(review by dave cox and MWJ)
By now the bag of fruit had been dumped at a service station somewhere north of Birmingham, an my sense of humour had deteriorated into spitting greenies in my hand an slapping jam in the face (he’d just shown me the pic of him teabagging me). Arrived back home about 4:45pm, had about enough time to eat an apple (of the cox variety, ofcourse), before being picked up by MWJ for Subhumans tonight. I mumbled various feeble attempts to explain why I was feeling so ‘unstable’ but not sure if any of it made sense. Had a fair bit of sleep on the way there this time. Met up with ‘sticky vicky’ on arrival at the venue, was also good to see a load of other friends an familiar faces from the other night an past gigs in the north west.
THE REBEL CONSPIRACY kick things off, not sure where these are from, couldn’t make out the accent. But pretty good punk rock. They look fairly young but are full of confidence on stage an sound pretty good, remind me of the dayglo abortions but without the snotty vocals. Cant really sit down anymore as head is getting heavy an don’t wanna pass out an end up punching a wall again.
Next up WAR COMA, the drummer from the autonomads plays for these, an I think sam from kamikaze sperm…? the rest of the band are all familiar faces from regular Manchester/Stockport/Bradford gigs in the past. Full on d-beat type stuff here, makin some really interesting, conflict type hamonising riffs, an the singer had a roaring voice, an jumpin down off the stage an bouncing round with a few people that had started dancing. Definitely wanna get these down here at some point soon, watch this space…
Next up REFUSE ALL. Angry anarcho punk from London. first impressions where nothing new here, fairly generic. But as I stuck it out an gave em a fair go, they grew on me loads. They ended with a pretty slow one about something like ‘do you really believe your free?’ or something like that, was good anyway. Im suffering a serious lack of memory about this evening an I wasn’t drunk at all.
Next up were MEINHOF, we played with these a while back in Bradford, really enjoyed them then an really enjoyed them tonight aswell. They’ve changed the line up slightly since then, I think the singer used to just sing but now she’s playing bass aswell. I noticed this time she’s a hell of a good frontwoman for this band, full of nasty eye-balling at the audience an a chunky scream that reminded me of lemmy! There’s an obvious tank girl similarity aswell. Gonna try an get these up to north wales too at some point.
And so finally, its SUBHUMANS. Was so fuckin tired an drained by this point, felt absolutely exhausted. But when they kicked into the opening song ‘All Gone Dead’ there was just an urge to get stuck in down the front. Had to be done didn’t it? They churned through the classic back catalogue an soon there was a hefty crowd dancing like bastards. They did suffer a few technical difficulties though mid set, not enough guitar in the monitors, then too much guitar in the monitors (making it feed back) an I heard the drummer mention his monitor wasn’t working for a couple of songs aswell. But once that was sorted they got back into it, knockin out ‘this is not an advert’, ‘apathy’, ‘joe public’, ‘society’, ‘mickey mouse is dead’ ‘work rest play die’ aswell as a load of others but I cant think, they finished off with the anthemic ‘religious wars’. Seen the Subhumans a fair few times now an they never fail, it was an ace way to end the weekend aswell. Captured ‘no’ on video an here it is…
(review below by MWJ)
As my judgement (if not my enjoyment) of the my first watching of the Subhumans at the Dirty Weekend festival last year may have been somewhat impaired by winning the beer raffle, I was happy for a repeat opportunity, plus the extra incentive of the excellent support Meinhof who I’d been waiting to catch for a couple of years since picking up their last album
So a veritable car load of us gathered from along the coast and the border outposts to head up for this on a sunny bank holiday weekend, the mood was certainly bright and sunny, though Dave was somewhat “jetlagged” from his Global Parasite exertions of the preceding two days.
The first band was on quite sharpish to fit them all the line up in with Sunday opening. It was only their 10th gig apparently and you could say that was evident but the young three-piece also showed a grasp of retaining hooks in their fast-paced hardcore and they were well received for openers
Next up locals Warcoma are a more interesting prospect to me, with a crust tinge to their hardcore largely given by the two harsh vocals, one wandering off in front of the stage, the other from one of the guitarists. What they also bring is a bit of innovation in their chords and also no fear to drop down to more atmospheric quieter sections to provide contrast to the raging bits, a bit of metal crossover there to the likes of early Neurosis or His Hero Is Gone. Also early days for them apparently as they can only play the songs they’ve got, but I’ll certainly be looking out for more.
Refuse/All were not so youngsters from down London way still obviously eager to bash out their heavy punk, the majority having played in Riot/Clone since back in the ‘80’s. At first, despite two guitars, the sound was a bit thin but once that was sorted they came across really strongly. Not overly fast but chugging riffs and thundering drums sucked you into the rhythm, there was definitely a quality resembling Amebix/Anti-sect amongst there stuff. No bad thing obviously
Three Europeans resident in London, Meinhof had evolved from a digital hardcore band with the addition of a drummer who could match the frenetic and relentless riffery of their crust punk, but fair play, the intensity was in no way lessened. Keeping to two or three minute blasts through intense rages, the guitar never bothers with any solo breaks, never mind any single chords! The diminutive skinhead girl singer roars up over her head Lemmy style, as she hammers her gloriously distorted bass. There’s no doubt they mean what they say, it is the proverbial short, sharp, shock to and against the system. I wished them well on their forthcoming tour to Brazil, which they are obviously excited about. There’s evidently a lot of mileage in punk yet
As I said, this time around, with the concentration of a designated driver, I appreciated Subhumans so much more. Up til now I only had a few scattered tracks on compilations but whether there was more clarity in the sound anyway, I was tuning in to each of the classics and newer tracks and loving it. “Joe Public”, “This Year’s War”, “Mickey Mouse is Dead”, “Point of View”, all, winners. The spiky convoluted nature of their structures, the complex bass lines, the bouncing rhythms, all rolling things along with gusto. And of course the poetic genius and delivery of the lyrics, plus the succinct intro banter from Dick that hammers their point home. I made the comparison to the Dead Kennedy’s previously but what they’ve got in addition is the British perspective, it’s almost like Wiltshire folk tunes of the modern age, messages in Molotov bottles. Great stuff, and universally well received. I shall be researching the back catalogue with no delay.