where they’re coming from. And only KAFC can get away with this, also this being the week 10 years ago when Courtney Love arrived home to a bloody mess. Had a schoolboy band been up there playing Nirvana covers; as hundreds of them do (unfortunately I always seem to catch ’em!), I’d have propped up the bar or walked out, slagged them off on these pages & later got a verbal kicking off their parents for shattering their son’s dreams. But no, Kentucky AFC, did it & got away with it, now they could’ve been taking the piss, if they were then it was very funny, or, & I guess this is the case; they were paying a one-off tribute to a band that influenced them & many others, & I raise my glass to them. Cheers lads.