The poster told us it started 7.30pm, so I stuck my head in just after 8pm to see promoter Steve Rastin stood on a stage void of equipment staring at a lone extension cable. ‘Some things never change!’ I thought and headed to Wethers for a cheap pint with Steve Sync.
By 9.30pm there was activity at The North… Three police officers were stood outside looking for someone who was on ‘Pub Watch’ (as in Banned from The Pubs) – it takes three cops to stop some chav from going into the pubs; if he’s that bad why not just lock him up, or beat him up? You are the law, you can do as you please…
On the chav subject – putting on punk gigs in town centre pubs always runs the risk of cultures clashing (not that chavdom is a culture)… So there’s always the chance of some complete and utter prick in a tracksuit thinking he’s being funny while bands are playing. It used to happen occasionally in the days of The Dudley Arms, and it was warming and pleasing to see everyone call to arms and beat the living shit out of the low-life… (I guess you’ve guessed I don’t like Chavs… you’re wrong, I fucking hate them…).

Four bands (shoulda been five) here to celebrate Azz’s 21st… And The North is filling up nicely as the newly formed hybrid Llandudno Junction 3 piece, Maines pick up their kalashnikovs and gun us all down.
‘That guitar sounds great,’ quips Steve Sync, ‘just like  a dark Killing Joke.’ – No bass guitar here and only three songs spanning their 20 minute set.
Made up from half of BBR, Steve Brute described them as punk, grunge, shoegazers, which is pretty accurate and also very impressive. I love this kind of shit, it’s experimental, I think the opening song was a good 10 minutes long, but without a dull moment. It’s concept death-punk, written in a trashcan alley for guitar bums, drinking meths stolen from Wilkinsons, screeching feedback bounces off the walls as cats run for cover… No need to kill me now, I’m already in heaven…

Local anti-heroes Psycodeth are up next, they’re almost the house band here at The North (they’ll be glass collecting next! Although a glass collector in Rhyl does so with a dustpan and brush!). What a great fuckin’ noise these kids make… Third time I’ve seen them, they get better every time (and they were ace the first time!).
Sam’s guitar strap breaks, so he takes over main vocal duties; it doesn’t detract from the performance. A random uninvited guest stranger who gets up and starts singing only adds to the entertainment.
Last song is Lifeless – Psycodeth are far from that… It’s pure metal, full of clichés (like this review) yet brilliant all the same (like this review).
They are firmly embedded in that Slayertallica genre and yet sound thoroughly refreshing. Plenty of mosherama on the dancefloor (Sophie Ellis-Bextor will tell you it’s murder) – Love it, fucking love it…

Ex- Cox, Global Parasite string snapper Steve Brute is up next with his bunch of sewer rats BBR (above & main pic). I’m a BBR virgin, so I was really looking forward to this one. Their early demo is so rough around the edges that there was only one way for this band to go, and based on tonight’s performance, they’ve not only put the pedal to the metal, they’re in the fast lane and no matter of road blocks, police helicopters or chavs on Pub Watch are gonna stop ’em…
After Psycodeth had left the building with an exodus of their disciples, I feared that the last two bands were going to be performing to the shadows of those gone by – but when the call came, the room filled up again ensuring this was a well attended show from start to finish.
Steve’s bass emulates his name, it’s a brute of a sound and it was worth the free entrance fee to hear that on its own.
For a band whose gigs are far too few and far between, you could see that they had been let off the leash like savage hounds snarling at the gates of a junkyard in hell. They may as well have screamed that old adage ‘Let’s go fucking mental!’ for that is what they did, smashing the holy living fuck out of Rhyl in the process.
It was an obliteration of the senses, a top quality cacophony…

are different every time I see them (think it’s four times now). Always struck by their professional approach, their slick delivery, and tonight it was very contrasting from what went on before them. Quite a Red Hot Chilli vibe going on, with a keyboard player added to the line up, who I’m sure is good, but trying to hear keyboards through this car crash of a PA is just plain silly. As is having six strings on your bass guitar… SIX STRINGS! – I thought you were only supposed to use one…
One thing about ArtisFiction is that they’re Gig Whores – they’ll play anywhere, and they do play everywhere, even Battle of The Bands (which no band should do) – ‘A gig’s a gig’ – as the saying goes… They put their name about, they don’t hang around expecting it all to land on their lap, waiting for opportunities; they make opportunities, they’re hard working and they believe in what they do and it pays off… If only other bands followed their lead.