(review n pix steve sync, additional pix neil crud)

I’ve just remembered why I haven’t reviewed a gig for so long – It really adds hard work to an already very busy day, but I’m not one to complain (fuck me!) so here goes. I went down to the Dudley at 4pm to buy my ticket and to check that the bands on the schedule I wanted to see had turned up – yes they had.Scott Bakers had just started their set when I arrived, and I’d been looking forward to seeing them since the demise of Kneejerk because the direction the band were taking was SkaCore – Fast guitar skank, with punk power chords at lightening pace. Now I’ve played some fast songs live in my time, but I wouldn’t like to attempt to jam along with some of their songs. When the band played at the same tempo together, their sound really shone through, but there were some moments where because of the sheer pace of the songs, the bands tempo lost each other, but this will be ironed out the more rehearsals the band have and I’m looking forward to seeing their improvements soon.
I missed The Pain due to me re-fuelling on chip butties, before Crud gave me a lift back down just in time for 3 Minute Warning.

One of the main reasons for me turning up to this event was 3 Minute Warning. What a sound they make, they have a punk, almost Clash like edge to them, and Ska keyboards very reminiscent to Mike Barson’s from Madness, and for an old school 79 Ska Boy like myself, they provide some great flash backs. Crud and myself couldn’t control our heads bobbing along to this sound you can’t stay still to. Crud has played a couple of songs by this band on his radio show, but you really have to see it live to appreciate the whole thing. After the gig I managed to blag an official Eatin Aint Cheatin CD from the pork pie hat wearing keyboard player, which hasn’t been off my CD player yet!

Crud and myself were enjoying a pint outside in the sun while the bands were packing up and setting up their gear, we both agreed that with the people and the atmosphere around the venue, it was like being whisked back 25 years which is great escapism for anyone wanting to reminisce (shit did I just say that?). Seize The Day were late arriving and by the time they did, Dave Cox realised that 3 Minute Warning who had to leave straight after their set, had the bass amp the rest of the bands playing today were meant to be using.

Crud had to leave early due to other commitments (hair wash!) and we had to find a solution for the bass problem, so after a very brief sound check with the bass plugged into the PA (sounded fine) Seize The Day blasted into their first song. I saw this band play at the Dudley a few months back, and they pulled in a big crowd then, and they were equally as popular today. They are fucking well tight and held together by some great speed drumming, every song played at pace with furious energy, and yes, they played Ham & Cheese! Top stuff, and I want to see more gigs from them.

After Seize The Day, I thought I’d try and find The Dangerfields to tell them that the bass amp problem had been sorted. I found them outside rehearsing under the arches of Vale Road bridge, with the drummer/vocalist using his thighs as drums and whispering the lyrics quietly to himself. If you’ve ever seen The Dangerfields live before, you will know that what I witnessed under the bridge was the strangest ‘unplugged session’ I think I’ve ever seen. This band demand volume and attention, as I found when I gave Dave a hand on the sound desk to get the levels right before their set. Once the sound was set, the vocalist/drummer tempted the crowd back in by saying Dave Cox would lap dance for them all personally. They powered through their high paced set with the guitarist playing whilst on his back on the floor, amongst the mosh pit, or even with his guitar behind his head. Great show!

The Nerds are an Italian punk band (who would have thought such things exist) who are currently on tour with The Dangerfields, in fact both bands after their performances tonight, had to drive to their next gig in fucking Inverness! Local bands take note, shouldn’t you be widening your horizons?

After helping Dave with The Dangerfields sound, it now appeared that I should be helping with The Nerds, which I did to the best of my capabilities. This band have a great live image with their menacing front man dressed in an orange boiler suit, screaming lyrics and contorting his body across the stage. In one song the vocalist put a black sack over his head with the mic pushed up to it to sing, and with the orange boiler suit, it suddenly dawned on me where I’d seen this image before – Iraq beheading victims. This maybe too strong an image for some people, but it takes a lot to shock me with an image, and I respected their use of these garments for their performances sake, as it did give them an extra edge.

Big punk rock wall of sound with wailing lyrics, what more could you need? Well, after The Nerds I needed a break so I ended up going to Wetherspoons for a couple too many, so I missed Drongo’s For Europe and the other bands, and ended up copping off with a pizza! Great night though, I hope I can get to more of the next Dirty Weekend.