(review n pix by neil crud & MWJ)

Neil Crud… ‘There won’t be another fuckin’ time after that pile of shite.’ Said either Nick or Dan in a scouse accent of Chief when I asked them for a CD; they didn’t have any so I said I’d grab one next time they play in Rhyl.
‘If costs fuckin’ money to get here and we’re all fuckin’ skint.’
Yes I know, I played in bands too, it’s a labour of love, stuck in some godforsaken town with only enough cash to get a bag of chips between you and the petrol gauge is in the red.
The sound was shit for their set, microphones feeding back, then turned to below the threshold so you couldn’t hear the vocals. No one thought of suggesting to tell the band to turn their guitars down! But nevertheless they were still well received and played a good set. And for those of you there who want to hear what they sound like on a clear day, then go to http://www.punkchief.tk/ for a good listen. Hope they’re not too adamant ’bout not playin’ here again as they have some good material.

Protocol (pic below) also from across the River Mersey are a 3-piece ska-punk band with the emphasis on punk. Not the youngest chicks in the nest and the experience showed with a mean, nasty, very entertaining and tight as fuck set. I commented to MWJ at how good the drummer Bag Head’s playing was, just as he fucked up completely and apologised for being pissed. He certainly made up for it though as the boys with a herbert dress sense rattled the foundations.

MWJ…Seize the Day (pic below) carry plenty of experience over from their Out of Use days really stands them in good stead for putting on an excellent intense and at the same time lighthearted hardcore show. This is especially true in their virtual local, to the home fans, they deliver the mad speed and shout along choruses that goes down so well. Ending with a cover of the anthem “true believers”, it’s a real celebration of the scene

The fact is acknowledged by London’s Anonymous Tip (pic above), glad to be in Rhyl for the third time to enjoy a similar lively reception. This time they’re on a nationwide tour as main support with the positive endorsement of our esteemed headliner, so their previous good reception pays its own dividends in raising the profile of the venue and getting it more bands over here. Again, the band have explosive punk energy, but with plenty of melody. Cool synchronised leaps, they also synchronise a mass revenge beer spitting upon a certain local promoter. Well impressed with bass playing, kinda Flea. I wouldn’t say they were very outstanding but still very good and may indeed get a whole lot better. They enjoy themselves so much, what the heck, they do a version of “true believers” as well.

Finally, the obscure legend that is Babar Luck. I’d seen him a couple of times previously over the years playing bass for King Prawn and given his tendency to divert their shows into peace and punk rants had every confidence he’d deliver a memorable show even by himself. The ‘Prawn have split up recently, apparently acrimoniously, their clashing muses that had created some innovative ska punk eventually tearing them apart. So Babar’s now out and about with a solo, semi acoustic show (There had been talk of Lou ex of The Damned accompanying him but that’s a no–show). Certainly he focuses the attention. Stripped to the waist, a wiry frame, skinhead and bushy bearded (and it’s more tame than it has been!), he has a piercing gaze that matches the intensity of his beliefs expressed. Fiercely strumming his guitar, his vocals and rants and raps are like a babbling stream of consciousness. He can be jokey and self depreciating one minute and on the edge of vicious the next. Dedications to people with kids, or the spirit of Crass, inspired by “chilling out with Penny Rimbaud, making molotovs to throw at the pigs”, a whole load of true punk philosophy that’s delivered at a perfect level and well received. With his Asian roots it’s easy to stereotypically picture an element of the mystic or holy man, he’s a natural communicator of ideas, enthusiastic and compelling. He’s joined by the bassist and drummer from Anonymous Tip for the last couple of songs to add a bit of extra oomph before winding up by offering to trade his CD for any drugs available. Sadly I’m all out so head off, after one of the most consistently impressive set of bands seen in some time.