(review by dave cox)

Saturday May 23rd –

Despite being knackered an hungover, we were all enjoyin what seemed like a really quick drive up to brum. With windows down an music nice an loud, the sun was warm an the air in the face was just what the doctor ordered. We arrived in Birmingham around half 4 / 5pm an had enough time to go for a walk into the city centre (not enough time to find the shop selling legal highs, but this problem was solved later on). A quick pit stop at a pizza take away an were topped up an ready for another all nighter! back to the venue, found out Subhumans played there the night before an wonder whether that will effect the turn out tonight.

ANTI VIRUS are joining us for this one an when they arrive its time for a pint before settin up the amps etc. as time goes on, and not that many people arrive we feel gutted for anti virus when theyre asked to start playing (to us 4 and 2 others), it seems the subhumans did get everyone out last night an no one can be arsed, or probably more likely; everyone’s too skint for tonight’s gig. Which was a shame cos anti virus were soundin mean! I didn’t do the usual ‘No Classification’ and ‘Burn The Temple’ as its been getting abit too predictable and routine, an so I enjoyed watchin them play those songs without havin to worry about getting involved. Stand out track for me tonight though was ‘Waiting To Die’. Well good, really lookin forward to hearing that recorded properly. The promoter tells us to help ourselves to a crate of beer behind the bar, which of course we comply to, wouldn’t wanna upset anyone!

Next up, THEO. A solo guitarist/drummer who records a few lines on his guitar, looping them with his pedals, an then plays drums over the top, doing it all live. we played with this guy in Wolverhampton last year at a benefit for the ‘shut down heckler & koch’ campaign an were impressed then by the talent he obviously has. The only thing I thought was towards the end of his set it was getting abit samey, like his formula for each song seemed to be the same. Starting off the song with a fairly quiet, interesting riff, then adding some kind of harmonising lead over the top, an maybe something else on top of that before moving on to the drum kit and playing about 4 or 5 different beats over the same guitar loops, before ending the song with more guitar playing white noise, then cutting the loop dead to start the next song immediately (following the same formula again). But fair doos, he was up there doin what he obviously enjoys doin, plus he had the biggest crowd of the night an went down well with the 20 odd people in the room.

Next up was us…

After us was MACHINOCHRIST, a DJ on his laptop, doin half an hour of none stop aphex twin type crazy drum an bass, but with much less rhthym, it was all over the place an my head was hurting after pukin up in the bogs again.

And last on tonight was ASSERT, for those who aren’t familiar with these theyre basically full on thrash hardcore punk from brum with plenty to say. havnt seen these since they played the Dudley a few years ago, that night there was a shit turn out an britt cornered me in the bogs sayin if they didn’t get some petrol money the Dudley would get burnt down. To be honest I wasn’t sure how it would go tonight, whether he’d recognise me an be funny or whatever. I didn’t bother tryin to patch things up, its not my job to an Im not gonna run round lickin rim just cos of some trivial shit in the past. There is no issue. Back to what matters, the music; ‘Righteous Assembly’ is a fuckin ace album, particularly when your well pissed off, a few of the songs on that album were played tonight, like ‘1,2,3,4 Go’, ‘Never Forget You’ and ‘Start A War’. Probably a few others but cant remember now. Really wanted to get their new album but didn’t have any money as usual. Weve booked them for the dirty weekend at the hendre hall in September (11th and 12th) so come an take the musical onslaught!

After that, a load more drinks are drunk, too much for gary to drive to the party the promoter’s invited us to, so we get a couple of taxi’s, the one we got broke down half way but that’s another story, an not that exciting either. An the party is in another residential area, an again with a very loud sound system. There is a hell of a lot of empathy at this party, for some probably fairly obvious reason, although I don’t really wanna spell it out. As I write this im getting flash backs of singin pressure drop by toots and the maytals at the top of my lungs, aahhh good times! anyway I end up passing out, leaving myself vulnerable to jam and his ‘teabag’ routine, fuckin bastard. I think he got a photo of it aswell which will probably end up on here. I did get him back the next day though by scratching my sweaty, cheesy balls for about ten minutes an putting my fingers in his mouth an up his nostrils. He didn’t like that one bit, an im not surprised, I sniffed my fingers afterwards an it wasn’t pleasant.