(photos – senor el capper)
Whilst in a vulnerable/messy state of mind the other side of the Pennines for Yorkshire Riffer my arm was gently twisted via text by Ell into the great idea of stopping off for another five bands in Manchester, just to top the weekend off.
Not a venue I had been to before, and coming in from a new route through North Manchester was a little disconcerting too but by ending up in the Victoria Station area ended up driving right by the pub so all was good. We had some medicinal hair of the dog then headed into the venue, which had a healthy turn out for the Sabbath, with quite a few travelling for what looked an excellent line up too. The playing space was your standard upstairs pub room but the sound was good and in these days of limited venue opportunities suited the event fine.
Openers Scumpulse (above) were a late add-on to the bill, as they looked to fill out dates of their own expedition from their native Edinburgh. Bit quiet for them early on, and some sound issues, but I still enjoyed their more metal approach. There was a raw black metal style, like some Dark Throne efforts, but with enough of a crusty/d-beat cross over to fit in well with the vibe here. Picking up their self-recorded “By Design” reveals a surprisingly more technically proficient effort, fair play to them. They are a bit hit and miss in making it to gigs but when they do Swinelord (below) remain devastatingly heavy. On their home turf the sludgy reverberations of their hatefilled riffs are a pleasure to absorb, although the harsh vocals are a bit lost in the mix tonight. This kind of ultra-distorted and down tuned filth, mixing trudging doom with battering punk outbreaks is always going to win for me.
The majority of Dead Subverts (bottom) are local but the delay in getting out of town bassist Pete (also in 2 Sick Monkeys) here meant a little delay/worry but all was good and then they were swift to let loose their fast and complex hardcore. Truly is a raging attack with their 3 way vocal power and the interaction and melody between the guitars. Added to the impassioned delivery on subjects that matter to them and should to us all and it’s great to again catch them as their gigs are not overly frequent. Coming from Portsmouth and being fellow long distance travellers like the headliners The SLM are complaining about their journey and catching up on the drinking but this is all in tune with the great fun vibe they inject into their fast, melodic punk. We almost get as much banter as songs as the various merits of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films are dissected, before the attention moves to zombie sharks. Despite their laid back attitude the three piece do manage to string some good speedy tunes together too, and throw in some NOFX cover too. That same easy going nature carries through to Rash Decision (top). Having seen them put in a storming set at Dirty Weekend recently they are among friends here, but their performance is uncompromisingly relentless exercise is fast hardcore punk. Furious in speed and again shared vocal content, their more piss-take songs are contrasted as harsh as they can be with intro’s about a sister’s rape. We get to treated to a marvellous Zeke cover and then they are pressured into playing more and more and more again before we eventual call it a night. Another excellent collection of bands and the perfect fuel for those of us running on fumes at this bitter shandy end of the weekend