[pics by richie yates]

Like Sound, like Outpost, Drop The Dumbulls has almost become my local (despite being an hour’s drive from the lair in North Wales)… Dumballs is almost squat-like, similar to those I’ve been to in Berlin and Copenhagen… with it’s cheap (canned beer) bar and a self-policed relaxed feel about the place.

Falaun are pronounced forlorn, and despite asking them twice what it meant, I twice forgot what I was told (that’s a trait of mine!). Regardless of what’s behind the name, upfront and personal they are anarcho-punk to their basic core with a fistful of short, throat punching songs. Dual vocals keep you on your toes and those toes keep on tapping. Their debut EP ‘Holiday In The Hague‘ was recorded here at the Dumballs and, like their set tonight is a raw blast of pure angered delight.

Despite seeing and playing with Bite Back more times than you have, I never tire of them… They were slightly apprehensive about playing to an anarcho audience, but at the end of the day it’s all punk rock and made for great viewing. Whether Bite Back upped the ante because of this I do not know, but they were on top form, they seemed really up for it and delivered their brick-wall punk rock right in your chops.

Enter Dawn Ray’d – these Toxteth black metallers certainly raised some eyebrows tonight, mine included, but hats off to the promoters for including them. Jello Biafra once said, ‘Who needs countries anyway’ – I hate borders, divisions and jingoism; yes, it’s great to have banter, but we’re all arseholes when it comes down to the nitty-gritty – so why the fuck not put a black metal band on at an anarcho gig? It was both weird and fascinating… The standard bearing flags, the electric violin, the disturbing satanic skeletal grin from the guitarist and the blast beats. It was theatre and didn’t belong here, and yet fitted perfectly… This was more punk rock than you’d ever believe and I’d love to see Falaun or Bite Back play a black metal night… Why preach to the converted…?

When I was sixteen I lived in a scummy flat in a scummy part of Rhyl… I used to play Conflict‘s album ‘Increase The Pressure’ at full volume, much to the dismay of my landlord and the surrounding residents… The anger that album released was unprecedented, as was the same with ‘The Ungovernable Force.’ Conflict were dangerous… We all loved Crass and their anarchy and peace ideals, but Conflict said what we were thinking; as in, ‘If someone tries to hit me then I’ll fucking hit them back.’
I knew every word and I lived every word in a subvert world of disruption, of attacking the system, questioning authority and being a general pain in the arse… If Crass were the school curriculum, then Conflict were the further education. That was a long time ago and fast forward all those years and it’s hard to fathom now that if the battle continues, then who is the enemy? Yes, the state, but do we have to fight our inner selves first? Maybe I’ve gone in too deep – for tonight it was just moshpit mayhem as Conflict rattled off song after song and Liverpool seemed content on battering the hell out of each other with an ear-to-ear grin.
Mainstay, Colin Jerwood seemed detached from the throng of limbs flailing below him, perhaps wholly intent on delivering those lyrics that changed a generation’s way of thinking…  Or maybe discontent (as always) with a fight that’ll go on forever because, if the serenade is dead, then still we’re asking why…………….