(review n pix by mwj
Despite yesterday’s crusty thrash party allegedly being a warmup had to be a brave soldier and man-up by the time we were ready for the second round and the proper weekend. Under the guise of a stag do for Gwyn from The Broken Jukebox that he adamantly refused to be allowed to be called a stag do we were all going to these gigs anyway so we left it as happy coincidence. A couple of car loads of us went up from along the coast, plus others gathering from other parts of the country with the prospect of the ever entertaining party that Nomeansno bring in a great party destination that is the Kazimier.
Herding the cats/attendees whilst getting our first refreshments at the Youth Hostel bar meant we were a touch late into the venue so missed the first support but got our bearings, picked our spots, met more old friends and then had some music to enjoy it with. Dave Cox had already recommended locals The Dead Class and they certainly put in a performance brimming with confidence in front of the really busy venue. Energetic, accessible punk, a notably Jello-esque main vocal they have definitely become a polished article through some major gigging around the place. One good thing about the place is you have such a choice of viewing location within it either up on the balcony, on the stepped up areas at the back of the main hall, or on the floor in front of the stage.
There was a bubbly anticipation that went into overdrive when the intro started up, a track off their latest tour EP, experimental techno remixes of some of their classics by the likes of Shackleton and Deadbeat, guaranteed to bemuse/annoy some of their purist fans. Main man Rob Wright is providing the vocal over the top of this but rapidly winds it up due to being unhappy with the lack of monitor action. Kind of setting things off on the wrong foot as despite their ever present dry sense of humour they are also too old to be suffering sound fools gladly. All becomes good quickly with proper opener “In her eyes” of their last full album, an exemplary mix of the driving, twisting lead bass rhythms, uptempo intricate drums and the jangly punk guitar punctuating it all. Further “Jubilation” next, another recent sing along classic but then there’s also a lot of mining of rarer/less often heard material from their extensive back catalogue. An absolute monolith centrepiece is the hypnotically slow drift through “The world wasn’t built in a day”, that lulls us all for such a long time under the spell of the lyrical story telling. The subtlety and space that the vocals are given at times has them worming into the head and still there humming for days after, it’s like “I’m dreaming and I can’t wake up”! There’s still loads of energy from the grey hairs, (more hardcore leaps than a young Shane Embury), one stage invader is also forcibly and unceremoniously ejected back into the crowd, and the set reaches a peak with a double header from the “Wrong” album with the pummelling of “The Tower” and the apt closer “The end of all things”. We get an encore in the form of everyone’s favourite self depreciation “I’m an Asshole” but after another things are wound up a bit short with the promise to “come back again another time and play through a proper PA”. Appreciated their frustrations but from the floor the appreciation was all heartfelt joy at another captivating and uncompromisingly unique set from the maestros, an inspiration to young and old alike! We can blame them for being told to “Act your age” when partying at 4am at the hostel…